|Impact of freshwater on a subarctic coastal ecosystem under seasonal sea ice (southeastern Hudson Bay, Canada). I. Interannual variability and predicted global warming influence on river plume dynamics and sea ice|
|Ingram, R.G.; Wang, J.; Lin, C.; Legendre, L.; Fortier, L. (1996). Impact of freshwater on a subarctic coastal ecosystem under seasonal sea ice (southeastern Hudson Bay, Canada). I. Interannual variability and predicted global warming influence on river plume dynamics and sea ice. The coastal ocean in a global change perspective 7(Special Issue 2-4): 221-231|
|In: Djenidi, S. (Ed.) (1996). The coastal ocean in a global change perspective. Journal of Marine Systems, 7(Special Issue 2-4). Elsevier: Amsterdam. 117-438 pp., more|
|In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more|
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Analysis of sea ice cover, runoff and air temperature observations in Hudson Bay shows marked interannual variability. This variability is thought to play a major role in determining overall productivity of the coastal ecosystem by changes to river plume extent, under-ice light conditions and nutrient levels during spring. Extensive field work off the Great Whale River in southeastern Hudson Bay has shown the importance of freshwater discharge, sea ice cover and meteorological forcing on the production of under-ice microalgae and the success of first feeding in fish larvae.
Recent global climate model (GCM) results for a doubling of present atmospheric carbon dioxide indicate increases of both air temperature and precipitation in the Hudson Bay area. Predictions based on GCM results are used to estimate future changes to the sea ice and runoff regime. Sea ice breakup in the offshore is predicted to occur about one month earlier than presently. Estimates of the spring freshet in the Great Whale River indicate it will also advance by approximately one month. Onset of the spring freshet will occur about one month before Hudson Bay ice breakup, similar to present. A predicted reduction of about 35% in maximum sea ice thickness will lead to an increase in the ice-ocean interface irradiance and a decrease in melt water input to the Hudson Bay surface waters. These results are used in a discussion of potential effects of global climate change on northern coastal marine environments.