DATE2022-06-18 12:11:24
TITLESnow cover changes in the Atlas mountains : from observations to large scale models
AUTHORSHamid Chaabani (1) ,Fatima Driouech (1) ,Martin Menegoz (2,3) ,Frédérique Cheruy (3,5) ,Abdelghani Chehbouni (1,4)
  1. 1) International Water Research Institute (iwri),mohammed Vi Polytechnic University, Benguerir (Morocco) ,2) Institut Des Géosciences De L'environnement, Grenoble (France) ,3) Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique (cnrs), Paris (France) ,4) Center For Remote Sensing Applications (crsa), Mohammed Vi Polytechnic University (um6p), Benguerir (Morocco) ,5) Laboratoire De Météorologie Dynamique, Ipsl, Paris (France)
ABSTRACTIn the context of climate change, the Mediterranean region is qualified as a hotspot due to the vulnerability of its human and natural systems. Temperature increase translates into more intense and frequent heatwaves in the region including Morocco. Reduced rainfall amounts and snow cover in the mediterranean mountains affect water resources, with impacts on drinking water supply, irrigation, and hydroelectric power generation. Mountainous regions such as the Atlas generates orographic precipitation and allows the establishment of a seasonal snowpack which constitutes a reservoir of water distributed downstream during periods of melting. These mountains are also orographic barriers explaining the heterogeneous climates on the different sides of them. Satellite observations as well as atmospheric models based on fine resolution are useful tools to investigate the links between the climate and the snow cover in these complex topography areas. In this study, the snow-cci satellite dataset is used over 1982-2018 to describe the variability of the snow cover fraction in the Moroccan Atlas mountains. The missing values related to cloud cover, especially pronounced over mountain areas, are gap-filled to get a more complete dataset. Spatially contrasted trends are highlighted, that depend on both the elevation and the regional climate features. This observational dataset is finally compared with the outputs of the LMDZ atmospheric model applied with different resolutions. This validation step is essential before exploring the long-term trends of the Atlas snow cover over the past century as well as in future projections.