Recent changes in pan-arctic land-surface hydrology may significantly affect ecosystems and the built environment. While spatial and temporal patterns in land-surface hydrology trends can be identified using in situ observations of river discharge, the existing studies of cold-season river discharge are often inconsistent and incomparable because they use different methodologies, time periods and geographic regions. By using a comprehensive dataset of river discharge and a trend analysis applying one algorithm over a range of temporal and spatial scales, a synthesis of pan-arctic cold-season low-flow was performed. Cold-season low-flow is increasing over most of the pan-arctic, with decreasing flow in eastern North America and unchanged flow in small basins in the late twentieth century in eastern Eurasia as the main exceptions. This study provides the first synthesis of spatially distributed cold-season low-flow trends in the pan-arctic and indicates that widespread changes in pan-arctic subsurface hydrology are occurring.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science