Water and life from snow: A trillion dollar science question, a paper published in Water Resources Research by Visiting Scholar in Environment and Society Michael Goldstein, has been recognized as one of the journal's top downloaded papers.
The paper's summary states:
Snow is critical in sustaining human life. It provides water and plays a key role in the climate through its unrivaled power to cool the Earth. It is also changing rapidly. To date, a full financial evaluation of the importance of snow in our lives has not been made, but computations here and elsewhere indicate it is on the order of trillions of dollars. Against this value, the current costs of scientific research are trivial. We provide a strong rationale and guidelines for accelerated snow research that will allow society to make major impending decisions related to snow resources on the soundest base and best scientific knowledge.