Variability and trends in seasonal snow cover in Ontario from 1980 to 2010 detected using remote sensing CCRR 50

Summary

Historical trends in temperature and precipitation have been widely used to assess potential effects of climate change in Ontario but trends in snow cover have received less attention. Seasonal snow cover strongly influences Ontarios climate, is a key component of the water balance, governs the annual hydrograph shape (timing and magnitude of streamflow), influences ecosystem processes and aquatic and terrestrial population dynamics, and affects water supply, public safety, and recreational activities. Expected changes in the extent and volume of snow in response to a changing climate are not obvious because snowfall and snow cover are affected by both air temperature and precipitation. While global and continental scale assessments of changes in snow cover exist, this study focused on documenting the variability and changes in monthly snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow cover extent (SCE) in Ontario over the recent climate normal period (19802010). The large study area and data record required for analysis warranted the use of satellite-based products. Several indicators were used to assess changes in snowpack conditions at provincial and secondary watershed scales and the non-parametric Mann-Kendall (MK) test was used to detect monotonic trends in SWE, SCE, and climate variables for the 30-year study period.

Published Date: 2018
Publisher: Aquatic Research and Monitoring Section, Science and Research Branch, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Author: Robert A. Metcalfe, James English and James J. Luce

Details

Variability and trends in seasonal snow cover in Ontario from 1980 to 2010 detected using remote sensing CCRR 50
ISBN: 978-1-4868-3096-1   (PDF) 7.23 MB