University of Oulu

Mellat M, Bailey H, Mustonen K-R, Marttila H, Klein ES, Gribanov K, Bret-Harte MS, Chupakov AV, Divine DV, Else B, Filippov I, Hyöky V, Jones S, Kirpotin SN, Kroon A, Markussen HT, Nielsen M, Olsen M, Paavola R, Pokrovsky OS, Prokushkin A, Rasch M, Raundrup K, Suominen O, Syvänperä I, Vignisson SR, Zarov E and Welker JM (2021) Hydroclimatic Controls on the Isotopic (δ¹⁸ O, δ² H, d-excess) Traits of Pan-Arctic Summer Rainfall Events. Front. Earth Sci. 9:651731. doi: 10.3389/feart.2021.651731

Hydroclimatic controls on the isotopic (δ¹⁸ O, δ² H, d-excess) traits of pan-Arctic summer rainfall events

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Author: Mellat, Moein1,2; Bailey, Hannah1; Mustonen, Kaisa-Riikka1;
Organizations: 1Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Water, Energy, and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Geological Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK, United States
4Institute of Natural Sciences, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia
5Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States
6N. Laverov Federal Center for Integrated Arctic Research, UrB Russian Academy of Science, Arkhangelsk, Russia
7Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, Norway/Ny-Ålesund Research Station, Tromsø, Norway
8Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
9Environmental Dinamic and Global Climate Change Research Center, Yugra State University, UNESCO Chair of Environmental Dynamic and Global Climate Changes, Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia
10The Finnish Forest Administration, Metsähallitus, Muonio, Finland
11BIO-GEO-CLIM Laboratory, Tomsk State University, Tomks, Russia
12Tuvan State University, Kyzyl, Russia
13Arctic Station, Greenland, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
14Department of Environment and Mineral Resources, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk, Greenland
15Oulanka Research Station, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
16Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, Toulouse, France
17Faculty of Biology, Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
18V.N Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS, Krasnoyarsk, Akademgorodok, Russia
19Kevo Subarctic Research Institute, Biodiversity Unit, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
20Sudurnes Science and Learning Center, Sandgerdi, Iceland
21Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK, United States
22University of the Arctic-UArctic, Rovaniemi, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-09-22


Arctic sea-ice loss is emblematic of an amplified Arctic water cycle and has critical feedback implications for global climate. Stable isotopes (δ¹⁸O, δ²H, d-excess) are valuable tracers for constraining water cycle and climate processes through space and time. Yet, the paucity of well-resolved Arctic isotope data preclude an empirically derived understanding of the hydrologic changes occurring today, in the deep (geologic) past, and in the future. To address this knowledge gap, the Pan-Arctic Precipitation Isotope Network (PAPIN) was established in 2018 to coordinate precipitation sampling at 19 stations across key tundra, subarctic, maritime, and continental climate zones. Here, we present a first assessment of rainfall samples collected in summer 2018 (n = 281) and combine new isotope and meteorological data with sea ice observations, reanalysis data, and model simulations. Data collectively establish a summer Arctic Meteoric Water Line where δ²H = 7.6⋅δ¹⁸O–1.8 (r² = 0.96, p < 0.01). Mean amount-weighted δ¹⁸O, δ²H, and d-excess values were −12.3, −93.5, and 4.9‰, respectively, with the lowest summer mean δ¹⁸O value observed in northwest Greenland (−19.9‰) and the highest in Iceland (−7.3‰). Southern Alaska recorded the lowest mean d-excess (−8.2%) and northern Russia the highest (9.9‰). We identify a range of δ¹⁸O-temperature coefficients from 0.31‰/°C (Alaska) to 0.93‰/°C (Russia). The steepest regression slopes (>0.75‰/°C) were observed at continental sites, while statistically significant temperature relations were generally absent at coastal stations. Model outputs indicate that 68% of the summer precipitating air masses were transported into the Arctic from mid-latitudes and were characterized by relatively high δ¹⁸O values. Yet 32% of precipitation events, characterized by lower δ¹⁸O and high d-excess values, derived from northerly air masses transported from the Arctic Ocean and/or its marginal seas, highlighting key emergent oceanic moisture sources as sea ice cover declines. Resolving these processes across broader spatial-temporal scales is an ongoing research priority, and will be key to quantifying the past, present, and future feedbacks of an amplified Arctic water cycle on the global climate system.

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Series: Frontiers in earth science
ISSN: 2296-6463
ISSN-E: 2296-6463
ISSN-L: 2296-6463
Volume: 9
Article number: 651731
DOI: 10.3389/feart.2021.651731
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: The Pan-Arctic Precipitation Isotope Network (PAPIN) received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Project INTERACT, under Grant Agreement No.730938 (JW PI). An Academy of Finland Grant (316014-JW PI). Support was also provided by a University of the Arctic Research Chairship to JW that funded isotope analyses and provided postdoctoral support for HB and K-RM and postgraduate research support for MM. A Russian Science Foundation Grant (No. 18-11-00024) to KG funded isotope analyses. SK was thankful to Russian Science Foundation (No. 20-67-46018). Russian Foundation for Basic Research (BFBR) supported isotopic analyses conducted by AP (#18-05-60203-Arktika).
EU Grant Number: (730938) INTERACT - International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 316014
Detailed Information: 316014 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 Mellat, Bailey, Mustonen, Marttila, Klein, Gribanov, Bret-Harte, Chupakov, Divine, Else, Filippov, Hyöky, Jones, Kirpotin, Kroon, Markussen, Nielsen, Olsen, Paavola, Pokrovsky, Prokushkin, Rasch, Raundrup, Suominen, Syvänperä, Vignisson, Zarov and Welker. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.