Volume and Heat Transports to the Arctic Ocean Via the Norwegian and Barents Seas

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The first comprehensive description of physical conditions in the Norwegian – and the Barents Seas was provided by Helland-Hansen and Nansen (1909), who described both the two areas individually and the relationships between them. They indicated a 2-year delay in the temperature signal from Sognesjøen (west coast of Norway at about 61° N) to the Russian Kola section, and suggested that this time lag could be used to predict temperature conditions in the Barents Sea on the basis of upstream observations. Helland-Hansen and Nansen also pointed out that variations in physical conditions had great influence on the biological conditions of various fish species, and that ocean temperature variations “are the primary cause of the great and hitherto unaccountable fluctuations in the fisheries”. The importance of climate impact on marine organisms at high latitudes has recently been well documented in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report (ACIA 2005).