Snow cover duration trends observed at sites and predicted by multiple models

Richard Essery, Libo Wang, Hyungjun Kim, Paul Bartlett, Aaron Boone, Claire Brutel-Vuilmet, Eleanor Burke, Matthias Cuntz, Emanuel Dutra, Xing Fang, Yeugeniy Gusev, Stefan Hagemann, Vanessa Haverd, Anna Kontu, Gerhard Krinner, Matthieu Lafaysse, Yves Lejeune, Thomas Marke, Danny Marks, Cristophe MartyCecile Menard, Olga Nasonova, Tomoko Nitta, John Pomeroy, Gerd Schaedler, Vladimir Semenov, Tatiana Smirnova, Sean Swenson, Dmitry Turkov, Nander Wever, Hua Yuan

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

Abstract / Description of output

Thirty-year simulations of seasonal snow cover in 22 physically based models driven with bias-corrected meteorological reanalyses are examined at four sites with long records of snow observations. Annual snow cover durations differ widely between models but interannual variations are strongly correlated because of the common driving data. No significant trends are observed in starting dates for seasonal snow cover, but there are significant trends towards snow cover ending earlier at two of the sites in observations and most of the models. A simplified model with just two parameters controlling solar radiation and sensible heat contributions to snowmelt spans the ranges of snow cover durations and trends. This model predicts that sites where snow persists beyond annual peaks in solar radiation and air temperature will experience rapid decreases in snow cover duration with warming as snow begins to melt earlier and at times of year with more energy available for melting
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCopernicus Publications
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameThe Cryosphere Discussions
PublisherCopernicus GmbH
ISSN (Print)1994-0432


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