Dec 13, 2002

Increasing River Discharge to the Arctic Ocean

Bruce J. Peterson, Robert M. Holmes, James W. McClelland, Charles J. Vörösmarty, Richard B. Lammers, Alexander I. Shiklomanov, Igor A. Shiklomanov, Stefan Rahmstorf
  • Looks at a synthesis of river-monitoring data which reveals that the average annual discharge of fresh water from the six largest Eurasian rivers to the Arctic Ocean increased by 7% from 1936 to 1999
  • Finds the average annual rate of increase was 2.0 ± 0.7 cubic kilometers per year
  • Finds the average annual discharge from the six rivers is now about 128 cubic kilometers per year greater than it was when routine measurements of discharge began
  • Finds that discharge was correlated with changes in both the North Atlantic Oscillation and global mean surface air temperature
  • States the observed large-scale change in freshwater flux has potentially important implications for ocean circulation and climate.