Skip to main content

Comparison of Atmospheric Circulation in the Area of Spitsbergen in 1920–1950 and in the Modern Warming Period


The results of studying the temporal variability of atmospheric circulation in the Western Arctic (the Norwegian and Barents seas) are presented. The daily dataset of Girs-Vangengeim E, W, and C circulation forms for the period of 1891–2016 is used to describe atmospheric circulation. Special attention is given to the estimation of differences in weather conditions during the modern period of warming (1985–2015) and in the period of the first Arctic warming (1920–1950). For the cold (November-March) and warm (April-October) seasons, the trends in the frequency of occurrence of the circulation forms are determined. The occurrence of the number of consecutive days with the same atmospheric circulation form which can be considered as a characteristic of weather stability during the analyzed period of warming, is computed for both seasons. The prevalence of the E circulation form during the warm season is typical of both periods. The modern period of warming in the study area, as compared to the period of the first warming, is characterized by an increase in the occurrence of the C circulation form with a short duration. It is found that the current climate regime is characterized by an increase in surface air temperature against a background of less stable weather conditions.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. G. V. Alekseev, “Development and Amplification of Global Warming in the Arctic,” Fundamental’naya i Prikladnaya Klimatologiya, No. 1 (2015) [in Russian].

  2. G. V. Alekseev, S. I. Kuz’mina, A. V. Urazgil’deeva, and L. P. Bobylev, “Impact of Atmospheric Heat and Moisture Transport on the Arctic Warming in Winter,” Fundamental’naya i Prikladnaya Klimatologiya, No. 1 (2016) [in Russian].

  3. G. V. Alekseev and P. N. Svyashchennikov, Natural Variability of Climate Characteristics in the Northern Polar Region and Northern Hemisphere (Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad, 1991) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  4. N. N. Bezuglova and G. S. Zinchenko, “Regional Climatic Manifestations of Global Atmospheric Circulation in the South of Western Siberia,” Geografiya i Prirodnye Resursy, No. 3 (2009) [in Russian].

  5. V. N. Bokov and V. N. Vorob’ev, “Variability of Atmospheric Circulation and Climate Change,” Uchenye Zapiski RGGMU, No. 13 (2010) [in Russian].

  6. G. Ya. Vangengeim, “Fundamentals of Macrocirculation Method for Long-range Weather Forecasting for the Arctic,” Trudy AANII, No. 34 (1952) [in Russian].

  7. A. A. Girs, Macrocirculation Method for Long-range Weather Forecasting (Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad, 1974) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  8. A. A. Girs, Long-term Transformation of Atmospheric Circulation and Long-range Hydrometeorological Forecasting (Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad, 1971) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  9. G. N. Gruza and E. Ya. Ran’kova, Observed and Expected Climate Changes in Russia (VNIIGMI-MTsD, Obninsk, 2012) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  10. V. I. Demin, P. N. Svyashchennikov, and B. V. Ivanov, “Changes in Large-scale Atmospheric Circulation and Modern Climate Warming on the Kola Pentnsula,” Vestnik Kol’skogo Nauchnogo Tsentra RAN, No. 2, 84 (2014) [in Russian].

  11. O. A. Drozdov, V. A. Vasil’ev, N. V. Kobysheva, A. N. Raevskii, L. K. Smekalova, and E. P. Shkol’nyi, Climatology (Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad, 1989) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  12. B. V. Ivanov, A. K. Pavlov, O. M. Andreev, D. M. Zhuravskii, and P. N. Svyashchennikov, “Studying the Snow and Ice Cover of the Gronfjorden Bay (Spitsbergen): Histortcal Data, Field Studies, and Modeling,” Probemy Arktiki i Antarktiki, No. 2 (2012) [in Russian].

  13. N. K. Kononova, “Northern Hemisphere Atmospheric Circulation Features in the Late 20th-Early 21st Centuries and Their Display in Climate,” Slozhnye Sistemy, No. 2 (2014) [in Russian].

  14. V. K. Kurazhov, V. V. Ivanov, and A. Ya. Korzhikov, “Role of Atmospheric Circulation in the Formation of Long-period Arctic Climate Oscillations,” Trudy AANII, No. 447 (2007) [in Russian].

  15. B. P. Mul’tanovskii, Basic Principles of the Synoptic Methodfor Long-range Weather Forecasting, Part 1 (TsUUGMS, Moscow, 1933) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  16. U. V. Prokhorova, P. N. Svyashchennikov, and B. V. Ivanov, “Studying the Temporal Variability of Atmospheric Circulation Characteristics in the Area of Spitsbergen,” Probemy Arktiki i Antarktiki, No. 4 (2017) [in Russian].

  17. N. S. Sidorenkov and I. A. Orlov, “Atmospheric Circulation Epochs and Climate Changes,” Meteorol. Gidrol., No. 9 (2008) [Russ. Meteorol. Hydrol., No. 9, 33 (2008)].

  18. ACIA. Impacts of Warming Arctic. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004).

  19. J. J. Day, J. L. Bambler, P. J. Valdes, and J. Kohler, “The Impact of a Seasonally Ice Free Arctic Ocean on the Temperature, Precipitation and Surface Mass Balance of Svalbard,” Cryosphere, 6 (2012).

  20. H. M. Gjelten, O. Nordli, K. Isaksen, E. J. Forland, P. N. Sviashchennikov, P. Wyszynsky, U. V. Prokhorova, R. Przybylak, B. V. Ivanov, and A. V. Urazgildeeva, “Air Temperature Variations and Gradients along the Coast and Fjords of Western Spitsbergen,” Polar Res., No. 1, 35 (2016).

  21. J. O. Hagen, J. Kohler, K. Melvold, and J. G. Winther, “Glaciers in Svalbard: Mass Balance, Runoff and Freshwater Flux,” Polar Res., No. 2, 22 (2003).

  22. F. Nilsen, F. Cottier, R. Skogseth, and S. Mattsson, “Fjord-shelf Exchanges Controlled by Ice and Brine Production: The Interannual Variation of Atlantic Water in Isfjorden, Svalbard,” Continent. Shelf Res., No. 14, 28 (2008).

  23. J. E. Overland and M. Wang, “Large-scale Atmospheric Circulation Changes are Associated with the Recent Loss of Arctic Sea Ice,” Tellus A, No. 1, 62 (2010).

  24. A. K. Pavlov, V. Tverberg, B. V. Ivanov, F. Nilsen, S. Falk-Petersen, and M. A. Granskog, “Warming of Atlantic Water in Two West Spitsbergen Fjords over the Last Century (1912-2009),” Potar Res., 32 (2013).

  25. N. Pilguj, L. Kolendowicz, M. Kryza, K. Migala, and B. Czernecki, “Temporal Changes in Wind Conditions at Svalbard for the Years 1986–2015,” Geogr. Ann., A, 101 (2019).

  26. R. Przybylak, A. Arazny, and M. Kejna, Topoclimatic Diversity in Forlandsundet Region (NW Spitsbergen) in Global Warming Conditions (Oficyna Wydawnicza Turpress, 2012).

  27. D. Zhuravskiy, B. Ivanov, and A. Pavlov, “Ice Conditions at Gronfjorden Bay, Svalbard, from 1974 to 2008,” Polar Geogr., No. 2, 35 (2012).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to P. N. Svyashchennikov.

Additional information

Russian Text © The Author(s), 2020, published in Meteorologiya i Gidrologiya, 2020, No. 1, pp. 36–44.


The studies were performed within the Roshydromet project “Studying Long-term Changes in Hydrometeorological and Environmental Conditions of the Spitsbergen Archipelago,” thejoint scientific program of Roshydromet and Norwegian Meteorological Institute for 2019–2021 and were supported by the grant of the National Science Center of Potand “Causes of the Early 20th Century Arctic Warming” (2015/19/B/ST10/02933) and by the project “Investigation of Rapid Climate Changes in the Arctic and Their Regional and Large-scale Consequences” (application code 2017-14-588-0005-003, project unique ID RFMEFI615617X0078).

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Svyashchennikov, P.N., Prokhorova, U.V. & Ivanov, B.V. Comparison of Atmospheric Circulation in the Area of Spitsbergen in 1920–1950 and in the Modern Warming Period. Russ. Meteorol. Hydrol. 45, 22–28 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Arctic
  • Spitsbergen
  • climate warming
  • atmospheric circulation
  • weather conditions