Institute of Geography

Remote Sensing Group

ESA CCI+ Snow Phase - 2

Contact: Xiongxin Xiao, Stefan Wunderle
Consortium: Stefan Wunderle (University of Bern), ENVEO (Austria), Environment and Climate Change Canada, EURAC (Italy), FMI (Finland), Gamma Remote Sensing (Switzerland), NR (Norway), CNRS IGE (France), SMHI (Sweden), University of Edinburgh (Scotland)
Funding source: ESA

Seasonal snow cover is the largest single component of the cryosphere, covering 50% of the northern hemisphere’s land surface during mid-winter, and is an important component of the climate system. Seasonal snow cover is a crucial and challenging research issue in climate analysis and modelling. It influences energy, moisture and gas fluxes between the land surface and atmosphere; its high reflectivity, or albedo, provides a significant feedback effect in a warming climate; and its sensitivity to precipitation and temperature regimes makes it widely recognised as a fundamental indicator of climate variability and change. Snow is also a major, if not dominant, freshwater source in many alpine, high- and mid-latitude regions an important contribution to the global water cycle.

The ESA CCI+ Snow project aims to contribute to the understanding of Snow in the climate system by generating consistent, high quality long-term data sets that meet the requirements of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). The Remote Sensing Research Group at the University of Bern is responsible for the workpages 131, 132, 133 Data Access Requirements and holds the lead for the Earth Observation Team within the project. Further, we are contributing to the algorithm development and the generation of snow extent products and to the validation of snow water equivalent products, in particular based on AVHRR GAC data. Further details about the ESA CCI+ Snow project and its partners can be found here (Link project page).