Arctic Hydrology

Authored by: Bretton Somers , H. Jesse Walker

Encyclopedia of Natural Resources

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439852583
eBook ISBN: 9781351043847
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-ENRW-120042337

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Abstract

Arctic hydrology considers the interconnected environmental processes and physical phases of the water present in the Arctic, which is a high latitude region where most water is in a frozen state for nine or more months a year. Of major importance is the vast distribution of snow, ice, and permafrost. Snow, because of its high albedo, has a major affect on local as well as regional climate. In late spring, snow melt leads to a short period of runoff which contributes about 10% of the Earth’s river discharge into the Arctic Ocean. Changes in river discharge along with decreasing sea-ice cover, permafrost degradation, and glacial melting are an indication of the importance of the Arctic in global change.

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