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Creators/Authors contains: "Fowler, Rachel A."

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  1. Abstract

    To assess climate‐mediated terrestrial‐aquatic linkages in Arctic lakes and potential impacts on light attenuation and carbon cycling, we evaluated lake responses to climate drivers in two areas of west Greenland with differing climate patterns. We selected four lakes in a warmer, drier area to compare with four lakes from a cooler, wetter area proximal to the Greenland Ice Sheet. In June from 2013–2018, we measured epilimnetic water temperature, 1% depth of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), specific ultraviolet absorbance (SUVA254), DOC‐normalized absorbance at 380 nm (a*380), and chlorophylla. Interannual coherence of 1% PAR and DOC was particularly high for lakes within the warmer, drier area. This coherence suggests forcing of Arctic lake features by a large‐scale driver, likely climate. Redundancy analysis showed that monthly average precipitation, winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index (NAOW), spring average air temperature, and spring average precipitation influenced the lake variables (p= 0.003, adj.R2= 0.58). In particular, monthly average precipitation contributed to increases in soil‐derived DOC quality metrics and chlorophyllaand decreased 1% PAR. Interannual changes in lake responses to climate drivers were more apparent in the warmer, drier area than the cooler, wetter area. The interannual lake responses within and between areas, associated with climate trends, suggest that with ongoing rapid climate change in the Arctic, there could be widespread impacts on key lake responses important for light attenuation and carbon cycling.

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  2. Abstract

    Prediction of high latitude response to climate change is hampered by poor understanding of the role of nonlinear changes in ecosystem forcing and response. While the effects of nonlinear climate change are often delayed or dampened by internal ecosystem dynamics, recent warming events in the Arctic have driven rapid environmental response, raising questions of how terrestrial and freshwater systems in this region may shift in response to abrupt climate change. We quantified environmental responses to recent abrupt climate change in West Greenland using long-term monitoring and paleoecological reconstructions. Using >40 years of weather data, we found that after 1994, mean June air temperatures shifted 2.2 °C higher and mean winter precipitation doubled from 21 to 40 mm; since 2006, mean July air temperatures shifted 1.1 °C higher. Nonlinear environmental responses occurred with or shortly after these abrupt climate shifts, including increasing ice sheet discharge, increasing dust, advancing plant phenology, and in lakes, earlier ice out and greater diversity of algal functional traits. Our analyses reveal rapid environmental responses to nonlinear climate shifts, underscoring the highly responsive nature of Arctic ecosystems to abrupt transitions.

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