In Photos: The Magnificent Sierra Nevada Mountains

The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically supplies about 30 percent of California's water, has shrunk to its lowest point in the past 500 years, according to a new study. The region's dry winter is primarily to blame for the shrinking snowpack, which could affect crop yields, contribute to longer dry spells and result in less water for public use. Here are some photos of the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains and the surrounding region. [Read full story about the shrinking Sierra Nevada snowpack]

Beautiful view

A view of the Yosemite Valley, which is located on the western slopes of California's Sierra Nevada mountains. (Credit: François B. Lanoë)

A valley view

Tuolumne Meadows, a broad plain within Yosemite National Park. (Credit: François B. Lanoë)

Mountain view

The San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada mountains from the White Mountains of California and Nevada. (Credit: François B. Lanoë)

An amazing horizon

This view looks east of the Sierra Nevada mountains, from the San Joaquin Valley. (Credit: François B. Lanoë)


Another look east of the Sierra Nevadas from the San Joaquin Valley. (Credit: François B. Lanoë)

An ancient oak

A Blue oak (Quercus douglasii) in the Tehachapi Mountains of Kern County, California. This tree species is sensitive to winter precipitation and was used to reconstruct the Sierra Nevada snowpack over the last 500 years. (Credit: K.J. Anchukaitis)

A frightening comparison

A side-by-side comparison of the Sierra Nevada snowpack from 2010 (left) and 2015 (right). (Credit: NASA/MODIS)

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