Eurasian Snow Cover as a Predictor of Climate in North America and Application to Waterfowl Management

Author: Judah Cohen
Date: 
January 27, 2013 - January 31, 2013
Type: 
Presentation
Venue: 
North American Duck Symposium and Workshop
Citation: 

Cohen, J.; Schummer, M. (2013) Eurasian Snow Cover as a Predictor of Climate in North America and Application to Waterfowl Management. North American Duck Symposium and Workshop, Jan. 27-31, 2013. Invited

Resource File: 

Seasonal climate prediction remains a difficult challenge. During Northern Hemisphere (NH) winter the large-scale teleconnection pattern of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) explains the largest fraction of temperature variance of any other known climate mode and is a useful indicator of subsequent spring snow coverage (Bamzai 2003). Because the combined effects of temperature and snow cover influence autumn waterfowl migration (Schummer et al. 2010) and snow accumulation and melt are drivers of waterfowl breeding habitat (e.g., May ponds), indices enabling accurate prediction of the AO may be beneficial for forecasting waterfowl distributions and indices of waterfowl breeding success in North America. With the development of the Snow Advance Index (SAI), Cohen and Jones (2011) explained approximately 75% of the variance of the winter AO. The SAI is based on rate of accumulation of Eurasian snow cover during October. The high correlation between the SAI and the winter AO demonstrates that the AO is mostly predictable, which enables accurate seasonal climate predictions and may have application to waterfowl management in North America.

Presentation title: The ‘YEAR’ Effect: Incorporating Climatic Variability into Models for Waterfowl Management