The impact of climate change on snow
The amount of snow and ice that covers our planet’s surface differs with latitude, altitude, and seasons. Over the last century, average snowfall and worldwide ice cover have declined in many regions because of rising average temperatures induced by the release of greenhouse gases from human activities. The snow and ice cover decline is altering ecosystems and influencing our climate system.
The maps below colorfully illustrate the radical changes in the average number of days with snow cover in Poland, 1961-1990 vs. 2011-2020.
Such changes are the same across Europe and most places worldwide.
The reduction of snow cover in areas with harsher climates in the springtime is particularly noticeable from the space.
According to climate.gov, despite yearly variability, the long-term tendency in the Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover is negative. Between 1967 and 2022, April snow cover declined by 1.32% per decade, May snow cover by 4.1% per decade, and June snow cover by 12.95% per decade.