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Barents Sea: Arctic Ice Predictor?

November 11, 2015

By Paul Homewood 




Ron Clutz has news of a recent study which how sea ice in the Barents Sea is dependent on Atlantic currents.



It looks likely that 2015 annual average ice extent will be lower than 2014, and some will claim this proves global warming is alive and well. But analysis of the details tells a different story.

Firstly, there were many factors working against Arctic ice this year:

  • Lower March maximum;
  • Warm Blob in the Pacific melting out both Okhotsk and Bering Sea earlier than usual;
  • Negative AO most of the summer, ensuring higher insolation and melting;
  • Strong storm in August when ice edges are most fragile.

Hidden in the measurements is perhaps the most important factor affecting Arctic ice extent year over year: Variability in Barents Sea ice due to ingress of warm water from the North Atlantic.



Read the rest here.

  1. Bloke down the pub permalink
    November 11, 2015 7:01 pm

    It would be amusing if Arctic sea ice extent returned to the mean, just in time for the Paris conference. Not that anyone there would mention it of course.

  2. November 11, 2015 7:32 pm

    Just to clarify: The money quote from the study is this:

    “During winter variations in the anomalous Arctic Ocean (interior basins and surrounding shelf seas) sea ice area mainly reflect the Barents Sea ice variability; the correlation between the winter sea ice area in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean is 0.96.”

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