H3. Observation and modelling of snow and glacier processes

Globally, melt from seasonal snowcovers and glaciers are estimated to provide essential freshwater flows for over one-sixth of the world’s population. This freshwater is a critical resource for local and downstream communities and ecosystems. Ongoing anthropogenic climate and land use change are dramatically impacting the cold-region processes driving these critical flows. Seasonal snowpacks influence many aspects of cold-regions meteorology and hydrology such as surface-atmosphere-energy exchanges, and frozen soil dynamics. Glaciers modify the local climate and provide essential water supply in late summer.  There are significant incentives to provide better estimates of these changing physical processes through improved observations, analysis, and modelling.

In this session, we invite contributions from the broader cryosphere community who are interested in observations, analysis, and/or modelling to share their experiences, insights, and advances in utilizing existing and next-generation tools. Contributions are particularly encouraged that explore the possibilities and strategies to overcome the significant challenges of the increasingly complex and large datasets now available from big data and advances in remote sensing from UAVs, satellite and airborne systems, and high-performance computing opportunities. Research spanning processes across all climate zones is encouraged to be a part of the discussion.