Feb 25, 2016

Attribution of the spring snow cover extent decline in the Northern Hemisphere, Eurasia and North America to anthropogenic influence

by
Mohammad Reza Najafi, Francis W. Zwiers, Nathan P. Gillett
,
Climatic Change
  • States that while it is generally accepted that the observed reduction of the Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover extent (SCE) is linked to warming of the climate system caused by human induced greenhouse gas emissions, it has been difficult to robustly quantify the anthropogenic contribution to the observed change
  • Addresses the challenge by undertaking a formal detection and attribution analysis of SCE changes based on several observational datasets with different structural characteristics, in order to account for the substantial observational uncertainty
  • Considers the following datasets: a blended in situ-satellite dataset extending from 1923 to 2012 (Brown), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) snow chart Climate Data Record for 1968–2012, the Global Land Data Assimilation System version 2.0 (GLDAS-2 Noah) reanalysis for 1951–2010, and the NOAA 20th-century reanalysis, version 2 (20CR2) covering 1948–2012
  • The results, together with the understanding of the causes of observed warming over the past century, provide substantial evidence of a human contribution to the observed decline in Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover extent