Highly dynamic hydro-geomorphic processes are known to drive exports of carbon (C) from river basins, but are not yet fully understood. Within this study, we simulated total organic carbon (TOC) exports at the outlet of Lake Simojärvi in the Gulf of Bothnia (Finland) with a parsimonious hydrological model. With thorough consideration of the dependence of erosion and sediment transport processes on seasonal precipitation rates, a satisfactory agreement was obtained between modelling and experimental observations (1962–2005). This provided confidence in the capability of the parsimonious model to represent temporal and spatial export dynamics. In the period 1860–2014, TOC export at the outlet of Lake Simojärvi was estimated to be highest on average (~5.5 Mg km−2
) over 1974–2014 while the lowest TOC export (~2.5 Mg km−2
) was estimated in 1860–1918 (with high levels of interannual-to-multidecadal variation). Regional simulations indicate that TOC increased in recent decades (on average, 4–5 Mg km−2
in 1974–2014 against ~3 Mg km−2
in 1940–1973) in northern Scandinavia and Finland. Warming-induced variability of TOC (which depends on precipitation patterns) may have altered the rates of C exchanges in aquatic ecosystems over recent years. TOC exports may continue to increase in boreal catchments with increasing temperatures as represented by future projections.
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