Hemispheric snow cover from satellites

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Abstract

Full hemispheric monitoring of snow cover has been possible since the advent of meteorological satellites in the 1960s. Since that time visible satellite imagery has been used to chart the extent of northern hemisphere snow on a weekly basis. An analysis of monthly snow areas from a consistent US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) set, dating back to 1972, finds that hemispheric snow cover has been well below means for the 1972-91 interval since the middle of 1987. The relative simplicity of observing hemispheric snow cover from satellites, the potential of integrating these and other sources of data using geographical information system techniques, the critical role that snow cover has in the global heat budget, and the expected role of snow feedbacks in anthropogenic climate change support the continued diligent monitoring of snow cover. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-371
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Glaciology
Volume17
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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