J. I. López‐Moreno


DOI bib
Changes in the frequency of global high mountain rain-on-snow events due to climate warming
J. I. López‐Moreno, John W. Pomeroy, Enrique Morán‐Tejeda, Jesús Revuelto, F. Navarro-Serrano, Ixeia Vidaller, Esteban Alonso‐González
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 16, Issue 9

Abstract Rain-on-snow (ROS) events can trigger severe floods in mountain regions. There is high uncertainty about how the frequency of ROS events (ROS) and associated floods will change as climate warms. Previous research has found considerable spatial variability in ROS responses to climate change. Detailed global assessments have not been conducted. Here, atmospheric reanalysis data was used to drive a physically based snow hydrology model to simulate the snowpack and the streamflow response to climate warming of a 5.25 km 2 virtual basin (VB) applied to different high mountain climates around the world. Results confirm that the sensitivity of ROS to climate warming is highly variable among sites, and also with different elevations, aspects and slopes in each basin. The hydrological model predicts a decrease in the frequency of ROS with warming in 30 out 40 of the VBs analyzed; the rest have increasing ROS. The dominant phase of precipitation, duration of snow cover and average temperature of each basin are the main factors that explain this variation in the sensitivity of ROS to climate warming. Within each basin, the largest decreases in ROS were predicted to be at lower elevations and on slopes with sunward aspects. Although the overall frequency of ROS drops, the hydrological importance of ROS is not expected to decline. Peak streamflows due to ROS are predicted to increase due to more rapid melting from enhanced energy inputs, and warmer snowpacks during future ROS.


DOI bib
Long‐term trends (1958–2017) in snow cover duration and depth in the Pyrenees
J. I. López‐Moreno, Jean Michel Soubeyroux, Simon Gascoin, Esteban Alonso‐González, Nuria Durán-Gómez, Matthieu Lafaysse, Matthieu Vernay, Carlo Maria Carmagnola, Samuel Morin
International Journal of Climatology, Volume 40, Issue 14

This study investigated the temporal variability and changes in snow cover duration and the average snow depth from December to April in the Pyrenees at 1,500 and 2,100 m a.s.l. for the period 1958–2017. This is the first such analysis for the entire mountain range using SAFRAN‐Crocus simulations run for this specific purpose. The SAFRAN‐Crocus simulations were evaluated for the period 1980–2016 using 28 in situ snow depth data time series, and for the period 2000–2017 using MODIS observations of the snow cover duration. Following confirmation that the simulated snow series satisfactorily reproduced the observed evolution of the snowpack, the Mann–Kendall test showed that snow cover duration and average depth decreased during the full study period, but this was only statistically significant at 2,100 m a.s.l. The temporal evolution in the snow series indicated marked differences among massifs, elevations, and snow variables. In general, the most western massifs of the French Pyrenees underwent a greater decrease in the snowpack, while in some eastern massifs the snowpack did not decrease, and in some cases increased at 1,500 m a.s.l. The results suggest that the trends were consistent over time, as they were little affected by the start and end year of the study period, except if trends are computed only starting after 1980, when no significant trends were apparent. Most of the observed negative trends were not correlated with changes in the atmospheric circulation patterns during the snow season. This suggests that the continuous warming in the Pyrenees since the beginning of the industrial period, and particularly the sharp increase since 1955, is a major driver explaining the snow cover decline in the Pyrenees.