Working thesis title: Snow albedo climate feedbacks in forests

I am generally interested in cold environments and my research focuses on enhancing our understanding of interactions between snow, vegetation and climate. One of the key properties of snow is its high reflectivity (high albedo), hence a lot of the incoming solar radiation gets reflected back from snow-covered areas. The rapidly declining snow cover across the northern hemisphere results in more energy absorbed by the earth, leading to a further warming effect and an even greater reduction in snow cover (snow albedo feedback). The presence of forests additionally alters the reflectivity of a surface, consequently also affecting this feedback process. The overarching goal of my PhD project is to decrease the uncertainty related to snow albedo feedback strength by improving the representation of snow and forest albedo as well as the way various forest structures are defined in global climate models.

Dr Nick Rutter