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 September 18, 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 September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
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