From white to green: Snow cover loss and increased vegetation productivity in the European Alps

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State: Public
Version: Final published version
License: CC BY 4.0
Serval ID
serval:BIB_3451514D0B72
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
From white to green: Snow cover loss and increased vegetation productivity in the European Alps
Journal
Science
Author(s)
Rumpf Sabine B., Gravey Mathieu, Brönnimann Olivier, Luoto Miska, Cianfrani Carmen, Mariethoz Gregoire, Guisan Antoine
ISSN
0036-8075
1095-9203
Publication state
Published
Issued date
03/06/2022
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
376
Number
6597
Pages
1119-1122
Language
english
Abstract
Mountains are hotspots of biodiversity and ecosystem services, but they are warming about twice as fast as the global average. Climate change may reduce alpine snow cover and increase vegetation productivity, as in the Arctic. Here, we demonstrate that 77% of the European Alps above the tree line experienced greening (productivity gain) and <1% browning (productivity loss) over the past four decades. Snow cover declined significantly during this time, but in <10% of the area. These trends were only weakly correlated: Greening predominated in warmer areas, driven by climatic changes during summer, while snow cover recession peaked at colder temperatures, driven by precipitation changes. Greening could increase carbon sequestration, but this is unlikely to outweigh negative implications, including reduced albedo and water availability, thawing permafrost, and habitat loss.
Keywords
Greening, melting, normalized-difference vegetation index NDVI, Normalized-difference snow index NDSI, summer snow, permanent snow, trend analysis
Pubmed
Create date
05/06/2022 14:42
Last modification date
29/07/2022 6:09
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