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Northern Hemisphere snow-cover extent anomalies 1966-2005

Data from satellite monitoring from 1966 to 2005 show that mean monthly snow-cover extent in the Northern Hemisphere is decreasing at a rate of 1.3 per cent per decade. For the calendar year of 2006 average snow-cover extent was 24.9 million km2, which is 0.6 million km2 less than the 37-year average. In the Northern Hemisphere, spring and summer show the strongest decreases in snow-cover extent. Satellite observations of snow-cover extent show a decreasing trend in the Northern Hemisphere for every month except November and December, with the most significant decreasing trends during May to August. The departures (anomaly) from the monthly means is displayed in this figure, together with the 12-month running mean. The decreasing trend of –1.3% per decade is significant at the 90% level.

Year: 2007

From collection: Global Outlook for Ice and Snow

Cartographer: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal

Tags: Antarctica Arctic tundra Climate Change Indigenous Peoples polar bear

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