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Introduction

  • Ola M. JohannessenEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Springer Polar Sciences book series (SPPS)

Fridtjof Nansen, the Norwegian oceanographer, was the first scientist to explore and study the interior part of the Arctic Ocean with the polar ship Fram’s drift across the Arctic Ocean during the period 1893–1896. Nansen carried out new and fundamental studies of the Arctic Ocean with the discovery of the Transpolar Drift Stream, which was hypothesised to exist by the Norwegian meteorologist Henrik Mohn. Furthermore, Nansen discovered that the Arctic Ocean was deep, more than 4000 m, and that the ice drifted to the right of the wind direction because of the Coriolis force, which later became the Ekman Spiral, a phenomena fundamental to wind-driven circulation in coastal and world oceans. Nansen also observed the oceanographical structure of the Arctic Ocean including the dead water and internal waves.

Since Nansen’s Fram drift, the Arctic sea ice has decreased dramatically, particularly in recent decades and in particular during summertime. From the EuroGOOS ice information system,...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nansen Scientific SocietyBergenNorway

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