Salinity trends on the Siberian shelves

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Abstract

[1] We present an analysis of observed long-term (∼100 year) salinity trends on the freshwater-dominated Siberian continental shelves. A multiple regression was performed in the White Sea (WS), the Kara Sea (KS), the Laptev Sea (LS), and the East Siberian Sea (ESS). Since 1930, the WS has gained freshwater while the ESS has lost it, consistent with river discharge trends over this period. Over the past 20 years, increases in both river discharge and direct precipitation can explain observed salinity decreases in the WS, but not in the KS. Salinity trends in the LS and ESS indicate that ocean circulation plays a dominate role in these areas, where in recent years freshwater has been diverted eastward along the coast, rather than northward toward the deep ocean.

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