Snow cover change and its relationship with land surface temperature and vegetation in northeastern North America from 2000-2017.

Authors: Stephen Young*, Salem State University, Kristen Thiebault, Salem State University
Topics: Global Change, Cryosphere, Remote Sensing
Keywords: snow cover extent, land surface temperature, NDVI, MODIS, Mann-Kendall Statistic, univariate differencing
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download

Snow cover has a major influence on the global energy balance through the reflection of shortwave solar radiation as well as influencing ecological processes and human activity. Numerous studies have found that snow cover extent is decreasing in the Northern Hemisphere and this decline appears to be influencing temperatures and might be a major factor in the polar amplification. This research used satellite-derived MODIS snow cover data (MOD10C2), Land Surface Temperature (LST) data (MOD11C3) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data (MOD13C2) to detect changes in snow cover extent (SCE) and its potential relationship to changes in land surface temperature and vegetation growth from 2000 to 2017 over northeastern North America. The data were composited into seasonal and annual (snow-year: September – June) groupings. Two different change analyses were undertaken: 1) significant change using the Mann-Kendall statistical analysis and 2) univariate differencing using three different time periods (3-year, 5-year, 8-year). From the analysis of the SCE, LST and NDVI data it is clear that northeastern North America has experienced extensive environmental changes over the past 18 years. SCE has been declining broadly across the region with the temperature of the surface of the land and the growth of vegetation increasing. Regression and correlation analyses were run to determine the relationship between variables of SCE, LST and NDVI, which shows that these variables are broadly changing together as SCE declines, LST and NDVI increases, indicating a potential positive feedback mechanism warming the region.

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