Snow debate

Those skeptical of climate change have used data released by Rutgers University researchers to make their case. But experts say the skeptics painted an incomplete picture because they didn’t include springtime data, only winter numbers, in their calculations. Experts say snow cover in spring has broad implications on the climate.

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Variation from average spring snow cover

However, spring snow cover has shown a pronounced decrease since about 1990.

Variation from average winter snow cover

(in millions of square kilometers)

Winter snow cover shows no overall change, although the recent decade has mostly had above-average coverage.

Note: Average winter data based on December of previous year, January and February. Spring values based on March, April and May.

Sources: David A. Robinson and Thomas Estilow, Rutgers University Global Snow Lab. Graphics reporting by Samantha Masunaga, Thomas Suh Lauder, Raoul Ranoa