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Long-term observations of increasing snow cover in the western Cairngorms

* INCLUDES 'WHY IT MATTERS' FEATURE * The authors used photographs collected as part of the ECN monitoring at our Cairngorm site to determine how the duration of snow cover has changed in recent years.

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Andrews, C., Ives, S., and Dick, J. 2016. Long-term observations of increasing snow cover in the western Cairngorms.  Weather 71(7):178-181. DOI 10.1002/wea.2731



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As part of the UK Environmental Change Network (ECN) long-term monitoring, an automatic repeat-photography camera was installed to record changes in landscape phenology in the Allt a'Mharcaidh catchment, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland. For 13 consecutive winters between 2002 and 2015, the date for the onset of continuous winter snow cover, and subsequent melt, was recorded on slopes of north and north-easterly aspect at altitudes between 450m and 1111m amsl. Results show that the period of time during which snow is continuously present in the catchment has increased significantly by 81 (±21.01) days over the 13-year period, and that this is largely driven by a significantly later melt date, rather than earlier onset of winter snow cover.

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