Meadow “sponges” can help store water as snowpack shrinks

Several people carrying equipment walk single-file through a meadow of tall grass toward trees at the back.

A project to restore a damaged meadow in the Sierra Nevada shows the possibilities for improving an important mountain ecosystem. It can also store precious groundwater as climate change shrinks mountain snowpack, a vital source of fresh water in the American West.

Trees move uphill as Sierra Nevada climate warms

A man holds a measuring device that looks like a sling-shot.

Warming Sierra Nevada temperatures mean young trees of cold-adapted species are growing at elevations hundreds of feet higher than trees counted 80 years ago — taking entire habitats with them.