Snowfall and snow accumulation play a crucial role in shaping ecosystems and human activities in the Alpine region. This resource is under threat as a consequence of the visible effects of global warming, and, therefore, it appears urgent to understand how snowfall trends have changed in time and space. In this context, we recovered data from over a hundred snowfall (HN) time series covering the period 1980–2020 over the mountain region of Trentino-South Tyrol in the northeastern Italian Alps and analysed them to understand snowfall climatology in the region, recent trends and their dependence on elevation and timing of the season. Negative, although not always statistically significant, trends were found in the lowest elevation range (0–1,000 m a.s.l.) over the whole winter season, while some positive and even significant trends were found from January to March above 2,000 m a.s.l. The intermediate elevation range (1,000–2,000 m a.s.l.) exhibits a strong variability with no clear trend. Negative and statistically significant trends were found in April for all elevations. An attribution analysis was performed using precipitation (P), mean air temperature (TMEAN), and large-scale synoptic descriptors, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO) indices. The analysis shows that, overall, P is the driver that best explains the snowfall trends, but, for low elevations, especially during mid-winter, TMEAN is more relevant. Low elevations are facing a clear decrease in HN due to a significant increase in mean temperatures, while high elevations during mid-winter display a slight increase in HN, associated with a general increase in precipitation. NAO and AO indices exhibit no significant correlations with HN, except at the lowest elevations and at the beginning of the season.

Diverging snowfall trends across months and elevation in the northeastern Italian Alps / Bertoldi, G.; Bozzoli, M.; Crespi, A.; Matiu, M.; Giovannini, L.; Zardi, D.; Majone, B.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY. - ISSN 0899-8418. - ELETTRONICO. - 2023, 43:6(2023), pp. 2794-2819. [10.1002/joc.8002]

Diverging snowfall trends across months and elevation in the northeastern Italian Alps

Bozzoli M.;Matiu M.;Giovannini L.;Zardi D.;Majone B.
2023-01-01

Abstract

Snowfall and snow accumulation play a crucial role in shaping ecosystems and human activities in the Alpine region. This resource is under threat as a consequence of the visible effects of global warming, and, therefore, it appears urgent to understand how snowfall trends have changed in time and space. In this context, we recovered data from over a hundred snowfall (HN) time series covering the period 1980–2020 over the mountain region of Trentino-South Tyrol in the northeastern Italian Alps and analysed them to understand snowfall climatology in the region, recent trends and their dependence on elevation and timing of the season. Negative, although not always statistically significant, trends were found in the lowest elevation range (0–1,000 m a.s.l.) over the whole winter season, while some positive and even significant trends were found from January to March above 2,000 m a.s.l. The intermediate elevation range (1,000–2,000 m a.s.l.) exhibits a strong variability with no clear trend. Negative and statistically significant trends were found in April for all elevations. An attribution analysis was performed using precipitation (P), mean air temperature (TMEAN), and large-scale synoptic descriptors, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO) indices. The analysis shows that, overall, P is the driver that best explains the snowfall trends, but, for low elevations, especially during mid-winter, TMEAN is more relevant. Low elevations are facing a clear decrease in HN due to a significant increase in mean temperatures, while high elevations during mid-winter display a slight increase in HN, associated with a general increase in precipitation. NAO and AO indices exhibit no significant correlations with HN, except at the lowest elevations and at the beginning of the season.
2023
6
Bertoldi, G.; Bozzoli, M.; Crespi, A.; Matiu, M.; Giovannini, L.; Zardi, D.; Majone, B.
Diverging snowfall trends across months and elevation in the northeastern Italian Alps / Bertoldi, G.; Bozzoli, M.; Crespi, A.; Matiu, M.; Giovannini, L.; Zardi, D.; Majone, B.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY. - ISSN 0899-8418. - ELETTRONICO. - 2023, 43:6(2023), pp. 2794-2819. [10.1002/joc.8002]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/374790
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