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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(3), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10030402

Hydrological Variability and Changes in the Arctic Circumpolar Tundra and the Three Largest Pan-Arctic River Basins from 2002 to 2016

1
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), 3173-25 Showamachi, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0001, Japan
2
Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, Kitasato 1-ban, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0816, Japan
3
Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan
4
Center for Environmental Remote Sensing (CEReS), Chiba University, 1-33, Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
5
Graduate School of Bioresources, Mie University, 1577 Kurima-Machiya-Cho, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan
6
Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales (LEGOS), Université de Toulouse, IRD, CNES, CNRS, UPS, 31400 Toulouse, France
7
Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8601, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
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Abstract

The Arctic freshwater budget is critical for understanding the climate in the northern regions. However, the hydrology of the Arctic circumpolar tundra region (ACTR) and the largest pan-Arctic rivers are still not well understood. In this paper, we analyze the spatiotemporal variations in the terrestrial water storage (TWS) of the ACTR and three of the largest pan-Arctic river basins (Lena, Mackenzie, Yukon). To do this, we utilize monthly Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data from 2002 to 2016. Together with global land reanalysis, and river runoff data, we identify declining TWS trends throughout the ACTR that we attribute largely to increasing evapotranspiration driven by increasing summer air temperatures. In terms of regional changes, large and significant negative trends in TWS are observed mainly over the North American continent. At basin scale, we show that, in the Lena River basin, the autumnal TWS signal persists until the spring of the following year, while in the Mackenzie River basin, the TWS level in the autumn and winter has no significant impact on the following year. As expected global warming is expected to be particularly significant in the northern regions, our results are important for understanding future TWS trends, with possible further decline. View Full-Text
Keywords: arctic hydrological cycle; terrestrial water storage; satellite gravimetry observation; permafrost distribution; global land data assimilation system arctic hydrological cycle; terrestrial water storage; satellite gravimetry observation; permafrost distribution; global land data assimilation system
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Suzuki, K.; Matsuo, K.; Yamazaki, D.; Ichii, K.; Iijima, Y.; Papa, F.; Yanagi, Y.; Hiyama, T. Hydrological Variability and Changes in the Arctic Circumpolar Tundra and the Three Largest Pan-Arctic River Basins from 2002 to 2016. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 402.

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