Multiple effects of changes in arctic snow cover


Terry V. Callaghan, Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien
Margareta Johansson, Institutionen för Naturgeografi och Ekosystemvetenskap, Lunds Universitet
Ross D. Brown, Consortium Ouranos, Canada
Pavel Ya Groisman, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Niklas Labba, Gàisi Sàmi Centre
Vladimir Radionov, AARI
Raymond S. Bradley, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Sylvie Blangy, Université du Québec à Montréal
Olga N. Bulygina, All-Russian Research Institute of Hydrometeorological Information - World Data Center
Torben R. Christensen, Institutionen för Naturgeografi och Ekosystemvetenskap, Lunds Universitet
Jonathan E. Colman, Universitetet i Oslo
Richard L.H. Essery, The University of Edinburgh
Bruce C. Forbes
Mads C. Forchhammer, Aarhus Universitet
Vladimir N. Golubev, Lomonosov Moscow State University
Richard E. Honrath, Michigan Technological University
Glenn P. Juday, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management
Anna V. Meshcherskaya
Gareth K. Phoenix, The University of Sheffield
John Pomeroy, University of Saskatchewan
Arja Rautio, Oulun Yliopisto
David A. Robinson, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Niels M. Schmidt, Aarhus Universitet
Mark C. Serreze, University of Colorado Boulder
Vladimir P. Shevchenko, P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Alexander I. Shiklomanov, University of New Hampshire Durham
Andrey B. Shmakin, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences
Peter Skol̈d, Umeå Universitet
Matthew Sturm, USA-CRREL-Alaska
Ming Ko Woo, McMaster University, Faculty of Science
Eric F. Wood, Princeton University

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Snow cover plays a major role in the climate, hydrological and ecological systems of the Arctic and other regions through its influence on the surface energy balance (e.g. reflectivity), water balance (e.g. water storage and release), thermal regimes (e.g. insulation), vegetation and trace gas fluxes. Feedbacks to the climate system have global consequences. The livelihoods and well-being of Arctic residents and many services for the wider population depend on snow conditions so changes have important consequences. Already, changing snow conditions, particularly reduced summer soil moisture, winter thaw events and rain-on-snow conditions have negatively affected commercial forestry, reindeer herding, some wild animal populations and vegetation. Reductions in snow cover are also adversely impacting indigenous peoples' access to traditional foods with negative impacts on human health and well-being. However, there are likely to be some benefits from a changing Arctic snow regime such as more even run-off from melting snow that favours hydropower operations. © Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2012.

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