EGU23-13127, updated on 10 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Snow depth sensitivity to mean temperature and elevation in the European Alps

Matthew Switanek, Wolfgang Schöner, and Gernot Resch
Matthew Switanek et al.
  • Department of Geography and Regional Science, University of Graz, Graz, Austria

Many of the gauged snow depth measurements in the European Alps began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We leverage this reasonably long period of record to investigate the historical sensitivity of snow depths as a function of precipitation, mean temperature, and elevation. By controlling for changes in precipitation, we can isolate the influence that different temperature changes have on snow depths at varying elevation bands. This simple, yet effective, approach to defining our historical sensitivity can provide a robust observational framework to evaluate the impact that a range of different future warming scenarios would have on snow depths across the Alps. As a result, adaptation and mitigation measures can be put in place for a variety of end users, such as ski tourism and water resource management. Furthermore, this provides an observational reference by which to evaluate the performance of climate model simulations.

How to cite: Switanek, M., Schöner, W., and Resch, G.: Snow depth sensitivity to mean temperature and elevation in the European Alps, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-13127,, 2023.