Climatic Change

, Volume 85, Issue 1–2, pp 179–193 | Cite as

Climate change impact on snow and soil temperature in boreal Scots pine stands

  • Per-Erik Mellander
  • Mikaell Ottosson Löfvenius
  • Hjalmar Laudon


Scenarios indicate that the air temperature will increase in high latitude regions in coming decades, causing the snow covered period to shorten, the growing season to lengthen and soil temperatures to change during the winter, spring and early summer. To evaluate how a warmer climate is likely to alter the snow cover and soil temperature in Scots pine stands of varying ages in northern Sweden, climate scenarios from the Swedish regional climate modelling programme SWECLIM were used to drive a Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Transfer (SVAT)-model (COUP). Using the two CO2 emission scenarios A and B in the Hadley centres global climate model, HadleyA and HadleyB, SWECLIM predicts that the annual mean air temperature and precipitation will increase at most 4.8°C and 315 mm, respectively, within a century in the study region. The results of this analysis indicate that a warmer climate will shorten the period of persistent snow pack by 73–93 days, increase the average soil temperature by 0.9–1.5°C at 10 cm depth, advance soil warming by 15–19 days in spring and cause more soil freeze–thaw cycles by 31–38%. The results also predict that the large current variations in snow cover due to variations in tree interception and topography will be enhanced in the coming century, resulting in increased spatial variability in soil temperatures.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Per-Erik Mellander
    • 1
  • Mikaell Ottosson Löfvenius
    • 1
  • Hjalmar Laudon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forest EcologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUmeåSweden

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