18 Aug 2022
18 Aug 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Observed and Predicted Trends in Icelandic Snow Conditions for the period 1930–2100

Darri Eythorsson1, Sigurdur Magnus Gardarsson1, Andri Gunnarsson2, and Oli Gretar Blondal Sveinsson2 Darri Eythorsson et al.
  • 1Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iceland, Iceland
  • 2Research and Development Division, Landsvirkjun, Iceland

Abstract. This study presents an estimate of historical snow conditions in Iceland and a projection of these conditions, given different emission scenarios. Historical snow conditions were estimated using in situ observations from manned meteorological stations over the period 1930–2021 and by remote sensing observations from the MODIS instruments over the period 2001–2021. Historical and future climate conditions, as described by each of the 21 Global Circulation Models (GCM’s) from the 5th iteration of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) as contained in the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX) Global Daily Downscaled Projections (GDDP) dataset, were used to simulate snow conditions in Iceland over the period 1950–2100 under the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) RCP45 and RCP85 with the Snow17 model. The results show an increase in the average annual Snow Cover Frequency (SCF) over the historical record detected both in the in-situ (1930–2021) and remotely sensed data (2001–2021). Average annual snow depth measurements also revealed an increasing trend over the historical record. Simulated snow conditions show a substantial decrease in both Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) and SCF over the period 1950–2100, a trend more pronounced under RCP85 as compared to RCP45.

Darri Eythorsson et al.

Status: open (until 13 Oct 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Review of paper', Anonymous Referee #1, 23 Sep 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-590', Kristoffer Aalstad, 03 Oct 2022 reply

Darri Eythorsson et al.

Darri Eythorsson et al.


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Short summary
In this study we researched past and predicted snow conditions in Iceland based on manual snow observations recorded in Iceland and compared these with satellite observations. Future snow conditions were predicted through numerical computer modelling based on climate models. The results showed that average snow depth and snow cover frequency have increased over the historical but are projected to decrease significantly when projected into the future.