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Ambio. 2005 Nov;34(7):559-66.

Climate change impact on water quality: model results from southern Sweden.

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Hydrological Research Unit, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden.


Starting from six regional climate change scenarios, nitrogen leaching from arable-soil, water discharge, and nitrogen retention was modeled in the Rönneå catchment. Additionally, biological response was modeled in the eutrophic Lake Ringsjön. The results are compared with similar studies on other catchments. All scenarios gave similar impact on water quality but varied in quantities. However, one scenario resulted in a different transport pattern due to less-pronounced seasonal variations in the hydrology. On average, the study shows that, in a future climate, we might expect: i) increased concentrations of nitrogen in the arable root zone (+50%) and in the river (+13%); ii) increased annual load of nitrogen from land to sea (+22%) due to more pronounced winter high flow; moreover, remote areas in the catchment may start to contribute to the outlet load; iii) radical changes in lake biochemistry with increased concentrations of total phosphorus (+50%), total nitrogen (+20%), and planktonic algae such as cyanobacteria (+80%).

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