Determining minimum snow and ice extent over land: Challenges and importance

Minimum Snow/Ice Extent over the Northern Circumpolar Landmass in 2000-19: How Much Snow Survives the Summer Melt?

Trishchenko, Alexander P. ; Ungureanu, Calin

Année de publication
<p align=justify>A novel satellite image processing technique developed at the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing has been utilized to produce annual time series of the minimum snow/ice (MSI) extent over the northern circumpolar landmass area (9,000 km × 9,000 km) for 2000-19. The information has been derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer 10-day clear-sky composites generated at 250-m spatial resolution over the April-September period. Derived interannual variations agree very well with the warm-season average surface air temperatures from the European reanalysis (ERA5). The region-average correlation coefficient is ?0.78. The total MSI extent demonstrated a statistically significant declining trend equal to ?1,477 km2 yr?1. Results have been compared with data from the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI 6.0). The comparison points to a significant contribution of minimum seasonal snow cover relative to RGI glacierized areas. Quantitative estimates obtained for the first time showed that the region-average snow extent that survives the summer melt and resides outside of RGI area can be as high as 15% (or 53 × 103 km2) while in the northern Canadian Arctic it can reach 41% (or 43 × 103 km2). The derived MSI time series data can be recommended to the glacier and land-cover scientific community as a source of validation data and annual updates of snow and ice maps over the northern circumpolar landmass.</p>

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