Fluctuations in the 20-year record of nitrate (NO3) and total organic carbon (TOC) concentrations and fluxes in runoff at the small headwater catchment Storgama, southern Norway, were related to climate and acid deposition. The long-term decline in NO3 related to reduced NO3 deposition and increased winter discharge, whereas the long-term increase in TOC related to reduced sulfur deposition. Multiple regression models describing long-term trends and seasonal variability in these records were used to project future concentrations given scenarios of climate change and acid deposition. All scenarios indicated reduced NO3 fluxes and increased TOC fluxes; the largest projected changes for the period 2071–2100 were −86% and 24%, respectively. Uncertainties are that the predicted future temperatures are considerably higher than the historical record. Also, nonlinear responses of ecosystem processes (nitrogen [N] mineralization) to temperature, N-enrichment of soils, and step-changes in environmental conditions may affect future leaching of carbon and N.
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Vol. 37 • No. 1