Blogger Zoe Phin was curious about global snowfall trend in our era of “extreme global warming”. The results of a comprehensive analysis provide a surprise.
To find out what the global snowfall trend has been, the hotshot data analyst diligently downloaded all available monthly NASA images from 1980 to 2020 (inclusive), such as the one shown below, and then converted the pixel colors back to data using the provided scale.
Image source: Zoe Phin.
It seems NASA does not make this data directly available, or at least makes it almost impossible to find, and so for Zoe it was the only way for her to extract the dataset.
“As far as I know, you will not see this anywhere else,” she notes at her site.
Global snowfall rises 3% since 1980
After crunching all the data, here’s the global snowfall trend that emerges:
Snowfall in decigrams/m2/s. Chart: Zoe Phin
Lo and behold, “snowfall has increased by nearly 3 percent over the last four decades,” she concludes. Globally it went from 0.2773 to 0.2854 decigrams/m2/s, which is +2.90% more.
More snow in the south, less in the north
Zoe also broke it down into the northern and southern hemispheres. First we look at the northern hemisphere:
Global snowfall in decigrams/m2/s. Chart: Zoe Phin.
Over the Northern Hemisphere, where most of the Earth’s land mass and population are located, snowfall has declined by more than 9 percent, from 0.2722 to 0.2468 decigrams/m2/s.
Next Zoe looks at the Southern Hemisphere:
Southern Hemisphere Snowfall in decigrams/m2/s. Chart: Zoe Phin.
Here over the past 40 years snowfall has indeed grown from 0.6257 to 0.7057 decigrams/m2/s, or +12.77%. This trend, like many, is not global.
It just goes to show that when it comes to the chaotic system of climate, things are never simple and researchers get surprised almost daily.
You can generate your own charts using data archived here.
May 5, 2021 by P Gosselin