Observational Evidence of Increases in Freshwater Inflow to the Arctic Ocean

Dyurgerov, Mark B.; Carter, Carissa L.
February 2004
Arctic, Antarctic & Alpine Research;Feb2004, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p117
Academic Journal
Analysis of mass balance data from arctic mountain and subpolar glaciers with an aggregate area of more than 300* 10³ km² reveals that these glaciers were the main source of increased freshwater inflow to the Arctic Ocean over the 1961-1998 period. The sum of net water inflow from glaciers was larger than net water inflow from rivers in the panarctic region, and the combined contribution from both glacier and land components had accelerated. Compared to the 1961-1990 averaged values, the largest combined contribution was observed at the end of the 1970s, declined in the 1980s, and began increasing again in the mid-1990s. Net glacier inflow supposedly increased due to Northern Hemisphere temperature warming. We attribute the increase in net river inflow to an increase in annual precipitation over the 50-70°N latitude belt in North America and Eurasia.


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