Abstract : 3K.9
The analysis of the snow layer in the context of global climate change in the southern carpathians (romanian carpathians)
Department of geography, West University of Timisoara
The Southern Carpathians, the most representative mountain unit of the Romanian Carpathians, have an East-West orientation, with a total surface of 14040 km2 (21% of the whole surface of the Romanian Carpathians and 5.91% of the surface of Romania), massivity and high altitudes - over 2500 m. Due to their geographical position, extension, massivity and altitudes, the Southern Carpathians are having a climatogen role, created by their disposition in the way of the northern and southern air masses, determining the climate in Romania.
Considering the fact that Southern Carpathians have a huge natural potential and implicitely that of favouring winter sports, the analysis of the spatial and temporal variables of the snow in the context of the global climate changes becomes even more important. From this point of of view the tendency of mountain climate warming has been recently shown by several studies, done in the Fagaras Massif, the most representative mountain subunit in the Southern Carpathians (Voiculescu, 2001, 2002a, 2002b; Voiculescu, Török-Oance, 2004).
For the present study we processed and interpreted the climate data of precipitations, temperature, number of days with snow fall and with snow layer and the decade thickness of the snow layer, from the 11 representative meteorological stations in the Southern Carpathians area placed between 242 m and 2509 m. On the other hand we built digital models of the snow layer for the entire Southern chain. The climate models were made using GIS technique and meteorological data and the Digital Terrain Model, using the linear regression equation between the altitude of the stations and the thickness of the snow layer as mathematical model. In order to check the models and for a better spatial analysis there were used Landsat images taken in different years in the cold season.
According to the results based on graphical analysis and of the climate models there can be observed that temperature registers a permanent growth in the conditions of reduced precipitations. On the other hand the amount of snow was reduced during the last 10-15 years as well as differences and modifications of the persistence and thickness of the snow layer, the highest values being recorded in the spring semester in March, April and even May fact that confirms the climate warming process.