Globsnow II

Consortium: FMI, enveo, gamma
Funding source: ESA

The European Space Agency (ESA) Data User Element (DUE) funded GlobSnow project aims at creating a global database of snow parameters for climate research purposes. The main objective is to create a long term dataset on two essential snow parameters: snow areal extent (SE) and snow water equivalent (SWE). The antecedent Globsnow project was carried out during the years 2009-2011. Novel approaches for mapping SE at the global scale over long time periods were implemented. In addition, the first satelite-based SWE product providing a Climate Data Record (CDR)  on the north-hemispheric snow mass, was compiled.

The current Globsnow-2 project is a follow-up effort of the Globsnow project. Based on the SE and SWE products developed in the first phase, the continuation aims at the improvement of the both products by algorithm optimization and distinct error characterization. Moreover, an operational near-real time (NRT) snow information service, that was implemented during the Globsnow project, is further improved in the current project.

Example of Monthly Fractional Snow Cover Product
Figure: Example of the Monthly Aggregated Fractional Snow Cover Product for March 2010, derived from the Envisat AATSR instrument.

Within the Globsnow-2 project, the Remote Sensing Research Group leads the workpackage 2.2 which aims at investigating the compilation of a long time series of snow extent based on GlobSnow SE, AVHRR SE and CryoClim SE. A validation using point measurements and snow model data will proof the consistency of the SE time series. In addition the improvement of SE in mountainous terrain will be tested with MERIS data.

The project is being coordinated by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Other project partners involved are Norwegian Computing Center, ENVEO IT GmbH, GAMMA Remote Sensing AG, Finnish Environment Institute, Environment Canada, and MeteoSwiss.