Polacy mają zaskakujące dowody na globalne ocieplenie

Poles have surprising evidence about climate change

The water temperature in the Arctic Fuglebekken River in Svalbard has increased by up to 6 degrees Celsius over the last almost twenty years. The researchers from the Institute of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences did not expect such large increases.

The results of their latest research, published in the journal “Science of The Total Environment”, prove that the characteristic course of water temperature in the river throughout the year for the Fuglebekken catchment is sensitive to ongoing climate changes. Moreover, it is worth remembering that rivers here are active only during a relatively short summer – e.g Fuglebekken is usually active from June to September.

Surprising increases

Scientists analyzed the variability of observed water temperatures collected during summer periods in 2012-2022 and analyzed them using two methods (including: using machine learning). The research was based on constant meteorological monitoring conducted at the Hornsund Polish Polar Station and on long-term hydrological research conducted by researchers during the summer season.

The results of the analyzes conducted indicate that z the water temperature in the Fuglebekken River is most closely related to the ground temperature and sunlightwhich was not a surprise to the researchers. However, they did not expect such large temperature increases. At the end of June they were even +6.0°C for the period 2005-2022.

Scientists from the Department of Hydrology and Hydrodynamics and the Department of Polar and Marine Research of the IGF PAN reminded that water temperature in streams plays a key role in shaping and maintaining healthy ecosystems – affects many physicochemical and biological parameters, thus determining the distribution and number of species in river habitats, but also outside them. For this reason, the hydro-climatic conditions of the Svalbard Archipelago and their assessment are becoming increasingly better known among the most important research needs in the Arctic.

The research was carried out by a team of hydro-climatologists including: Marta Majerska, M.A. (PhD student), prof. Marzena Osuch and Dr. Tomasz Wawrzyniak, who have been dealing with water circulation in catchments near the Polish Polar Station Hornsund in southwestern Spitsbergen for years.

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