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Pohľad na zimné Vysoké Tatry

Early end of winter 2024 in the Tatras

12. 4. 2024 | 515 visits

Physical processes in the atmosphere are part of the climate system. It is constantly changing and is evident at global, regional and local levels. Earth's atmosphere, which is a mixture of gases, extends from the Earth's surface up to several kilometres. However, the basic weather events occur in its lowest layer - the troposphere. The troposphere is connected with other components of the climate system, which creates a complex system of mutually affecting bonds. Changes in atmospheric processes often lead to global changes in the entire climate system, which in turn affects human activities in many aspects.

The Department of Atmospheric Physics of the Division of Geophysics of the Earth Science Institute SAS tries to contribute to the understanding of some of these processes and to provide answers to their mechanism, formation and changes that lead to dynamic environmental transformations.

Scientific and technical experts of the Department of Atmospheric Physics of the detached workplace of the Earth Science Institute SAS in Stará Lesná have been documenting the condition of the snow cover on the southeastern slope of the High Tatras in the area of ​​Skalnaté pleso for the third year using up-to-date methods. Compared to 2022 and 2023, in 2024, they saw a significant decrease in snow after the winter season due to higher temperatures, despite increased precipitation in the form of snow. The compared images taken by a static camera document the state of the snow cover on April 8 each year.

The length of the growing period of alpine vegetation is significantly connected to the loss of snow cover and temperatures. The next set of compared images shows that a similar snow cover condition as in 2024 was recorded in previous years more than a month later. How will this impact the vegetation?

The first phenological stages, such as bud development, are usually observed around mid-May and later. Due to this year's meteorological and snow conditions, it is expected that the growing period in alpine areas will begin significantly earlier. Therefore, the staff of the Department of Atmospheric Physics of the Division of Geophysics of the Earth Science Institute SAS starts with phenological monitoring already in mid-April.      

 

Edited by Veronika Lukasová, Svetlana Varšová, Earth Science Institute of the SAS

Photo: Earth Science Institute of the SAS