(REUTERS) — BOSTON — Snowfalls atop an Alaskan mountain range have doubled since the start of the industrial age, evidence that climate change can trigger major increases in regional precipitation, according to research published in the journal Scientific Reports on Tuesday.

The study by researchers from Dartmouth College, the University of Maine and the University of New Hampshire, shows modern snowfall levels in the Alaska Range at the highest in at least 1,200 years, averaging some 18 feet per year from around 8 feet per year from 1600-1840.

“We were shocked when we first saw how much snowfall has increased,” said Erich Osterberg, an assistant professor of earth sciences at Dartmouth College and principal investigator for the research. “We had to check and double-check our results to make sure of the findings.”

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