Arctic hydrology plays a central role in the earth’s heat balance and ocean circulation (Vörösmarty et al. 2001). Future changes associated with human influence on the climate system are also predicted to cause major changes in the energy and hydrologic mass balance of Arctic catchments. Climate change will likely affect permafrost and snowmelt, which dominate Arctic hydrology and control the chemistry of surface runoff (and hence streams and lakes) as water percolates through the active layer. However, the controls and dynamic impact of snowmelt are poorly understood, because this critical timeframe is often missed by sampling programmes. In the Søndre Strømfjord area only the broadest aspects of hydrologic variability have so far been documented (Hasholt & Søgaard 1976).
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima