Trivedi, Mandar R., Browne, Mervyn K., Berry,, Pamela M., Dawson, Terence P. and Morecroft, Michael D.
Projecting climate change impacts on mountain snow cover in central Scotland from historical patterns
Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 39, (3), . (doi:10.1657/1523-0430(06-006)[TRIVEDI]2.0.CO;2).
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Cumulative days of seasonal snow cover at Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve, a mountain site in Scotland, are related to altitude, temperature, and precipitation using a 45-year record from a nearby climate station. Multiple linear regression is used to model interannual variation in snow cover duration as a function of winter mean daily temperature and monthly precipitation. Snow cover duration is closely linked to temperature, while precipitation contributes a positive effect among winters of similar temperature mode. Snow cover duration at mid to upper altitudes (600–900 m) responds most strongly to variation in mean daily temperature. A 1 °C rise in temperature at the station corresponds to a 15-day reduction in snow cover at 130 m and a 33-day reduction at 750 m. The empirical relationship is applied to climate change scenarios from the HadRM3 regional climate model. Under a ‘low’ greenhouse gas emissions scenario, snow cover in the 2050s is projected to be reduced by 93% at 130 m, 43% at 600 m and 21% at 1060 m, while under a ‘high’ emissions scenario these reductions are projected to be 100%, 68%, and 32%, respectively. The potential impact of snow cover reduction on snow-dependent vegetation is modeled. The results suggest a future decline in climax vegetation of international conservation importance.
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