ESSEM COST Action ES1404
A European network for a harmonised monitoring of snow for the benefit of climate change scenarios, hydrology and numerical weather prediction
Snow cover is an essential climate variable directly affecting the Earth energy balance. Snow cover has a number of important physical properties that exert an influence on global and regional energy, water and carbon cycles. Its quantification in a changing climate is thus important for various environmental and economic impact assessments. Proper description and assimilation of snow cover information into hydrological, land surface, meteorological and climate models are critical to address the impact of snow on various phenomena, to predict local snow water resources and to warn about snow-related natural hazards. This induces a challenging problem of bridging information from micro-structural scales of the snowpack up to the grid resolution in models. European research teams have developed different snow measurement practices, instrumentation, algorithms and data assimilation techniques customised to their purposes. However, they lack harmonised approaches, validation and methodologies. The Action will co-ordinate efforts to address these issues, through establishing harmonized monitoring practices, enhancing the use of observations by promoting new observing strategies, bringing together different communities, facilitating data transfer, upgrading and enlarging knowledge through networking, exchange and training, and linking them to activities in international agencies and global networks.
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