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The Effects of Climate Change on the Hydrological Regime of Northern Rivers in Krasnoyarsk Krai


The annual runoff dynamics of the studied regional watercourses, as well as the air temperature and precipitation trends, were analyzed in the spatial and temporal aspects to identify the regional and local characteristics of the hydrological regime of rivers in the cryolithozone of Krasnoyarsk krai. Nine river basins located in three landscape zones (forest–tundra, northern taiga, and middle taiga) were selected as test sites. A hydrological and meteorological database was produced using archive materials provided by the Central Siberian Administration for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, including long-time river runoff data collected at hydrological stations and air temperature and precipitation data collected at meteorological stations in the studied region. The database was used to develop models that describe the annual river runoff formation in dependence to climatic factors and to analyze the spatiotemporal characteristics of the river runoff formation. It was found that the landscape differentiation of the area affects the spatial distribution of climatic parameters and, accordingly, hydrological regime characteristics. Regression equations describing relationships between river runoff on the one hand and air temperature and precipitation on the other hand were produced for all studied catchment basins. It is established that precipitation and air temperature during the warm period affect the average annual runoff most significantly, while liquid precipitation and air temperature in winter months largely determine the winter low-water runoff. Analysis of linear trends in average annual air temperatures and precipitations shows a steady increase in air temperature since the mid-1950s; while precipitation trends not only differ significantly in absolute values, but are of different signs. Analysis of the annual and minimum winter runoff dynamics in different observation periods performed for the studied rivers shows that most of them demonstrate upward annual runoff trends varying from 0.57 to 4.76 mm/yr. The winter runoff has increased from 0.09 to 1.42 mm/yr. This indicates an overall upward river runoff trend in the studied region. The established multidirectionality of the river runoff and precipitation trends indicates that thawing of perennially frozen grounds caused by the increase in air temperature is becoming an increasingly significant river runoff formation factor in the cryolithozone.

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The study was supported by the base project of the Sukachev Institute of Forest, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (“Theoretical Bases for the Preservation of the Environmental and Resource Potential of Siberian Forests amid the Increasing Anthropogenic Pressure and Climatic Anomalies”), project no. AAAA-A17-117101940014-9 (0356-2019-0027).

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Correspondence to T. A. Burenina, D. A. Prysov or A. V. Musokhranova.

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Translated by L. Emeliyanov

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Burenina, T.A., Prysov, D.A. & Musokhranova, A.V. The Effects of Climate Change on the Hydrological Regime of Northern Rivers in Krasnoyarsk Krai. Geogr. Nat. Resour. 42, 282–289 (2021).

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  • hydrological regime
  • atmospheric precipitation
  • runoff dynamics
  • climate trends
  • permafrost
  • Central Siberia