Snow-mass intercomparisons in the boreal forests from general circulation models and remotely sensed data sets

James Foster, Randy Koster, Helga Behr, Lydia Dümenil, Judah Cohen, Richard Essery, Glen Liston, Starley Thompson, David Pollard, Diana Verseghy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In much of the boreal forests, snow covers the ground for half of the year. Since these boreal forests comprise approximately 15% of the land normally covered by snow during the winter and upwards of 40% of the land surface normally snow-covered during the spring and autumn, reliable measures of snow cover and snow mass are required for improved energy-balance and water-balance estimates. In this study, results from snow-depth climatological data (SDC), passive microwave satellite data, and output from general circulation models (GCMs) have been intercompared for the boreal forests of both North America and Eurasia. In Eurasia, during the winter months, snow-mass estimates from these data sets correspond rather well; however, in North America, the passive microwave estimates are smaller than the estimates from the climatological data and the modeled data. The underestimation results primarily from the effects of vegetation on the microwave signal. The reason why the underestimation is a bigger problem in North America than in Eurasia is likely due to the use of global microwave algorithms that have not accounted for regional differences in the size of snow grains. The GCMs generally produce too much snow in the spring season. This is a result of the models having moisture amounts that are greater and temperatures that are slightly lower than observed, in the late winter and early spring periods. The models compare more favorably with the SDC in the Eurasian boreal forest than in the forests of North America during the winter season. However, in the spring, the model results for the North America boreal forest are in better agreement with the SDC than are the forests of Eurasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalPolar Record
Volume32
Issue number182
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

Fingerprint

boreal forest
general circulation model
snow
winter
snow cover
regional difference
spring (season)
agricultural product
energy balance
water budget
satellite data
land surface
energy
water
autumn
moisture
North America
microwave
vegetation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Foster, J., Koster, R., Behr, H., Dümenil, L., Cohen, J., Essery, R., ... Verseghy, D. (1996). Snow-mass intercomparisons in the boreal forests from general circulation models and remotely sensed data sets. Polar Record, 32(182), 199-208. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0032247400025092
Foster, James ; Koster, Randy ; Behr, Helga ; Dümenil, Lydia ; Cohen, Judah ; Essery, Richard ; Liston, Glen ; Thompson, Starley ; Pollard, David ; Verseghy, Diana. / Snow-mass intercomparisons in the boreal forests from general circulation models and remotely sensed data sets. In: Polar Record. 1996 ; Vol. 32, No. 182. pp. 199-208.
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Foster, J, Koster, R, Behr, H, Dümenil, L, Cohen, J, Essery, R, Liston, G, Thompson, S, Pollard, D & Verseghy, D 1996, 'Snow-mass intercomparisons in the boreal forests from general circulation models and remotely sensed data sets', Polar Record, vol. 32, no. 182, pp. 199-208. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0032247400025092

Snow-mass intercomparisons in the boreal forests from general circulation models and remotely sensed data sets. / Foster, James; Koster, Randy; Behr, Helga; Dümenil, Lydia; Cohen, Judah; Essery, Richard; Liston, Glen; Thompson, Starley; Pollard, David; Verseghy, Diana.

In: Polar Record, Vol. 32, No. 182, 01.01.1996, p. 199-208.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Foster, James

AU - Koster, Randy

AU - Behr, Helga

AU - Dümenil, Lydia

AU - Cohen, Judah

AU - Essery, Richard

AU - Liston, Glen

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AU - Pollard, David

AU - Verseghy, Diana

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