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Science and Engineering at The University of Edinburgh

School of GeoSciences

Glaciology & Cryosphere



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Snow Cover


Northern Hemisphere snow and sea ice, 2011-2012 (data from NSIDC)

Seasonal snow causes rapid and profound changes in the characteristics of the Earth surface, and snow that does not completely melt in the summer can compact and metamorphose over time to form glacial ice. Snow reflects sunlight, cools the lower atmosphere, insulates underlying surfaces and stores water. Representations of processes in snow are therefore important in climate, ecology, glaciology, hydrology and weather prediction models.

We have received funding from NERC, ESA, the EU Northern Periphery Programme, the Carnegie Trust and INTERACT.

People involved in snow research at Edinburgh:

  • Dr. Richard Essery
  • Dr. Tim Reid
  • Matt MacDonald
  • Michael Spencer
Profiles of Edinburgh scientists »

Organisations that we collaborate with include:

  • The Met Office
  • The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • Centre d'Etudes de la Neige, Grenoble
  • Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, Davos
  • USDA ARS Northwest Watershed Research Center
  • The University of Aberdeen
  • Durham University
  • The University of Idaho
  • Northumbria University
  • The University of Reading
  • The University of Saskatchewan
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