Lakes and Rivers

Change in freshwater discharge into the Arctic and North Atlantic

1964 to 2003
Map: freshwater discharge into the Arctic and North Atlantic. Click for graphic description (new window).
Note: Red triangles indicate a decrease in flow; green triangles indicate an increase in flow. The size of the triangle indicates the magnitude of change.
Source: adapted from Déry and Wood, 200511
Percent change
1964 to 2003
Graph: change in freshwater discharge into the Arctic and North Atlantic. Click for graphic description (new window).

Source: adapted from Déry and Wood, 200511

 

 

Freshwater discharge from Canadian rivers into the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans has decreased by about 10% over the past 40 years. This has been attributed to a decrease in precipitation over the same period.11, 12 In spite of this, an overall 5.3% increase in river discharge to the Arctic Ocean has been documented. The net increase is due to significant increases in annual discharge from the six largest Eurasian rivers.13, 14 Freshwater discharge to northern seas can influence ocean processes that, in turn, influence the population dynamics of marine species.

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