Nov 15, 2018

The sensitivity of snow ephemerality to warming climate across an arid to montane vegetation gradient

Rose S. Petersky, Kevin T. Shoemaker, Peter J. Weisberg, Adrian A. Harpold
  • States that shifts from longer seasonal snowpacks to shorter, ephemeral snowpacks (snowpacks that persist for <60 days) due to climate change will alter the timing and rates of water availability
  • Analyzes moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow‐covered products from water years 2001–2015 using an object‐based mapping approach and a random forest model to identify the climatic controls on snow ephemerality
  • Finds that:
    • Winter temperature and precipitation were the most influential variables on the maximum snow duration
    • The combination of warming and interannual precipitation variability (i.e., reductions of 25%) had different effects on vegetation types