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Estimating snow conditions in Finland in the late 21st century using the SNOWPACK model with regional climate scenario data as input

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An assessment of possible snow changes in a changing climate for Finland is presented. The snowpack structure model SNOWPACK (developed at the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research) was used for calculating snow conditions at six different locations in Finland for the decades 1980–89 and 2080–89. Regional climate model (RCAO) data from the Rossby Centre, Sweden, were used as input to the SNOWPACK model. Ten years from the RCAO control run and scenario run were chosen, and the snow conditions for different snow zones were calculated for these winters. The snow-cover depth and duration decreased at all locations in the scenario run cases, and the snow-cover quality also changed between the control and scenario runs: grains were bigger, snow was warmer and denser, and the fraction of faceted snow decreased while the fraction of icy or melting snow increased, even in mid-winter. Finally, the variability between different global climate predictions was analyzed. Significant differences were found between different climate-model outputs. The inter-model variability is comparable to the interannual variability of a single model. The qualitative conclusions from the scenario run do not critically depend on the climate-model variability.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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