Effect of seasonal snow on the start of growing season of typical vegetation in Northern Hemisphere

Elsevier, Geography and Sustainability, Volume 3, September 2022
Guan X., Guo S., Huang J., Shen X., Fu L., Zhang G.

Under global warming, seasonal snow takes faster melting rate than before, which greatly changes the hydrological cycle. In this study, by targeting three typical seasonal snow-covered land types (i.e., open shrubland, evergreen needleleaf forest and mixed forest) in the Northern Hemisphere, the start of growing season (SGS) has been found obviously advanced in the past years, greatly contributed by the faster melting rate of seasonal snow. It is manifested that significantly positive correlation has been found between SGS and May snow depth for open shrubs, March and April snow depth for evergreen needleleaf forests and March snow depth for mixed forests. However, such close association is not appeared in all the climate conditions of same vegetation. In the future, as the rate of melting snow becomes faster in the high emission of greenhouse gasses than the current situation, continuously advanced SGS will accelerate the change of vegetation distribution in the Northern Hemisphere. These findings offer insights into understanding the effect from seasonal snow on vegetation and promote the sustainable utilization of regional vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere.