Scientists see dramatic increase in amount of fresh water in Arctic Ocean

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Washington, July 5 (ANI): A new study by scientists has shown a dramatic increase in the amount of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean.

Fresh water flowing into or out of the Arctic Ocean plays an important role in ocean circulation and may be a factor in the response of the world ocean to climate change.

To study recent change in freshwater content of the Arctic, M. G. McPhee from the McPhee Research Co., Naches, Washington, US, and his colleagues analyzed data from an extensive aerial hydrographic survey carried out in March and April 2008.

Their study shows a dramatic increase in the amount of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean as well as a significant change in the distribution of fresh water, as compared with average winter values.

In particular, the researchers found that freshwater volume in the Canada and Makarov basins on the Pacific side of the Lomonosov Ridge increased by about 8,500 cubic kilometers (about 2,000 cubic miles), while the freshwater volume on the Eurasian area decreased by about 1,100 cubic kilometers (about 260 cubic miles).

The freshening of the Arctic occurred in conjunction with the recent dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice, the authors note.

They found that these changes have altered Arctic Ocean circulation, with a large increase in northward transport of fresh water in the Canada Basin. (ANI)

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