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Hydro-climatic changes and their monitoring in the Arctic: Observation-model comparisons and prioritization options for monitoring development
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Hydrology, ISSN 0022-1694, E-ISSN 1879-2707, Vol. 492, 273-280 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Arctic undergoes particularly large and rapid hydro-climatic changes, and information on hydrological responses to these changes is crucial to plan for societal adaptation. We investigate hydro-climatic change severity and monitoring in 14 major hydrological basins across the pan-Arctic, in view of different possible strategies for their monitoring prioritization. Results show that the current distribution of monitoring density in these basins is more relevant for so far observed precipitation changes than for observed temperature changes, or for projected future temperature and precipitation changes. Furthermore, present and projected future hot-spots of greatest hydro-climatic change differ spatially, so that major spatial shifts must occur in the future among the different Arctic basins in order for observations and climate model projections to converge with regard to hydro-climatic change severity. Also temporally, observation-model convergence requires that important change direction shifts occur in major Arctic basins, which have currently decreasing precipitation while model projections imply future increasing precipitation within them. Different prioritization options for rational development of hydro-climatic monitoring can be argued for based on the present results. The divergent prioritization options imply a need for an explicit strategy for achieving certain information goals, which must be selected from a larger set of different possible goals based on societal importance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 492, 273-280 p.
Keyword [en]
Hydrology, Monitoring, Arctic, Climate Change, Adaptation
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-86916DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.04.003ISI: 000321023900024OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-86916DiVA: diva2:597019
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2007–8393Formas, 2007–1263
Available from: 2013-01-22 Created: 2013-01-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Arctic Climate and Water Change: Information Relevance for Assessment and Adaptation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Arctic Climate and Water Change: Information Relevance for Assessment and Adaptation
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Arctic is subject to growing economic and political interest. Meanwhile, its water and climate systems are in rapid transformation. Relevant and accessible information about water and climate is therefore vital to detect, understand and adapt to the changes. This thesis investigates hydrological monitoring systems, climate model data, and our understanding of hydro-climatic change, for adaptation to water system changes in the Arctic. Results indicate a lack of harmonized water chemistry data, which may impede efforts to understand transport and origin of key waterborne constituents. Further development of monitoring cannot rely only on a reconciliation of observations and projections on where climate change will be the most severe, as they diverge in this regard. Climate model simulations of drainage basin temperature and precipitation have improved between two recent model generations, but large inaccuracies remain for precipitation projections. Late 20th-century discharge changes in major Arctic rivers generally show excess of water relative to precipitation changes. This indicates a possible contribution of stored water from permafrost or groundwater to sea level rise. The river contribution to the increasing Arctic Ocean freshwater inflow matches that of glaciers, which underlines the importance of considering all sources when assessing change. To provide adequate information for research and policy, Arctic hydrological and hydrochemical monitoring needs to be extended, better integrated and made more accessible. This especially applies to hydrochemistry monitoring, where a more complete set of monitored basins is motivated, including a general extension for the large unmonitored areas close to the Arctic Ocean. Improvements in climate model parameterizations are needed, in particular for precipitation projections. Finally, further water-focused data and modeling efforts are required to resolve the source of excess discharge in Arctic rivers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, 2013. 16 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 35
Keyword
Hydrology, Monitoring, Arctic, Climate Change, Adaptatation
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources Climate Research
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-86919 (URN)978-91-7447-638-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-03-11, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Formas, 2007-1263Swedish Research Council, 2007-8393
Note

At the time of doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Accepted; Paper 4: Manuscript

Available from: 2013-02-14 Created: 2013-01-22 Last updated: 2013-02-12Bibliographically approved

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