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Siqiong Luo
,
Jingyuan Wang
,
John W. Pomeroy
, and
Shihua Lyu

Abstract

The freeze–thaw changes of seasonally frozen ground (SFG) are an important indicator of climate change. Based on observed daily freeze depth of SFG from meteorological stations on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) from 1960 to 2014, the spatial–temporal characteristics and trends in SFG were analyzed, and the relationships between them and climatic and geographical factors were explored. Freeze–thaw changes of SFG on a regional scale were assessed by multiple regression functions. Results showed multiyear mean maximum freeze depth, freeze–thaw duration, freeze start date, and thaw end date that demonstrate obvious distribution characteristics of climatic zones. A decreasing trend in maximum freeze depth and freeze–thaw duration occurred on the TP from 1960 to 2014. The freeze start date has been later, and the thaw end date has been significantly earlier. The freeze–thaw changes of SFG significantly affected by soil hydrothermal conditions on the TP could be assessed by elevation and latitude or by air temperature and precipitation, due to their high correlations. The regional average of maximum freeze depth and freeze–thaw duration caused by climatic and geographical factors were larger than those averaged using meteorological station data because most stations are located at lower altitudes. Maximum freeze depth and freeze–thaw duration have decreased sharply since 2000 on the entire TP. Warming and wetting conditions of the soil resulted in a significant decrease in maximum freeze depth and freeze–thaw duration in the most area of the TP, while drying soil results in a slight increase of them in the southeast of the TP.

Open access
Richard Essery
,
John Pomeroy
,
Jason Parviainen
, and
Pascal Storck

Abstract

Improved representations of snow interception by coniferous forest canopies and sublimation of intercepted snow are implemented in a land surface model. Driven with meteorological observations from forested sites in Canada, the United States, and Sweden, the modified model is found to give reduced sublimation, better simulations of snow loads on and below canopies, and improved predictions of snowmelt runoff. When coupled to an atmospheric model in a GCM, however, drying and warming of the air because of the reduced sublimation provides a feedback that limits the impact of the new canopy snow model on the predicted sublimation. There is little impact on the average annual snowmelt runoff in the GCM, but runoff is delayed and peak runoff increased by the introduction of the canopy snow model.

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