Fractional snow cover time series (1981 – 2021) (GCOS Swiss)

Contact: Helga Weber, Christoph Neuhaus, Kathrin Naegeli, Stefan Wunderle
Consortium:  Sven Kotlarksi (MeteoSwiss)
Funding source: MeteoSwiss in the framework of GCOS Switzerland
Duration: Summer 2020 – Winter 2021

This project generated a 40-year fractional snow cover time series for Switzerland based on Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) satellite data, archived at the University of Bern. By doing so, it overcame missing spatial information in Switzerland's dense measurement network of stationary in-situ instruments. Spatial and temporal analysis of the novel snow cover time series for the time period 1981 until 2021 improves our understanding of the variability and changes of Alpine snow cover. Further analysis of the new data set were made in close cooperation with Climate Evolution, MeteoSwiss and serve as improved basis for climate services to enhance our process understanding in the field of snow cover dynamics and its impact on local society. The new data set is publicly available and supports climate studies as an independent data source on snow cover dynamics.

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