Snow cover trends in Finland over 1961-2014 based on gridded snow depth observations

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Luomaranta , A M , Aalto , J & Jylhä , K 2019 , ' Snow cover trends in Finland over 1961-2014 based on gridded snow depth observations ' , International Journal of Climatology , vol. 39 , no. 7 , pp. 3147-3159 .

Title: Snow cover trends in Finland over 1961-2014 based on gridded snow depth observations
Author: Luomaranta, Anna M; Aalto, Juha; Jylhä, Kirsti
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Doctoral Programme in Atmospheric Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography
Date: 2019-01-19
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: International Journal of Climatology
ISSN: 0899-8418
Abstract: Snow conditions in high-latitude regions are changing in response to climate warming, and these changes are likely to accelerate as the warming proceeds. Here, we analyse daily gridded snow depth, temperature and precipitation data from Finland over the period 1961-2014 to discover the ongoing changes in monthly average snow depths (SN) and several snow-related indices. Our results indicate that regional differences of changes in snow conditions can be relatively large, even within such a small district as Finland. Moreover, the interannual variation of the various snow indices was found to be larger in southern Finland than in northern Finland. The largest decrease in snow depth occurred in the southern, western and central parts of Finland in late winter and early spring. This decrease was driven by increasing mixed and liquid precipitation and, especially in spring, increasing temperature. In northern Finland, the decreasing trend of snow depth was most evident in spring, but no change occurred during winter months, although the amount of solid precipitation was found to increase in December-February. In the same months, temperature and the amount of mixed and liquid precipitation increased, likely counteracting the effects of the increasing solid precipitation on snow depth. The annual maximum snow depth that typically occurs in March was found to decrease in over 85% of Finland's area, most strongly in western coastal areas. In almost half of Finland's area, this decrease occurred despite increasing solid precipitation. Our findings highlight the complexity of the responses of snow conditions to climatic variability in northern Europe.
Subject: climate
snow depth
1171 Geosciences

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