I blogged about this in 2011 in a post called A warm river runs through it. There are a couple of large rivers that discharge into the Arctic Ocean, such as the Ob, Lena and Yenisei in Russia, and the Mackenzie river in Canada. During spring and summer, these rivers carry warmth from lower latitudes up to the Arctic which helps melting coastal fast ice and sea ice. This impact is on the increase, as the globe continues to warm.
Warm Rivers Play Role in Arctic Sea Ice Melt
The heat from warm river waters draining into the Arctic Ocean is contributing to the melting of Arctic sea ice each summer, a new NASA study finds.
A research team led by Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., used satellite data to measure the surface temperature of the waters discharging from a Canadian river into the icy Beaufort Sea during the summer of 2012. They observed a sudden influx of warm river waters into the sea that rapidly warmed the surface layers of the ocean, enhancing the melting of sea ice. A paper describing the study is now published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
I distinctly remember discussions here on the ASIB, quite early in the 2012 melting season, with regards to the influence warm Mackenzie water possibly had on the early, massive retreat of sea ice in the Beaufort Sea.