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September 2022

Lake Ice

Lake ice cover is an important component of the cryosphere and changes to the timing of ice freeze-up, break-up, duration, and thickness can have substantial impacts on weather and climate, transportation, and ecology.

Terrestrial Snow Cover

Many components of the Arctic land surface are directly influenced by snow cover from fall through spring, including the surface energy budget, ground thermal regime, permafrost, and terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.

Fig. 1. Seasonal departures of precipitation from the 1991-2020 climatological means for autumn 2021 (OND


Globally, precipitation over land has likely increased since 1950, consistent with increases in total atmospheric moisture. Climate models project an increase in Arctic precipitation, a transition from snowfall- to rainfall-dominated climates, and a higher frequency of heavy precipitation events.

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