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Long-term impact of Amazon river runoff on northern hemispheric climate

Jahfer, S and Vinayachandran, P N and Nanjundiah, Ravi S (2017) Long-term impact of Amazon river runoff on northern hemispheric climate. In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7 .

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-10750-y

Abstract

Amazon discharges a large volume of freshwater into the ocean, yet its impact on climate is largely unknown. Climate projections show that a warmer northern tropical Atlantic Ocean together with a warmer equatorial Pacific lead to extreme droughts in the Amazonia, considerably reducing the Amazon runoff. Here we present results from coupled model simulations and observations on the climatic response to a significant reduction in Amazon runoff into the Atlantic Ocean. Climate model simulation without Amazon runoff resulted in cooler equatorial Atlantic, weakening the Hadley cell and thereby the atmospheric meridional cells. Consequently, the extratropical westerlies turned weaker, leading to prevalent negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) like climate, similar to the observed anomalies during Amazon drought years. This study reaffirms that spatial signature of NAO is in part driven by sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the tropical Atlantic. Winters of northern Europe and eastern Canada turned cooler and drier whereas southern Europe and the eastern United States experienced warmer and wetter winters without Amazon runoff. Significant warming over the Arctic reduced the local sea-ice extent and enhanced the high latitude river runoff. More importantly, our simulations caution against extreme exploitation of rivers for its far-reaching consequences on climate.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, MACMILLAN BUILDING, 4 CRINAN ST, LONDON N1 9XW, ENGLAND
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2017 09:19
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2017 09:19
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/57926

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