Printer Friendly

Rivers run to it. (Environment).

Eurasian rivers dominate the flow of fresh water into the Arctic Ocean. A new hydrology study finds that releases from the six largest of these rivers have increased for some 60 years in near lockstep with steady arctic increases in surface-air temperatures.

Driven by increasing snowmelt and rains, this trend, if it continues, could perturb the northern temperate and arctic climate, argues Bruce J. Peterson of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., and his colleagues in the Dec. 13, 2002 Science. "It's a worrisome thing," he says.

Ordinarily, cold, dense water in the extreme North Atlantic sinks to great depths and flows southward through the Atlantic. Like a hydrologic conveyor belt, this massive flow forces a comparable return of warm surface water into the Arctic.

Ever-larger discharges of fresh water into the Arctic Ocean--as would be expected with continued global warming--could hamper formation of the dense undersea current that drives the conveyor belt. That, in turn, could diminish the return flow of warm water into the Arctic, thereby cooling high northern latitudes, Peterson says.

"It's a bit of a paradox," he concedes, "that global warming might cause regional cooling."--J.R.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:sources of warm water in the Arctic Ocean
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 11, 2003
Previous Article:Soy and oat combo protects against UV. (Chemistry).
Next Article:Researchers target sickle-cell cure. (Biomedicine).

Related Articles
Arctic shows no signs of greenhouse warmth.
As the globe warms, keep an eye on storms.
Water world?
Sea Change in the Arctic.
ALASKA: The Big Meltdown.
Arctic Heat Wave.
Warming up the seas.
Global warming too hot or not? The theory of global warming proposes that man's activities are causing the Earth to heat up, but there is compelling...

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |