Jesús Revuelto


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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.

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The significance of monitoring high mountain environments to detect heavy precipitation hotspots: a case study in Gredos, Central Spain
Enrique Morán‐Tejeda, José Manuel Llorente-Pinto, Antonio Ceballos Barbancho, Miquel Tomas‐Burguera, César Azorín-Molina, Esteban Alonso‐González, Jesús Revuelto, Javier Herrero, Juan I. López‐Moreno
Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Volume 146, Issue 3-4

Abstract In 2015, a new automatic weather station (AWS) was installed in a high elevation site in Gredos mountains (Central System, Spain). Since then, a surprisingly high number of heavy precipitation events have been recorded (55 days with precipitation over 50 mm, and a maximum daily precipitation of 446.9 mm), making this site a hotspot in Spain in terms of annual precipitation (2177 mm year) and extreme precipitation events. The neighboring stations available in the region with longer data series, including the closest ones, already informed of wet conditions in the area, but not comparable with such anomaly behavior detected in the new station (51% higher). In this study, we present the temporal variability of detected heavy precipitation events in this mountain area, and its narrow relation with atmospheric patterns over the Iberian Peninsula. Results revealed that 65% of the events occurred during advections from West, Southwest, South and cyclonic situations. A regression analysis showed that the precipitation anomaly is mostly explained by the location windward to the Atlantic wet air masses and the elevation. However, the variance explained by the models is rather low (average R 2 for all events > 50 mm is 0.21). The regression models underestimate on average a 60% intensity of rainfall events. Oppositely, the high-resolution weather forecast model AROME at 0.025° was able to point out the extraordinary character of precipitation at this site, and the underestimation of observed precipitation in the AWS was about 26%. This result strongly suggests the usefulness of weather models to improve the knowledge of climatic extremes over large areas, and to improve the design of currently available observational networks.


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Snowpack sensitivity to temperature, precipitation, and solar radiation variability over an elevational gradient in the Iberian mountains
Esteban Alonso‐González, Juan I. López‐Moreno, F. Navarro-Serrano, Alba Sanmiguel‐Vallelado, M. Aznárez-Balta, Jesús Revuelto, Antonio Ceballos
Atmospheric Research, Volume 243

Abstract In this study we investigated the sensitivity of the snowpack to increased temperature and short-wave radiation, and precipitation change along an elevation gradient (1500–2500 m a.s.l.) over the main mountain ranges of the Iberian Peninsula (Cantabrian Range, Central Range, Iberian Range, Pyrenees, and the Sierra Nevada). The output of a meso-atmospheric model (WRF) was used as forcing data in a physically-based energy and mass balance snowpack model (FSM2). A cluster analyses was applied to the input data of the FSM2 model to identify a total of 12 cells that summarized the climatic variability of the mountain ranges. The WRF output was then rescaled to various elevation bands using an array of psychrometric and radiative formulae and air temperature lapse rates. A factorial experiment was performed to generate synthetic meteorological series involving gradual alteration of the temperature (0–4 °C increases), short-wave radiation (0–40 Wm-2 increases), and precipitation (variations of ±20%) to force the FSM2. We found differing sensitivities across the various mountainous areas as a consequence of differences in their energy and mass balances. The results showed a generally negative impact of climate warming on the magnitude, duration, and melt rates of the snowpack over all elevation bands, even under scenarios of greater precipitation. The average effect of warming on the duration of the snowpack ranged from −23% per °C at 1500 m a.s.l. to −13% per °C at 2500 m a.s.l., on the peak snow water equivalent ranged from −20% per °C at 1500 m a.s.l. to −15% per °C at 2500 m a.s.l., and on melt rates ranged from −9% to −6% per °C. The effect of increasing short-wave radiation on the snowpack ranged from approximately −2% per 10 Wm−2 at 1500 m a.s.l. to −1% per 10 Wm−2 at 2500 m a.s.l. for both the snowpack duration and peak SWE indices. The effect on the snowpack caused by precipitation changes reduced gradually with increasing elevation, especially in the colder areas. The response of the melt rates to warming was negative in most of the areas at all elevations, suggesting less intense but longer melt seasons.

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Towards the assimilation of satellite reflectance into semi-distributed ensemble snowpack simulations
Bertrand Cluzet, Jesús Revuelto, Matthieu Lafaysse, François Tuzet, Emmanuel Cosme, Ghislain Picard, Laurent Arnaud, Marie Dumont
Cold Regions Science and Technology, Volume 170

Abstract Uncertainties of snowpack models and of their meteorological forcings limit their use by avalanche hazard forecasters, or for glaciological and hydrological studies. The spatialized simulations currently available for avalanche hazard forecasting are only assimilating sparse meteorological observations. As suggested by recent studies, their forecasting skills could be significantly improved by assimilating satellite data such as snow reflectances from satellites in the visible and the near-infrared spectra. Indeed, these data can help constrain the microstructural properties of surface snow and light absorbing impurities content, which in turn affect the surface energy and mass budgets. This paper investigates the prerequisites of satellite data assimilation into a detailed snowpack model. An ensemble version of Meteo-France operational snowpack forecasting system (named S2M) was built for this study. This operational system runs on topographic classes instead of grid points, so-called ‘semi-distributed’ approach. Each class corresponds to one of the 23 mountain massifs of the French Alps (about 1000 km2 each), an altitudinal range (by step of 300 m) and aspect (by step of 45°). We assess the feasability of satellite data assimilation in such a semi-distributed geometry. Ensemble simulations are compared with satellite observations from MODIS and Sentinel-2, and with in-situ reflectance observations. The study focuses on the 2013–2014 and 2016–2017 winters in the Grandes-Rousses massif. Substantial Pearson R2 correlations (0.75–0.90) of MODIS observations with simulations are found over the domain. This suggests that assimilating it could have an impact on the spatialized snowpack forecasting system. However, observations contain significant biases (0.1–0.2 in reflectance) which prevent their direct assimilation. MODIS spectral band ratios seem to be much less biased. This may open the way to an operational assimilation of MODIS reflectances into the Meteo-France snowpack modelling system.

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Interannual and Seasonal Variability of Snow Depth Scaling Behavior in a Subalpine Catchment
Pablo Mendoza, K. N. Musselman, Jesús Revuelto, J. S. Deems, Juan I. López‐Moreno, James McPhee
Water Resources Research, Volume 56, Issue 7

Comision Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica (CONICYT)CONICYT FONDECYT3170079CONICYT/PIA Project AFB180004

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Decoupling of warming mountain snowpacks from hydrological regimes
Juan I. López‐Moreno, John W. Pomeroy, Esteban Alonso‐González, Enrique Morán‐Tejeda, Jesús Revuelto
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 15, Issue 11

Abstract Climate warming will reduce the duration of mountain snowpacks and spring runoff, impacting the timing, volume, reliability, and sources of water supplies to mountain headwaters of rivers that support a large proportion of humanity. It is often assumed that snow hydrology will change in proportion to climate warming, but this oversimplifies the complex non-linear physical processes that drive precipitation phases and snowmelt. In this study, snow hydrology predictions made using a physical process snow hydrology model for 44 mountains areas worldwide enabled analysis of how snow and hydrological regimes will respond and interact under climate warming. The results show a generalized decoupling of mountain river hydrology from headwater snowpack regimes. Consequently, most river hydrological regimes shifted from reflecting the seasonal snowmelt freshet to responding rapidly to winter and spring precipitation. Similar to that already observed in particular regions, this study confirms that the worldwide decline in snow accumulation and snow cover duration with climate warming is substantial and spatially variable, yet highly predictable from air temperature and humidity data. Hydrological regimes showed less sensitivity, and less variability in their sensitivity to warming than did snowpack regimes. The sensitivity of the snowpack to warming provides crucial information for estimating shifts in the timing and contribution of snowmelt to runoff. However, no link was found between the magnitude of changes in the snowpack and changes in annual runoff.

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Snow Impurities in the Central Pyrenees: From Their Geochemical and Mineralogical Composition towards Their Impacts on Snow Albedo
Jorge Pey, Jesús Revuelto, Natàlia Moreno, Esteban Alonso‐González, Miguel Bartolomé, Jesús Reyes, Simon Gascoin, Juan I. López‐Moreno
Atmosphere, Volume 11, Issue 9

The aim of this work is to understand aerosol transfers to the snowpack in the Spanish Pyrenees (Southern Europe) by determining their episodic mass-loading and composition, and to retrieve their regional impacts regarding optical properties and modification of snow melting. Regular aerosol monitoring has been performed during three consecutive years. Complementarily, short campaigns have been carried out to collect dust-rich snow samples. Atmospheric samples have been chemically characterized in terms of elemental composition and, in some cases, regarding their mineralogy. Snow albedo has been determined in different seasons along the campaign, and temporal variations of snow-depth from different observatories have been related to concentration of impurities in the snow surface. Our results noticed that aerosol flux in the Central Pyrenees during cold seasons (from November to May, up to 12–13 g m−2 of insoluble particles overall accumulated) is much higher than the observed during the warm period (from June to October, typically around 2.1–3.3 g m−2). Such high values observed during cold seasons were driven by the impact of severe African dust episodes. In absence of such extreme episodes, aerosol loadings in cold and warm season appeared comparable. Our study reveals that mineral dust particles from North Africa are a major driver of the aerosol loading in the snowpack in the southern side of the Central Pyrenees. Field data revealed that the heterogeneous spatial distribution of impurities on the snow surface led to differences close to 0.2 on the measured snow albedo within very short distances. Such impacts have clear implications for modelling distributed energy balance of snow and predicting snow melting from mountain headwaters.

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Estimating Fractional Snow Cover in Open Terrain from Sentinel-2 Using the Normalized Difference Snow Index
Simon Gascoin, Zacharie Barrou Dumont, César Deschamps-Berger, Florence Marti, Germain Salgues, Juan I. López‐Moreno, Jesús Revuelto, Timothée Michon, Paul Schattan, Olivier Hagolle
Remote Sensing, Volume 12, Issue 18

Sentinel-2 provides the opportunity to map the snow cover at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions on a global scale. Here we calibrate and evaluate a simple empirical function to estimate the fractional snow cover (FSC) in open terrains using the normalized difference snow index (NDSI) from 20 m resolution Sentinel-2 images. The NDSI is computed from flat surface reflectance after masking cloud and snow-free areas. The NDSI–FSC function is calibrated using Pléiades very high-resolution images and evaluated using independent datasets including SPOT 6/7 satellite images, time lapse camera photographs, terrestrial lidar scans and crowd-sourced in situ measurements. The calibration results show that the FSC can be represented with a sigmoid-shaped function 0.5 × tanh(a × NDSI + b) + 0.5, where a = 2.65 and b = −1.42, yielding a root mean square error (RMSE) of 25%. Similar RMSE are obtained with different evaluation datasets with a high topographic variability. With this function, we estimate that the confidence interval on the FSC retrievals is 38% at the 95% confidence level.