European and Alpine Snow Cover in a Changing Climate: Observations, Processes, Projections
Sven Kotlarski summarizes current research on the fate of surface snow cover and its implications for climate.
The presence of snow cover on the land surface is closely linked to the prevailing climate. Moreover, by modulating surface energy fluxes snow cover is interactively linked to the atmosphere and constitutes an important component of global and regional climate systems. Available observations show a retreat of snow cover on hemispheric scales as a response to global warming, and climate projections consistently indicate a further decrease. Focusing on Europe and especially on the European Alps, this contribution summarizes current research on the fate of surface snow cover and its implications.