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  • Author or Editor: Kazuhiro Oshima x
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Hotaek Park
,
Yasuhiro Yoshikawa
,
Daqing Yang
, and
Kazuhiro Oshima

Abstract

Recent years have seen an obvious warming trend in the Arctic. Streamflow and water temperature T w are important parameters representing the changes of Arctic rivers under climate change. However, few quantitative assessments of changes in river T w have been conducted at the pan-Arctic scale. To carry out such an assessment, this study used a modeling framework combining a land process model [the coupled hydrological and biogeochemical model (CHANGE)] with models of river discharge Q, ice cover, and T w dynamics. The T w model was improved by incorporating heat exchange at the air–water interface and heat advection from upstream through the channel network. The model was applied to pan-Arctic terrestrial rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean over the period 1979–2013 and quantitatively assessed trends of T w at regional and pan-Arctic scales. The simulated T w values were consistent with observations at the mouths of major pan-Arctic rivers. The model simulations indicated a warming trend of T w by 0.16°C decade−1 at the outlets of the pan-Arctic rivers, including widespread spatial warming consistent with increased air temperature T a . The strong impact of T a on T w was verified by model sensitivity analysis based on various scenarios involving changes in the T a and Q forcings. Finally, this study demonstrated the warming of T w in Arctic rivers induced by T a warming, suggesting the potential for warming T w of Arctic rivers under future climate change scenarios.

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