Skip to main content

Spring snow melt timing and changes over Arctic lands

Buy Article:

$60.90 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Spring snow cover over Arctic lands has, on average, melted approximately 4-7 days earlier since the late 1980s compared to the previous 20 years. The earlier disappearance of snow has been identified in non-mountainous regions at the 60° and 70°N parallels over Eurasia and North America using visible satellite observations of continental snow cover extent (SCE) mapped by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The change was greater in the farthest north continental locations. Northern Hemisphere SCE declined by almost 10% (May) to 20% (June) between the two intervals. At latitude 70°N, eight segments of longitude (each 10° in width) show significant (negative) trends. However, only two longitudinal segments at 60°N show significant trends, one positive and one negative. SCE changes coincide with increasing spring warmth and the earlier diminution of sea ice in the last several decades. However, while sea ice has continued to decrease during this recent interval, snowmelt dates in the Arctic changed in a step-like fashion during the mid to late 1980s and have remained much the same since that time.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Laboratory for Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA 2: Global Snow Lab, Department of Geography, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2008


Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more