Bookmark and Share

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Permafrost thaw may accelerate Arctic groundwater runoff

They ran the simulation under three scenarios, starting with three initial surface temperatures (-2, -1.5, and -1 degrees Celsius, or 28.4, 29.3 and 30.2 degrees Fahrenheit), corresponding to different permafrost thicknesses. In each case, they increased the average seasonal surface temperature by 3 degrees C (5.4 degrees F) over 100 years, an average of model predictions for temperature increase in the Arctic over the next century.
After the warming period, in each scenario the temperature was then held constant for the next 1100 years.
The authors found that although the initial distribution of ice influences the response, in all cases groundwater flow to streams and rivers accelerates over time. In fact, the results indicate that substantial increases in groundwater flow are likely over the next few centuries even if surface air temperatures stabilize at current levels.
The research is published in Geophysical Research Letters. Authors include V. F. Bense: School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK; G. Ferguson: Department of Earth Sciences, Saint Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada; H. Kooi: Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, Permafrost thaw may accelerate Arctic groundwater runoff


Post a Comment