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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-152
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-152
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 10 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 10 Sep 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Snow cover variations across China from 1952–2012

Xiaodong Huang1, Changyu Liu2, Yunlong Wang2, Qisheng Feng2, and Tiangang Liang2 Xiaodong Huang et al.
  • 1School of Geographical Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730020, China

Abstract. Based on a snow depth (SD) dataset retrieved from meteorological stations, this experiment explored snow indices including SD, snow covered days (SCDs), and snow phenology variations in China from 1952 to 2012. The results indicated that the snow in China exhibits regional differences, and the snow cover is mainly concentrated in three snow cover areas in Northeast China, northern Xinjiang and the Tibetan Plateau. In China, the annual average SD showed an increasing trend, and the increases in the average snow depth (SDaverage), cumulative snow depth (SDoverall) and maximum snow depth (SDmax) reached 0.04 cm, 0.05 cm and 0.07 cm per decade, respectively. The significant increases were mainly concentrated in areas higher than 40° N latitude, especially in Northeast China. The SDaverage, SDoveralland SDmax jump points are mainly in 1956, 1957, 1978, and 1987. In the first main period, the SDoverall oscillation in China is relatively stable, and its average period is approximately 13 years. The SCDs showed an increasing trend, with an increase of 0.5 days per decade. The significant increases in SCDs were also concentrated in areas higher than 40° N latitude, especially in Northeast China.However, in the Tibetan Plateau, the decrease in the SCDs reached 0.1 days per decade. In snow phenology, the snow duration days (SDDs) of China decreased, and 17.4 % of the meteorological stations showed significant decreasing trends. This result is mainly caused by the postponement of the snow onset date (SOD) and the advancement of the snow end date (SED). Geographical factors, including latitude, longitude and altitude, affect snow cover distribution directly and indirectly. The squared multiple correlations of SDDs and SCDs are greater than 0.9. Among the effects of SDDs and SCDs, the largest standardized total effect is from altitude on the SDDs, and the effect reaches 0.8.

Xiaodong Huang et al.
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Short summary
(a) Long term snow cover variation across China was evaluated (b) There are three major snow cover distribution centers in China (c) Snow depth showed an increasing trend, and four jump points between 1952 and 2012. (d) Snow depth oscillation period is 13 years. (e) Snow onset day delayed, and snow end day advanced.
(a) Long term snow cover variation across China was evaluated (b) There are three major snow...
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