ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2014, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 117-125

Arctic Front and Barents Sea ice coverage in winter

T.B. Titkova1 , Vladimirovna Vinogradova1 , A.Yu. Mikhailov1 
1 Institute of Geography RAS, Moscow, Russia
In the work, changes in ice extent in the Barents Sea area are analyzed in connection with the location of the Arctic Front’s main branch, that locates over Barents Sea and separates Arctic air mass from moderate sea air mass. The geographic location of the Arctic Front’s main branch over the Barents Sea in winter periods of 1981- 2010 is defined more exactly.
The Arctic Front location is demonstrated to remain quasi-stationary against the background of significant changes in the Barents Sea ice coverage. Over the western part of the Barents Sea, the trough deepened and cyclonic activity became more intense. These trends caused a shift of the zone of most frequent cyclone passages in the Arctic front by 2° northward, leaving unaffected the cyclones surface entrance location near the Pechora River mouth. As a result, the positive feedback between warm Atlantic waters inflow and, consequently, Barents ice coverage decrease, became stronger. The zone of maximum temperature gradients in the Arctic Front is quasi-stationary and situated north to the cyclone centers’ average position. The area of the Barents Sea ice mass increase is located between the zone of most frequent cyclone passages and the belt of the Arctic Front greatest temperature changes at AT1000 hPa. The ice cover gradient maximum is situated close to the zone of maximum temperature changes at AT1000 hPa; these two parameters change simultaneously. Ice cover gradient reduction (2% over the last 30 years), coupled with the northward shift of cyclone tracks, is accompanied by temperature contrasts reduction by 2°C over the same period against the background of geographic stationarity of temperature gradients.
Keywords: Arctic Front, Barents Sea ice coverage, surface air temperature gradient maximum, field of surface pressure, maximum repeatability of cyclone centers
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