Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wetter Arctic could influence climate change, study finds

Date:
September 5, 2012
Source:
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Summary:
Increased precipitation and river discharge in the Arctic has the potential to speed climate change, according to the results of a new study.

The Lena River near the Arctic Ocean.
Credit: hoto by Yoshihiro Iijima/JAMSTEC

Increased precipitation and river discharge in the Arctic has the potential to speed climate change, according to the results of a study led by Xiangdong Zhang, a scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center.

"As the Earth's climate continues to change, the high-latitude North is becoming even wetter than before," Zhang says. "In particular, air moisture, precipitation and river discharge have increased, leading to a stronger water cycle. These recent changes may intensify climate system interactions and further advance climate change."

Zhang and his co-authors -- including IARC colleague Igor Polyakov -- looked at water cycles in the Ob, Lena and Yenesei River drainages in the Eurasian Arctic during the last six decades. They found that atmospheric moisture into the areas increased by an average of 2.6 percent per decade and, consequently, river discharge increased at a rate of nearly 2 percent per decade. That means the three rivers today are dumping almost 39 cubic miles more fresh water into the Arctic Ocean per year than they did in the 1940s.

Their findings are important because studies have suggested that increased air moisture and precipitation, and the resulting increase in river discharge into the Arctic Ocean, can lower salinity and cause warmer surface temperatures, as well as create weaker water circulation in the Atlantic Ocean. Those things in turn can affect multiple biological and weather systems, as well as things like sea ice and coastal erosion.

The study results were published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The paper, "Enhanced poleward moisture transport and amplified northern high-latitude wetting trend," suggests that in addition to changes in local processes such as thawing permafrost and decreasing transpiration by plants, this intensified water cycle also depends heavily on changes in large-scale atmospheric dynamics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alaska Fairbanks. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xiangdong Zhang, Juanxiong He, Jing Zhang, Igor Polyakov, Rόdiger Gerdes, Jun Inoue, Peili Wu. Enhanced poleward moisture transport and amplified northern high-latitude wetting trend. Nature Climate Change, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1631

Cite This Page:

University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Wetter Arctic could influence climate change, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905200554.htm>.
University of Alaska Fairbanks. (2012, September 5). Wetter Arctic could influence climate change, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905200554.htm
University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Wetter Arctic could influence climate change, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905200554.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

AP (Aug. 26, 2014) — Researchers at UC Berkeley are testing a prototype of an earthquake early warning system that California is pursuing years after places like Mexico and Japan already have them up and running. (August 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) — Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brazil Tries Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Dengue

Brazil Tries Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Dengue

AFP (Aug. 25, 2014) — A factory in the industrial state of Sao Paulo produces genetically modified mosquitoes to fight dengue, a deadly tropical disease more prevalent in Brazil than anywhere else in the world. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Prime Minister at Japan Landslide Site

Raw: Prime Minister at Japan Landslide Site

AP (Aug. 25, 2014) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Hiroshima on Monday as rescuers expanded their search for dozens still missing from landslides around the western Japanese city that killed at least 50 people. (Aug. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins