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Terrestrial Cryosphere

Research on the terrestrial cryosphere includes modelling based studies of permafrost, satellite-based monitoring of the Arctic landscape, biosphere, and snow cover. The research is carried out at the Department of Geography as well as the Scott Polar Research Institute.

Research projects

Research projects currently being undertaken on this theme include:

Northern Hemisphere snow cover

Northern Hemisphere snow cover

The environmental importance of high-latitude snow cover is well established. As well as its role in albedo feedback it is an indicator of the global climate, though a complex one since a warming climate can have both positive effect through increased precipitation and a negative effect through increased melting. It also has a major impact on terrestrial vegetation through thermal insulation, modification of hydrological fluxes and limiting the availability of photosynthetically active radiation. This in turn provides a link to the global carbon cycle. This is a complex set of interactions, which dictates a need for long-term monitoring of snow cover in conjunction with other climatological variables. The aim of this project is to analyse estimates of northern hemisphere snowcover data from around 1970 to the present day to identify key trends and to relate them to other climatological variables.

Earlier projects