Snow Science

Researcher taking snow samples in Antarctica

Although scientists have already learned much about snow properties, they continue to study snow. For instance, the layers of very old snow in places like Greenland and Antarctica can reveal valuable information about past climate conditions. Here, researcher Zoe Courville takes samples in a snow pit in Antarctica.
—Credit: Ted Scambos and Rob Bauer, NSIDC

Although snow only occurs in certain parts of the world, it has far-reaching effects on climate, weather, ecology, water supplies, wildlife, and people.

Snow affects people in multiple ways, such as weather forecasts, avalanche risks, travel hazards, and infrastructure design. Snow affects ecology in multiple ways, such as wildlife migration and survival, and timing of spring blooms. By studying snow, how it forms, where it falls, and how the snowpack changes over time, scientists can better understand how snow affects our planet and our society.

Last updated: 10 January 2020