Wednesday, 16 January 2002
Developing a blended continental snow cover dataset
Snow cover is a sensitive indicator of climate dynamics and climate change, and an integrator of basic climate elements. Snow plays a critical role in the earth-atmosphere energy budget, and is the dictating factor in a major climatic feedback. To date, there is no research-quality dataset in direct support of climate and global change studies that contains files of snow extent, depth and water equivalent and incorporates information from multiple observing systems. This presentation will discuss a blended dataset that is currently under development at Rutgers. Northern Hemisphere continental snow data are being integrated, using the best available visible and microwave satellite data and surface observations. The analysis period runs from the late 1960s through present. High-resolution, digital files of snow extent will be spatially and temporally complete, while depth and especially water equivalent will have regions and intervals where data are not available.