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Rivers of change/Human influence on increasing Arctic river discharges

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  • Pat Neuman
    ... wrote: Rivers of change 19 January 2005 New research by Met Office scientists shows that man-made greenhouse gases are probably causing
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 20, 2005
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      --- In Paleontology_and_Climate_Articles@yahoogroups.com, Sonya
      <msredsonya@e...> wrote:
      Rivers of change 19 January 2005

      New research by Met Office scientists shows that man-made greenhouse
      gases are probably causing increasing river flows into the Arctic
      Ocean, and this could be evidence of changing rainfall patterns on a
      global scale.

      Dr Peili Wu and his colleagues from the Met Office's Hadley Centre for
      Climate Prediction and Research used a computer model of the climate
      to show that increases of Arctic river flows, observed over recent
      decades, can only be explained by man-made global warming. By
      analysing river-monitoring data from the six largest Eurasian rivers
      flowing into the Arctic Ocean, scientists have found a trend of
      increasing river output during the 20th century. A similar trend is
      found in the climate simulation for the same period by the Hadley
      Centre's coupled climate model, but only when the effects of man-made
      greenhouse gases are included.

      Dr Wu said: "This is evidence that changes in the global water cycle,
      predicted to follow global warming, are already happening. Our model
      predicts that these changes will intensify in the coming decades, with
      implications for water supply and risks of flooding."

      Water exchanges between the ocean, atmosphere and land are called the
      global hydrological cycle. As the earth's climate warms up, the rate
      of these exchanges is expected to increase. As part of this process,
      amplified high-latitude rain and snowfall will result in increased
      river run-offs. This could change the distribution of water on the
      earth's surface with important social and economical impacts. It could
      also have implications for the circulation of the Atlantic, which is
      important for European climate.

      The research was funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and
      Rural Affairs under its Climate Prediction Programme, and will be
      published on 21 January 2005 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

      The paper titled 'Human influences on increasing Arctic river
      discharges', by Peili Wu, Richard Wood and Peter Stott, will be
      published in Geophysical Research Letters, 21 January 2005 (ref:
      Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L02703, doi:10.1029/2004GL 021570).

      The rivers that have been analysed are the Yenisey, the Lena, the Ob',
      the Pechora, the Kolyma, and the Severnaya Dvina.

      For further information: Met Office Press Office +44 (0)1392 886655
      E-mail: pressoffice@m...
      Met Office Customer Centre 0870 900 0100 If you're outside the UK
      +44 (0)1392 885680
      http://www.met-office.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2005/pr20050119.html
      ===
      Human influence on increasing Arctic river discharges

      Peili Wu Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, Met
      Office, Exeter, UK
      Richard Wood Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, Met
      Office, Exeter, UK
      Peter Stott Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, Met
      Office, Exeter, UK

      Abstract
      Climate models predict an intensification of hydrological cycle as
      anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere increase. As
      part of the process, high latitude precipitation and consequently
      river runoffs are expected to increase. Some observations have
      indicated that such a process may have started already during the late
      half of the 20th century. Arctic river flow changes simulated in
      HadCM3 with all historical external factors agree with river
      monitoring data reported by Peterson et al. [2002] . Model simulated
      total river discharges into the Arctic Ocean have increased by an
      annual rate of 8.73 km3 since the 1960s. Increasing high latitude
      precipitation is contributing a substantial part to the upward trend,
      which is likely to be the early stage of intensifying global
      hydrological cycle caused by anthropogenic factors, as we do not see
      the trend in the same model forced with natural factors alone.

      Received 21 September 2004; accepted 22 December 2004; published 21
      January 2005.
      --------------
      Citation: Wu, P., R. Wood, and P. Stott (2005), Human influence on
      increasing Arctic river discharges, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L02703,
      doi:10.1029/2004GL021570. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical
      Union.
      http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2005/2004GL021570.shtml

      ----------------------------
      Sonya PLoS Medicine
      The open-access general medical journal from the Public Library of
      Science
      Inaugural issue: Autumn 2004 Share your discoveries with the world.
      http://www.plosmedicine.org
      --- End forwarded message ---
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