Accession Number:



Sea Ice Variability in the Nordic Seas,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The variability of ice distribution in the Nordic Seas is considered for the period 1966-1988. The average maximum extension is found to be nearly constant for the whole area, except for the Iceland Sea where there is a reduction of about 33. The average minimum extension shows a reduction between 13 and 40, except for the Greenland Sea where the changes are insignificant. The largest reductions in the minimum extension are observed in the Barents and the Iceland Seas. Although these calculations are based on regression analysis, rendering the best estimate of the observed changes, the variability is so large that the series becomes too short for statistically significant conclusions. A comparison with older data shows that the average minimum extension of the ice in the Barents Sea has decreased drastically since the turn of the century. Estimations made for the Barents Sea suggest that the average increase over the last two decades of the area being melted from the end of April to the end of August may be caused by either a decrease in the ice thickness of about 17 or an increase of the heat input of about 20, or a combination of these effects.

Subject Categories:

  • Snow, Ice and Permafrost
  • Meteorology

Distribution Statement: