Jun 13, 2016

Effects of a Warming Climate on Daily Snowfall Events in the Northern Hemisphere

by
James F. Danco, Anthony M. DeAngelis, Bryan K. Raney, and Anthony J. Broccoli
,
American Meteorological Society
  • Analyzes projections of Northern Hemisphere daily snowfall events under the RCP8.5 emissions scenario using simulations performed with 24 coupled atmosphere-ocean global climate models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) for the periods of 2021-2050 and 2071-2100 and compared to the historical period of 1971-2000
  • Simulates that the overall frequency of daily snowfall events is to decrease across much of the Northern Hemisphere, except at the highest latitudes such as northern Canada, northern Siberia, and Greenland
  • Projects some regions will see seasonal redistributions of daily snowfall event frequency and average daily snowfall
  • Finds, for example, that large portions of the Northern Hemisphere, including much of Canada, Tibet, northern Scandinavia, northern Siberia, and Greenland, are projected to experience increases in average daily snowfall and event frequency in midwinter
  • But finds in warmer months, the regions with increased snowfall become fewer in number and are limited to northern Canada, northern Siberia, and Greenland
  • Simulations also show changes in the frequency distribution of daily snowfall event intensity, including an increase in heavier snowfall events even in some regions where the overall snowfall decreases