Australian Snowpack Disappearing under the Influence of Global Warming and SoTir Activity

Sánchez-Bayo, Francisco; Green, Ken
February 2013
Arctic, Antarctic & Alpine Research;Feb2013, Vol. 45 Issue 1, p107
Academic Journal
Average depth of snow in the mountains of southeastern Australia is decreasing at a rate of 0.48 cm a-1, while the duration of the snowpack has been shortened by 18.5 days since 1954 (--3 days per decade). The major factors responsible for these declines are an increasing temperature trend of 0.36 °C per decade, and a reduction in winter precipitation at the rate of 10.1 mm a-1. While the depth of the snowpack is dependent upon precipitation trends and minimum temperatures (multiple r² = 0.43), the shortening in the length of the snow period is best predicted by increasing temperatures and reduced humidity. The major forcing of the warming trend involves greenhouse gasses, in particular atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapor. However, the decline in winter precipitation seems to be unrelated to the forcing of greenhouse gasses, and is instead statistically associated with the Southern Oscillation Index (r = 0.38). Inverse correlations were found between depth of snow and solar irradiance, which in turn is inversely correlated with the number of sunspots per cycle. The latter findings suggest that the declining precipitation and snow trends could additionally be associated with a reduction in solar activity during the past five decades.


Related Articles

  • Climate change: An atmospheric perspective. LESINS, GLENN // Atlantic Geology;2008, Vol. 44, p23 

    Climate change is currently dominated by anthropogenic global warming induced by the burning of fossil fuels. Natural causes of climate change will likely be only a minor contributor in the 21st century. The anthropogenic increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane...

  • Higher Hydroclimatic Intensity with Global Warming. Giorgi, F.; Im, E.-S.; Coppola, E.; Diffenbaugh, N. S.; Gao, X. J.; Mariotti, L.; Shi, Y. // Journal of Climate;Oct2011, Vol. 24 Issue 20, p5309 

    Because of their dependence on water, natural and human systems are highly sensitive to changes in the hydrologic cycle. The authors introduce a new measure of hydroclimatic intensity (HY-INT), which integrates metrics of precipitation intensity and dry spell length, viewing the response of...

  • Controls of Global-Mean Precipitation Increases in Global Warming GCM Experiments. Stephens, Graeme L.; Ellis, Todd D. // Journal of Climate;Dec2008, Vol. 21 Issue 23, p6141 

    This paper examines the controls on global precipitation that are evident in the transient experiments conducted using coupled climate models collected for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The change in precipitation, water vapor, clouds, and...

  • On the biogeochemical signature of the Lena River from its headwaters to the Arctic Ocean. Semiletov, I. P.; Pipko, I. I.; Shakhova, N. E.; Dudarev, O. V.; Pugach, S. P.; Charkin, A. N.; McRoy, C. P.; Kosmach, D.; Gustafsson, O. // Biogeosciences Discussions;2011, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p2093 

    The Lena River integrates biogeochemical signals from its vast drainage basin and its signal reaches far out over the Arctic Ocean. Transformation of riverine organic carbon into mineral carbon, and mineral carbon into the organic form in the Lena River watershed, can be considered a...

  • Organic farming.  // Better Nutrition;Jan2004, Vol. 66 Issue 1, p20 

    The article reports that a 23-year study of organic farming's effects has now further documented that organic soils actually scrub the atmosphere of global warming gases by capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide and converting it into soil material. This research by the Rodale Institute is the...

  • Empirical Modeling of Layered Integrated Water Vapor Using Surface Mixing Ratio in Nigeria. Adeyemi, B. // Journal of Applied Meteorology & Climatology;Feb2009, Vol. 48 Issue 2, p369 

    Using the available upper-air data for three stations in Nigeria (Lagos, a coastal station; Minna, an inland station; and Kano, a sub-Sahelian station), an intensive examination has been carried out on the linkage between surface mixing ratio rs and layered integrated water vapor W (g cm-2) over...

  • European Heat Waves of the Future May Not Be as Bad as Previously Predicted.  // CO2 Science;7/7/2010, Vol. 13 Issue 27, p5 

    The article discusses research on future heat waves over Europe. It references the study "Potential Impact of Vegetation Feedback on European Heat Waves in a 2 x CO2 Climate," by S.-J. Jeong et al. in a 2010 issue of "Climatic Change." Based on the projected warming of 4° Celsius (C) in...

  • Recent and future climate change in northwest China. Yafeng Shi; Yongping Shen; Ersi Kang; Dongliang Li; Yongjian Ding; Guowei Zhang; Ruji Hu // Climatic Change;Feb2007, Vol. 80 Issue 3/4, p379 

    As a consequence of global warming and an enhanced water cycle, the climate changed in northwest China, most notably in the Xinjiang area in the year 1987. Precipitation, glacial melt water and river runoff and air temperature increased continuously during the last decades, as did also the water...

  • Temperature Estimates from Models and Observations. Symmons, Philip // Energy & Environment;2011, Vol. 22 Issue 8, p1059 

    Seventy estimates of annual global mean near-surface temperature from models have been compared with an estimate from observations, for the period 1959-1999. Correlations coefficients ranged from 0.35 to 0.85. Only 3 were better than the correlation with the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide....


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics