- AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION
The Earth system model, Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate-Earth system model (MIROC-ESM), in which the leaf area index (LAI) is calculated interactively with an ecological land model, simulated future changes in the snow water equivalent under the scenario of global warming. Using MIROC-ESM, the effects of the snow albedo feedback (SAF) in a boreal forest region of northern Eurasia were examined under the possible climate future scenario RCP8.5. The simulated surface air temperature (SAT) in spring greatly increases across Siberia and the boreal forest region, whereas the snow cover decreases remarkably only in western Eurasia. The large increase in SAT across Siberia is attributed to strong SAF, which is caused by both the reduced snow-covered fraction and the reduced surface albedo of the snow-covered portion due to the vegetation masking effect in those grid cells. A comparison of the future changes with and without interactive LAI changes shows that in Siberia, the vegetation masking effect increases the spring SAF by about two or three times and enhances the spring warming by approximately 1.5 times. This implies that increases in vegetation biomass in the future are a potential contributing factor to warming trends and that further research on the vegetation masking effect is needed for reliable future projection.
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