Video: In Montana, the cascading effects of early snowmelt

Earlier this year, University of Montana scientists, including Regents Professor of Ecology Steve Running, published a paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society on satellite-based drought monitoring (PDF). The scientists showed that they can measure global drought severity using remotely sensed data from NASA satellites, which gauge the greenness and productivity of vegetation — a key indicator of drought conditions.  It could prove to be an important tool in Montana, where early snow-melts are leading to longer drought and fire seasons, as Dr. Running explains.