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Gunhild RosqvistProfessor i geografi, inriktning naturgeografi

Om mig

Jag är professor i geografi, med naturgeografisk inriktning och forskar om effekter av klimatförändringar i alpina och polära miljöer med fokus på snö, glaciärer och vatten. Nya tvärvetenskapliga forskningsprojekt handlar om hur snabba förändringar i klimat, snö och markanvändning påverkar fjällen och ger ändrade förutsättningar för bland annat renskötsel och turism. 

Pågående projekt:

1. Projektledare tillsammans med Dag Avango och Sverker Sörlin för Nordic Centre of Excellence 'REXSAC - Resources Extraction and Sustainable Arctic Communities', funded by NordForsk, developing cross-disciplinary research including traditional Sámi knowledge. 

2. Projektledare för 'A snow quality assessment tool based on new techniques and Sámi knowledge'(Snow4all), funded by Vinnova.

3. Projektledare tillsammans med Erik Kjellström för Multiple pressures from changes in climate and land use on northern landscapes, Bolin Centre for Climate Research RA7, SU

4. Medverkande forskare inom 'Scenario-based decision support for policy planning and adaptation to future changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services', funded by Belmont Forum-BiodivERsA: Scenarios of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Publikationer

I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • High-resolution diatom d18O records from two sub-Arctic high-altitude lakes in the Swedish Scandes

    C. E. Jonsson (et al.). Journal of Quaternary Science

    Artikel

    Waters from high altitude alpine lakes are mainly recharged by meteoric water. Because of seasonal variations in precipitation and temperature, and relatively short hydraulic residence times, most high altitude lakes have lake water isotopic compositions (δ18Olake) that fluctuate due to seasonality in water balance processes. Input from snowmelt, in particular, has a significant role in determining lake water d18O. Here we compare two high resolution δ18Odiatom records from lake sediments in the Swedish Scandes with instrumental data from the last century obtained from nearby meteorological stations. The time period AD 1900 to AD 1990 is characterized by an increase in winter precipitation and high winter/summer precipitation ratios and this is recorded in δ18Odiatom as decreasing trends. Lowest δ18Odiatom values and highest amount of winter precipitation are found around AD 1990 when the winter North Atlantic Oscillation index was above +2. We conclude that for the last 150 years the main factor affecting the δ18Odiatom signal in these sub-Arctic high altitude lakes with short residence times has been changes in amount of winter precipitation and that δ18Odiatom derived from high altitude lakes in the Swedish Scandes can be used as a winter precipitation proxy.

    Läs mer om High-resolution diatom d18O records from two sub-Arctic high-altitude lakes in the Swedish Scandes
  • High-resolution bathymetric mapping reveals subaqueous glacial landforms in the Arctic alpine lake Tarfala, Sweden

    2019. Nina Kirchner (et al.). Journal of Quaternary Science 34 (6), 452-462

    Artikel

    In Arctic alpine regions, glacio-lacustrine environments respond sensitively to variations in climate conditions, impacting, for example,glacier extent and rendering former ice-contact lakes into ice distal lakes and vice versa. Lakefloors may hold morphological records of past glacier extent, but remoteness and long periods of ice cover on such lakes make acquisition of high-resolution bathymetric datasets challenging. Lake Tarfala and Kebnepakte Glacier, located in the Kebnekaise mountains, northern Sweden, comprise a small, dynamic glacio-lacustrine system holding a climate archive that is not well studied. Using an autonomous surface vessel, a high-resolution bathymetric dataset for Lake Tarfala was acquired in 2016, from which previously undiscovered end moraines and a potential grounding line feature were identified. For Kebnepakte Glacier, structure-from-motion photogrammetry was used to reconstruct its shape from photographs taken in 1910 and 1945. Combining these methods connects the glacial landform record identified at the lakefloor with the centennial-scale dynamic behaviour of Kebnepakte Glacier. During its maximum 20(th) century extent, attained c. 1910, Kebnepakte Glacier reached far into Lake Tarfala, but had retreated onto land by 1945, at an average of 7.9 m year(-1).

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  • A late Holocene pollen record from proglacial Oblong Tarn, Mount Kenya

    2017. Colin J. Courtney Mustaphi (et al.). PLoS ONE 12 (9)

    Artikel

    High-elevation ecosystems, such as those on Mount Kenya are undergoing significant changes, with accelerated glacial ice losses over the twentieth century creating new space for alpine plants to establish. These ecosystems respond rapidly to climatic variability and within decades of glacial retreat, Afroalpine pioneering taxa stabilize barren land and facilitate soil development, promoting complex patches of alpine vegetation. Periglacial lake sediment records can be used to examine centennial and millennial scale variations in alpine and montane vegetation compositions. Here we present a 5300-year composite pollen record from an alpine tarn (4370 m asl) in the Hausberg Valley of Mount Kenya. Overall, the record shows little apparent variation in the pollen assemblage through time with abundant montane forest taxa derived and transported from mid elevations, notably high abundances of aerophilous Podocarpus pollen. Afroalpine taxa included Alchemilla, Helichrysum and Dendrosenecio-type, reflecting local vegetation cover. Pollen from the ericaceous zone was present throughout the record and Poaceae percentages were high, similar to other high elevation pollen records from eastern Africa. The Oblong Tarn record pollen assemblage composition and abundances of Podocarpus and Poaceae since the late Holocene (similar to 4000 cal yr BP-present) are similar to pollen records from mid-to-high elevation sites of nearby high mountains such as Mount Elgon and Kilimanjaro. These results suggest a significant amount of uphill pollen transport with only minor apparent variation in local taxa. Slight decreasing trends in alpine and ericaceous taxonomic groups show a long-term response to global late Holocene cooling and a step decrease in rate of change estimated from the pollen assemblages at 3100 cal yr BP in response to regional hydroclimatic variability. Changes in the principal component axis scores of the pollen assemblage were coherent with an independent mid-elevation temperature reconstruction, which supported the strong influence of uphill pollen transport from montane forest vegetation and association between temperatures and montane vegetation dynamics. Pollen accumulation rates showed some variability related to minerogenic sediment input to the lake. The Oblong Tarn pollen record provides an indication of long term vegetation change atop Mount Kenya showing some decreases in local alpine and ericaceous taxa from 5300-3100 cal yr BP and minor centennial-scale variability of montane taxa from mid elevation forests. The record highlights potentials, challenges and opportunities for the use of proglacial lacustrine sediment to examine vegetation change on prominent mountain massifs.

    Läs mer om A late Holocene pollen record from proglacial Oblong Tarn, Mount Kenya
  • Late Holocene glacier reconstruction reveals retreat behind present limits and two-stage Little Ice Age on subantarctic South Georgia

    2017. Willem G. M. van der Bilt (et al.). Journal of Quaternary Science 32 (6), 888-901

    Artikel

    Observational data show that climate in the Southern Ocean region is rapidly changing. However, past the instrumental period, our understanding of climate variability in the region is limited by a scarcity of highresolution palaeoclimate records. Alpine glaciers, present on many Southern Ocean islands, may provide such data because changes in their mass balance, extent and erosion rates often mark a response to climate shifts. Rock flour, the fine-grained fraction of the glacial erosion process, is suspended in meltwater streams and transferred into the sediments of downstream lakes, continuously recording glacier variations. Here, we utilize this relationship to present a reconstruction of the Late Holocene glacier history of subantarctic South Georgia, using sediments from the glacier-fed Middle Hamberg Lake. To fingerprint a glacial erosion/size signal, we used titanium counts, validated against changes in sediment density and grain size, allowing a continuous reconstruction of glacier variations over the past similar to 1250 years. Together with local moraine evidence and supporting evidence from other Southern Hemisphere glaciers on New Zealand and in Patagonia, our findings reveal a series of consecutively diminishing Late Holocene advances. In addition to a glacier maximum before 1250 cal a BP, these include a twostage Litle Ice Age with advances around 300 and 120 cal a BP, in line with evidence from southern Patagonia. In addition, we present evidence for an unreported retreat behind present limits around 500 cal BP.

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  • Dye tracing to determine flow properties of hydrocarbon-polluted Rabots glaciar, Kebnekaise, Sweden

    2015. Caroline C. Clason (et al.). Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 19 (6), 2701-2715

    Artikel

    Over 11 000 L of kerosene was deposited on the surface of Rabots glaciar on the Kebnekaise Massif, northern Sweden, following the crash of a Royal Norwegian Air Force aircraft in March 2012. An environmental monitoring programme was subsequently commissioned, including a series of dye tracing experiments during the 2013 melt season, conducted to investigate the transport of pollutants through the glacier hydrological system. This experimental set-up provided a basis from which we could gain new insight into the internal hydrological system of Rabots glaciar. Results of dye tracing experiments reveal a degree of homogeneity in the topology of the drainage system throughout July and August, with an increase in efficiency as the season progresses, as reflected by decreasing temporary storage and dispersivity. Early onset of melting likely led to formation of an efficient, discrete drainage system early in the melt season, subject to decreasing sinuosity and braiding as the season progressed. Four distinct meltwater flow regimes are identified to summarize the temporal and spatial evolution of the system. Analysis of turbidity-discharge hysteresis further supports the formation of discrete, efficient drainage, with clockwise diurnal hysteresis suggesting easy mobilization of readily available sediments in channels. Dye injection immediately downstream of the pollution source zone reveals prolonged storage of dye followed by fast, efficient release. Twinned with a low dye recovery, and supported by sporadic detection of hydrocarbons in the proglacial river, we suggest that meltwater, and thus pollutants in solution, may be released periodically through an efficient, and likely pressurized, hydrological system within the upper reaches of the glacier.

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  • Isotopic investigation of runoff generation in a glacierized catchment in northern Sweden

    2014. Helen E. Dahlke (et al.). Hydrological Processes 28 (3), 1383-1398

    Artikel

    In this study, summer rainfall contributions to streamflow were quantified in the sub-arctic, 30% glacierized Tarfala (21.7km(2)) catchment in northern Sweden for two non-consecutive summer sampling seasons (2004 and 2011). We used two-component hydrograph separation along with isotope ratios (O-18 and D) of rainwater and daily streamwater samplings to estimate relative fraction and uncertainties (because of laboratory instrumentation, temporal variability and spatial gradients) of source water contributions. We hypothesized that the glacier influence on how rainfall becomes runoff is temporally variable and largely dependent on a combination of the timing of decreasing snow cover on glaciers and the relative moisture storage condition within the catchment. The results indicate that the majority of storm runoff was dominated by pre-event water. However, the average event water contribution during storm events differed slightly between both years with 11% reached in 2004 and 22% in 2011. Event water contributions to runoff generally increased over 2011 the sampling season in both the main stream of Tarfala catchment and in the two pro-glacial streams that drain Storglaciaren (the largest glacier in Tarfala catchment covering 2.9km(2)). We credit both the inter-annual and intra-annual differences in event water contributions to large rainfall events late in the summer melt season, low glacier snow cover and elevated soil moisture due to large antecedent precipitation. Together amplification of these two mechanisms under a warming climate might influence the timing and magnitude of floods, the sediment budget and nutrient cycling in glacierized catchments.

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  • Late-Holocene temperature and precipitation changes in Vindelfjallen, mid-western Swedish Lapland, inferred from chironomid and geochemical data

    2014. Annika Berntsson, Gunhild C. Rosqvist, Gaute Velle. The Holocene 24 (1), 78-92

    Artikel

    In this article, we present results from a palaeolimnological study from Lake Vuoksjavratje in the mountain tundra region in the Vindelfjallen Mountains, northwest Sweden. We suggest that the influence of precipitation may be one of the factors causing discrepancies between chironomid-based late-Holocene July temperature (JulyT) reconstructions from Fennoscandia. We combine quantitative temperature reconstruction using chironomids for the last 5100 years with qualitative analysis of chironomid composition and geochemical analyses, such as x-ray fluorescence (XRF), total organic carbon (TOC) and C/N analysis. The studied sequence is dated by Pb-210, Cs-137 and 11 C-14 datings from terrestrial macrofossils. The aim of the study was to use chironomids to reconstruct late-Holocene summer temperature variation on a multi-centennial to centennial timescale and to use geochemical data to identify periods during which the changes in chironomid composition might have been forced by environmental variables other than temperature, such as within lake processes or precipitation. Based on ordination techniques, and a comparison between chironomid-inferred JulyTs and changes in minerogenic sedimentation with regional temperature and wetness records, it is concluded that the JulyT signal was modulated by precipitation. The proxies indicate that both JulyT and annual precipitation have influenced the chironomid communities in Lake Vuoksjavratje, and that catchment-related processes caused by enhanced precipitation have overridden the summer temperature signal between 3000 and 2200 cal. yr BP, and between 1050 and 100 cal. yr BP.

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  • Seasonal and interannual variability of elemental carbon in the snowpack of Storglaciaren, northern Sweden

    2013. Susanne Ingvander (et al.). Annals of Glaciology 54 (62), 50-58

    Artikel

    We studied the variability of elemental carbon (EC) over 3 years (2009-11) in the winter snowpack of Storglaciaren, Sweden. The goal of this study was to relate the seasonal variation in EC to specific snow accumulation events in order to improve understanding of how different atmospheric circulation patterns control the deposition of EC. Specifically, we related meteorological parameters (e.g. wind direction, precipitation) to snow physical properties, EC content, stable-isotope 8180 ratios and anion concentrations in the snowpack. The distribution of EC in the snowpack varied between years. Low EC contents corresponded to a predominance of weather systems originating in the northwest, i.e. North Atlantic. Analysis of single layers within the snowpacks showed that snow layers enriched in heavy isotopes coincided predominantly with low EC contents but high chloride and sulfate concentration. Based on this isotopic and geochemical evidence, snow deposited during these events had a strong oceanic, i.e. North Atlantic, imprint. In contrast, snow layers with high EC content coincided with snow layers depleted in heavy isotopes but high anion concentrations, indicating a more continental source of air masses and origin of EC from industrial emissions.

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  • Shifts in precipitation during the last millennium in northern Scandinavia from lacustrine isotope records

    2013. Gunhild C. Rosqvist (et al.). Quaternary Science Reviews 66, 22-34

    Artikel

    Here we present delta P-18(diatom) data from two high-latitude lakes; one has short residence time and a water isotopic composition (delta O-18(lake)) that fluctuate due to seasonal variations in precipitation and temperature, and the other has delta O-18(lake) that is influenced by longer lake water residence times and evaporation. The delta O-18(diatom) records reveal common responses to precipitation forcing over the past millennium. Relatively wet summers are inferred from delta O-18(diatom) between 1000 and 1080 AD, 1300 and 1440 AD, and during the early 19th century, coincided with periods of high cloud cover inferred from tree-ring carbon isotopes, and other data for high Arctic Oscillation index. While relatively dry summers with increasing influence of winter snow are indicated between 1600 and 1750 AD. The co-response between carbon isotopes in trees and oxygen isotopes in diatoms strengthens the relationship between cloud cover and precipitation and the hypothesis that these changes were the result of significant regional shifts in atmospheric circulation.

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  • Contrasting trends in floods for two sub-arctic catchments in northern Sweden - does glacier presence matter?

    2012. Helen E. Dahlke (et al.). Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 16 (7), 2123-2141

    Artikel

    Our understanding is limited to how transient changes in glacier response to climate warming will influence the catchment hydrology in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic. This understanding is particularly incomplete for flooding extremes because understanding the frequency of such unusual events requires long records of observation not often available for the Arctic and Sub-Arctic. This study presents a statistical analysis of trends in the magnitude and timing of flood extremes and the mean summer discharge in two sub-arctic catchments, Tarfala and Abisko, in northern Sweden. The catchments have different glacier covers (30% and 1%, respectively). Statistically significant trends (at the 5% level) were identified for both catchments on an annual and on a seasonal scale (3-months averages) using the Mann-Kendall trend test. Stationarity of flood records was tested by analyzing trends in the flood quantiles, using generalized least squares regression. Hydrologic trends were related to observed changes in the precipitation and air temperature, and were correlated with 3-months averaged climate pattern indices (e.g. North Atlantic oscillation). Both catchments showed a statistically significant increase in the annual mean air temperature over the comparison time period of 1985-2009 (Tarfala and Abisko p < 0.01), but did not show significant trends in the total precipitation (Tarfala p = 0.91, Abisko p = 0.44). Despite the similar climate evolution over the studied period in the two catchments, data showed contrasting trends in the magnitude and timing of flood peaks and the mean summer discharge. Hydrologic trends indicated an amplification of the streamflow and flood response in the highly glacierized catchment and a dampening of the response in the non-glacierized catchment. The glacierized mountain catchment showed a statistically significant increasing trend in the flood magnitudes (p = 0.04) that is clearly correlated to the occurrence of extreme precipitation events. It also showed a significant increase in mean summer discharge (p = 0.0002), which is significantly correlated to the decrease in glacier mass balance and the increase in air temperature (p = 0.08). Conversely, the non-glacierized catchment showed a significant decrease in the mean summer discharge (p = 0.01), the flood magnitudes (p = 0.07) and an insignificant trend towards earlier flood occurrences (p = 0.53). These trends are explained by a reduction of the winter snow pack due to higher temperatures in the winter and spring and an increasing soil water storage capacity or catchment storage due to progressively thawing permafrost.

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  • Holocene tephrochronology of the Hualaihue region (Andean southern volcanic zone, similar to 42 degrees S), southern Chile

    2011. Sebastian F. L. Watt (et al.). Quaternary International 246, 324-343

    Artikel

    Late Glacial and Holocene soils and sediments in southern Chile contain an important record of explosive volcanic activity since the end of the last glaciation, and have considerable potential for the development of a regional tephrostratigraphical framework. This paper reports the discovery of several new tephra deposits from the Hualaihue region (similar to 42 degrees S) of southern Chile. Eruption sizes, constrained from field observations, and ages, constrained by 25 new radiocarbon dates, show that the volcanoes of the Hualaihue peninsula have had relatively few explosive, tephra-generating eruptions during the Holocene. An eruption of Apagado deposited similar to 1 km(3) of bedded basaltic scoria at similar to 2.6 calibrated (cal) ka BP, and Hornopiren produced a similar, but volumetrically-smaller unit at similar to 5.7 cal ka BR Activity at Yate over the same time period has been predominantly characterised by lava production, although small explosive eruptions, the products of which span a range of compositions, have also occurred, including one at similar to 0.9 cal ka BR The northern part of the regional tephra sequence is dominated by andesitic pumice fall deposits derived from Calbuco volcano. These include deposits from several eruptions during a 3500-year-long period at the start of the Holocene, as well as two large explosive eruptions in the past 2000 years. A distinctive rhyolitic tephra layer that is interbedded with the locally derived tephra sequence is the Cha1 unit, from Chaiten volcano, 108 km south of Hornopiren. This rhyolitic pumice deposit, dated at similar to 9.75 cal ka BP, is the largest volumetrically of those described here, with a volume of 3.5 km(3). This new tephrostratigraphy covers a region whose volcanic history was previously very little known, and contributes to a regional record of large explosive eruptions that now spans a 500 km-long segment of the southern Andean arc, between Calbuco and Hudson volcanoes.

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  • Influence of geomorphological setting, fluvial-, glaciofluvial- and mass-movement processes on sedimentation in alpine lakes

    2009. Lena Rubensdotter, Gunhild Rosqvist. The Holocene 19 (4), 665-678

    Artikel

    Lacustrine sediments are often used for paleoclimate reconstructions as continuous archives of several physical and biological proxies. The relation between autochthonous and allochthonous sedimentation in alpine lakes is a complex system that may cause difficulties when interpreting biological and physical parameters. Results from previous studies of alpine lakes in northern Sweden have demonstrated that non-glacial processes produce minerogenic lake deposits with similar physical characteristics (density, LOI, magnetic susceptibility, grain-size) as those that have been associated with glacier fluctuations in proglacial lakes. In this study of two consecutive proglacial alpine lakes we show that fluvial redeposition of alluvial fan deposits significantly affects the Holocene lake sedimentation. Depending on the geomorphological setting, such fluvial redeposition signals may actually overprint a glaciofluvial signal. We also show that minerogenic laminations of fluvial origin are impossible to separate from the type of laminations usually used to infer glacier activity using the most common lithological sediment parameters. This emphasizes the complexity of sediment transport system in proglacial (paraglacial) settings where redeposition of older glacial sediment is of major importance. Our results highlight the need for thorough understanding of the geomorphological setting before inferences are made about climate variations from sedimentation in alpine lakes. moth lakes in this study contain sediment sequences with both episodic (turbidites) and continuously deposited sediments. Unfortunately we have too few radiocarbon dates to exactly date the turbidites but it is clear that turbidite layers in any case should be excluded from age model constructions since episodic sedimentation significantly influences the sediment age-depth relationship. In our age-model turbidites cause a potential dating error of several hundred, up to a thousand, years.

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  • Reconstructing past atmospheric circulation changes using oxygen isotopes in lake sediments from Sweden

    2009. C. E. Jonsson (et al.). Climate of the Past Discussions 5 (3), 1609-1644

    Artikel

    Here we use lake sediment studies from Sweden to illustrate how Holocene-aged oxygen isotope records (from lakes located in different hydrological settings) can provide information about climate change. In particular changes in precipitation, atmospheric circulation and water balance. We highlight the importance of understanding the present and past lake hydrology, and the relationship between climate parameters and the oxygen isotopic composition of precipitation (d18Op) and lake waters (d18Olakewater) for interpretation of the oxygen isotopic record from the sediments (d18O). Both precipitation reconstructions from northern Sweden and water balance reconstructions from south and central Sweden show that the atmospheric circulation changed from zonal to a more meridional air flow over the Holocene. Superimposed on this Holocene trend are δ18Op minima resembling intervals of the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), thus suggesting that the climate of Northern Europe is strongly influenced by atmospheric and oceanic circulation changes over the North Atlantic.

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  • North Atlantic region atmospheric circulation dynamics inferred from a late-Holocene lacustrine carbonate isotope record, northern Swedish Lapland

    2007. G. C. Rosqvist, M. J. Leng, C. Jonsson. The Holocene 17 (7), 867–873

    Artikel

    The first high-resolution record of climate variation based on the oxygen and carbon isotope composition of authigenic carbonate for northern Scandinavia is presented. Modern lake-water isotope data indicate that controls on its oxygen and hydrogen (δ18O<sub>w</sub> and δD<sub>w</sub>) composition are unlikely to be evaporation or temperature, and its variations must therefore reflect changes in, or at the source of, precipitation. Substantial and persistent changes of the isotopic composition of the precipitation are required to change the mean annual isotope composition of lake surface water. For this reason we argue that the recorded changes were significant and that the recurrence of such changes would greatly affect future regional climate conditions in the North Atlantic region. Oxygen isotope (δ<sup>18</sup>O) minima occurring at ~ 200, 500, 1300, 1600 and at 2900 cal. yr BP all coincide with major peaks in North Atlantic ice rafted debris deposition. We suggest that the depletion events in δ<sup>18</sup>O cycles recorded in several lakes in northern Swedish Lapland are caused by the same climatic shifts as those noted in the North Atlantic marine records. This is because changes of atmospheric circulation pattern and the lower ocean and atmospheric temperatures associated with the IRD events help to explain why 18O depletion of precipitation occurred during these events. Our findings indicate that the recorded changes in North Atlantic ice drift and surface hydrography are coupled to changes in atmospheric circulation. 

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  • Diatom oxygen isotopes in pro-galcial lake sediments from northern Sweden: A 5000 year record of atmospheric circulation.

    2004. G. Rosqvist (et al.). Quaternary Science Reviews 23 (7-8), 851-859

    Artikel

    We use a pro-glacial oxygen isotope record of diatom silica (δ18Odiatom) and a sedimentary proxy for glacier flutuations to determine centennial-millennial scale climate change during the last 5000 yeras in northern Sweden. We show that the lake water isotopic composition åredominantly reflects the isotopic composition of the precipitation. Superimposed on a general depletion trend of 3.5‰ over the past 5000 years we found that the isotopic composition of precipitation became depleted (> 1‰ excursions) during four occasions centered at 4400, 3000, 2000 and, after 1200 cal yr BP. Climate simultaneously sustained a positive glacier mass balance, taht caused the catchment glacier to advance. A peristan cgange in the atmopheric circulation pattern could potentially have caused the registered chnages in the δ18Odiatom because different air masses hold characteristics δ18O signatures of their precipitation. The glacier mass balance primarily responds to the influence of summer temperature on ablation. We suggest that the most likely cause for the recorded chnages in both these proxies is a steadily increasing but fluctuating dominance of colder and δ18O depleted air masses from the north/northeast during the past 5000 years. Theδ18Odiatom depletion and glacier events all occur at times of relative ice-rafted-debris maxima in the North Atlanic, consistent with cold conditions and changes in surface wind directions. Our results confirm that changes towards a predominace of north/northeasterly winds occured at these time intervals.

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  • Changing Arctic snow cover

    2016. Stef Bokhorst (et al.). Ambio 45 (5), 516-537

    Artikel

    Snow is a critically important and rapidly changing feature of the Arctic. However, snow-cover and snowpack conditions change through time pose challenges for measuring and prediction of snow. Plausible scenarios of how Arctic snow cover will respond to changing Arctic climate are important for impact assessments and adaptation strategies. Although much progress has been made in understanding and predicting snow-cover changes and their multiple consequences, many uncertainties remain. In this paper, we review advances in snow monitoring and modelling, and the impact of snow changes on ecosystems and society in Arctic regions. Interdisciplinary activities are required to resolve the current limitations on measuring and modelling snow characteristics through the cold season and at different spatial scales to assure human well-being, economic stability, and improve the ability to predict manage and adapt to natural hazards in the Arctic region.

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  • Deglaciation of Fennoscandia

    2016. Arjen P. Stroeven (et al.). Quaternary Science Reviews 147 (SI), 91-121

    Artikel

    To provide a new reconstruction of the deglaciation of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet, in the form of calendar-year time-slices, which are particularly useful for ice sheet modelling, we have compiled and synthesized published geomorphological data for eskers, ice-marginal formations, lineations, marginal meltwater channels, striae, ice-dammed lakes, and geochronological data from radiocarbon, varve, optically-stimulated luminescence, and cosmogenic nuclide dating. This is summarized as a deglaciation map of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet with isochrons marking every 1000 years between 22 and 13 cal kyr BP and every hundred years between 11.6 and final ice decay after 9.7 cal kyr BP. Deglaciation patterns vary across the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet domain, reflecting differences in climatic and geomorphic settings as well as ice sheet basal thermal conditions and terrestrial versus marine margins. For example, the ice sheet margin in the high-precipitation coastal setting of the western sector responded sensitively to climatic variations leaving a detailed record of prominent moraines and other ice-marginal deposits in many fjords and coastal valleys. Retreat rates across the southern sector differed between slow retreat of the terrestrial margin in western and southern Sweden and rapid retreat of the calving ice margin in the Baltic Basin. Our reconstruction is consistent with much of the published research. However, the synthesis of a large amount of existing and new data support refined reconstructions in some areas. For example, the LGM extent of the ice sheet in northwestern Russia was located far east and it occurred at a later time than the rest of the ice sheet, at around 17-15 cal kyr BP. We also propose a slightly different chronology of moraine formation over southern Sweden based on improved correlations of moraine segments using new LiDAR data and tying the timing of moraine formation to Greenland ice core cold stages. Retreat rates vary by as much as an order of magnitude in different sectors of the ice sheet, with the lowest rates on the high-elevation and maritime Norwegian margin. Retreat rates compared to the climatic information provided by the Greenland ice core record show a general correspondence between retreat rate and climatic forcing, although a close match between retreat rate and climate is unlikely because of other controls, such as topography and marine versus terrestrial margins. Overall, the time slice reconstructions of Fennoscandian Ice Sheet deglaciation from 22 to 9.7 cal kyr BP provide an important dataset for understanding the contexts that underpin spatial and temporal patterns in retreat of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet, and are an important resource for testing and refining ice sheet models.

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  • A first continuous three-year temperature record from the dimictic arctic-alpine Lake Tarfala, northern Sweden

    2021. Nina Kirchner (et al.). Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine research 53 (1), 69-79

    Artikel

    Arctic lakes are exposed to warming during increasingly longer ice-free periods and, if located in glaciated areas, to increased inflow of meltwater and sediments. However, direct monitoring of how such lakes respond to changing environmental conditions is challenging not only because of their remoteness but also because of the scarcity of present and previously observed lake states. At the glacier-proximal Lake Tarfala in the Kebnekaise Mountains, northern Sweden, temperatures throughout the water column at its deepest part (50 m) were acquired between 2016 and 2019. This three-year record shows that Lake Tarfala is dimictic and is overturning during spring and fall, respectively. Timing, duration, and intensity of mixing processes, as well as of summer and winter stratification, vary between years. Glacial meltwater may play an important role regarding not only mixing processes but also cooling of the lake. Attribution of external environmental factors to (changes in) lake mixing processes and thermal states remains challenging owing to for example, timing of ice-on and ice-off but also reflection and absorption of light, both known to play a decisive role for lake mixing processes, are not (yet) monitored in situ at Lake Tarfala.

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  • Reindeer husbandry in peril?-How extractive industries exert multiple pressures on an Arctic pastoral ecosystem

    2021. Christian Fohringer (et al.). People and Nature 3 (4), 872-886

    Artikel

    Environmental changes and their consequences on biodiversity are known to have far-reaching effects on the resilience of animal populations and associated livelihoods around the world. To counteract negative demographic and economic effects on pastoralism, knowledge about the historical and current status of the environment is essential. In this study, we show how extractive industries, especially large-scale mining, induced a cascade of land conversions which are affecting animal populations and pastoralists' adaptive responses in northern Sweden. We examine social-ecological vulnerability in Arctic reindeer husbandry by integrating herders' knowledge, population statistics for semi-domesticated reindeer Rangifer t. tarandus, public data on socio-economic variables and geospatial tools. We determine that approximately 34% of Laevas reindeer herding community's grazing grounds are functionally unavailable to reindeer at present due to the accumulation of multiple competing land use pressures. Reindeer numbers currently only remain stable due to increased management efforts. Moreover, we identified current hotspots of high cumulative impact and mineral exploration as the spatially dominating land use factor in this area. Our approach and results provide new insights for scientifically robust cumulative impact assessments of anthropogenic stressors by creating a baseline of current developments via a combination of reindeer herder's knowledge with historical data of trends and extents of human activity over the last century.

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  • Disproportionate Water Quality Impacts from the Century-Old Nautanen Copper Mines, Northern Sweden

    2020. Sandra Fischer (et al.). Sustainability 12 (4)

    Artikel

    Pollution from small historical mining sites is usually overlooked, in contrast to larger ones. Especially in the Arctic, knowledge gaps remain regarding the long-term mine waste impacts, such as metal leakage, on water quality. We study the small copper (Cu) mines of Nautanen, northern Sweden, which had been in operation for only six years when abandoned approximately 110 years ago in 1908. Measurements from field campaigns in 2017 are compared to synthesized historical measurement data from 1993 to 2014, and our results show that concentrations of Cu, Zn, and Cd on-site as well as downstream from the mining site are order(s) of magnitude higher than the local background values. This is despite the small scale of the Nautanen mining site, the short duration of operation, and the long time since closure. Considering the small amount of waste produced at Nautanen, the metal loads from Nautanen are still surprisingly high compared to the metal loads from larger mines. We argue that disproportionately large amounts of metals may be added to surface water systems from the numerous small abandoned mining sites. Such pollution loads need to be accounted for in sustainable assessments of total pollutant pressures in the relatively vulnerable Arctic environment.

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  • Two diatom oxygen isotope records from Naimakka in northern Fennoscandia: implications for Holocene palaeohydrology and atmospheric circulation dynamics

    C. E. Jonsson (et al.).

    This study present past changes in lake water oxygen isotope composition (δ18Olakew) calculated from diatom oxygen isotope composition (δ18Odiatom) from two lake sediment records. The two sediment sequences (9500 and 2800 years) are from open-basin lakes, although with different hydrologies, and are located close to a meteorological station in Naimakka, Northern Fennoscandia. The isotope composition of lake waters was analysed to determine the modern regional hydrological setting. Our results show that changes in the isotope composition of precipitation (δ18Op) is the primary forcing mechanism decreasing or increasing the δ18Olakew values in both lakes. Changes in the isotope signals are interpreted as reflecting regional variations in atmospheric circulation and climatic seasonality. δ18Odiatom from Lake Keitjoru, covering the last 9500 years, shows a depletion trend of 1.3‰ from c. 8000 until around 1500 cal yr BP. This decrease is thought to be due to a long term decrease in the influence of a zonal airflow (strong westerlies, relatively high δ18Op) over Fennoscandia in favor of an increasing proportion of colder meridional airflow (weak westerlies, lower δ18Op) from the north. A synchronous shift to lower δ18O values was recorded in Lake Keitjoru and lake Oikojärvi around 700-600 cal yr BP (~AD 1250-1350), a time when European climate deteriorated into the “Little Ice Age”. We argue that a circulation pattern dominated by meridional airflow, with reduced westerlies over Northern Fennoscandia and high amounts of winter precipitation from southeast or north, replaced a zonal atmospheric circulation pattern at this time. The δ18Odiatom minima c. 400 and 50 cal yr BP (~AD 1550 and AD 1900) is likely also a response to shifts in circulation, which is also seen in lower summer temperatures at that time recorded in tree-rings and from pollen data. The fact that the same isotope shifts have been detected in δ18O records from hydrological different lakes lends support to our conclusion that these records reflect variations in atmospheric circulation pattern.

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  • Particle Size Sampling and Object-Oriented Image Analysis for Field Investigations of Snow Particle Size, Shape, and Distribution

    2013. Susanne Ingvander (et al.). Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine research 45 (3), 330-341

    Artikel

    Snow particle size is an important parameter strongly affecting snow cover broadband albedo from seasonally snow covered areas and ice sheets. It is also important in remote sensing analyses because it influences the reflectance and scattering properties of the snow. We have developed a digital image processing method for the capture and analysis of data of snow particle size and shape. The method is suitable for quick and reliable data capture in the field. Traditional methods based on visual inspection of samples have been used but do not yield quantitative data. Our method provides an alternative to both simpler and more complex methods by providing a tool that limits the subjective effect of the visual analysis and provides a quantitative particle size distribution. The method involves image analysis software and field efficient instrumentation in order to develop a complete process-chain easily implemented under field conditions. The output from the analysis is a two-dimensional analysis of particle size, shape, and distributions for each sample. The results of the segmentation process were validated against manual delineation of snow particles. The developed method improves snow particle analysis because it is quantitative, reproducible, and applicable for different types of field sites.

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  • High-resolution diatom delta O-18 records, from the last 150 years, reflecting changes in amount of winter precipitation in two sub-Arctic high-altitude lakes in the Swedish Scandes

    2010. Christina E. Jonsson (et al.). Journal of Quaternary Science 25 (6), 918-930

    Artikel

    Waters from high-altitude alpine lakes are mainly recharged by meteoric water. Because of seasonal variations in precipitation and temperature and relatively short hydraulic residence times, most high-altitude lakes have lake water isotopic compositions (delta O-18(lake)) that fluctuate due to seasonality in water balance processes. Input from snowmelt, in particular, has a significant role in determining lake water delta O-18. Here we compare two high-resolution delta O-18(diatom) records from lake sediments in the Swedish Scandes with instrumental data from the last century obtained from nearby meteorological stations. The time period AD 1900-1990 is characterised by an increase in winter precipitation and high winter/summer precipitation ratios and this is recorded in delta O-18(diatom) as decreasing trends. Lowest delta O-18(diatom) values and highest amount of winter precipitation are found around AD 1990 when the winter North Atlantic Oscillation index was above +2. We conclude that for the last 150 a the main factor affecting the delta O-18(diatom) signal in these sub-Arctic high-altitude lakes with short residence times has been changes in amount of winter precipitation and that delta O-18(diatom) derived from high-altitude lakes in the Swedish Scandes can be used as a winter precipitation proxy.

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  • Reconstructing past atmosperic circulation changes using oxygen isotopes in lake sediments from Sweden

    2010. C. E. Jonsson (et al.). Climate of the Past 6 (1), 49-62

    Artikel

    Here we use lake sediment studies from Sweden to illustrate how Holocene-aged oxygen isotope records from lakes located in different hydrological settings, can provide information about climate change. In particular changes in precipitation, atmospheric circulation and water balance. We highlight the importance of understanding the present lake hydrology, and the relationship between climate variables and the oxygen isotopic composition of precipitation (d18Op)and lake waters (d18Olakewater) for interpretation of the oxygen isotopic record from the sediments (d18O). Both precipitation reconstructions from northern Sweden and water balance reconstructions from south and central Sweden show that the atmospheric circulation changed from zonal to a more meridional airflow over the Holocene. Superimposed on this Holocene trend are δ18Op minima resembling intervals of the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), thus suggesting that the climate of Northern Europe is strongly influenced by atmospheric and oceanic circulation changes over the North Atlantic.

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  • Stable oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in sub-Arctic lake wateras from northern Sweden

    2009. Christina E. Jonsson (et al.). Journal of Hydrology 376, 143-151

    Artikel

    Lakes in sub-Arctic regions have the potential of retaining many different aspects of water isotope composition in their sediments which can be used for palaeoclimate reconstruction. It is therefore important to understand the modern isotope hydrology of these lakes. Here we discuss the significance of variations in water isotope composition of a series of lakes located in north-west Swedish Lapland. Climate in this region is forced by changes in the North Atlantic which renders it an interesting area for climate reconstructions. We compare δ18Olake and δ2Hlake collected between 2001 and 2006 and show that the lakes in this sub-Arctic region are currently mainly recharged by shallow groundwater and precipitation which undergoes little subsequent evaporation, and that the d18O and δ2H composition of input to the majority of the lakes varies on a seasonal basis between winter precipitation (and spring thaw) and summer precipitation. Seasonal variations in the isotopic composition of the lake waters are larger in lakes with short residence times (<6 months), which react faster to seasonal changes in the precipitation, compared to lakes with longer residence times (>6 months), which retain an isotopic signal closer to that of annual mean precipitation. Lake waters also show a range of isotope values between sites due to catchment elevation and timing of snow melt. The lake water data collected in this study was supported by isotope data from lake waters, streams and ground waters from1995 to 2000 reported in other studies.

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