The Nordic Seas

  • Walczowski WaldemarEmail author
Part of the GeoPlanet: Earth and Planetary Sciences book series (GEPS)


The Nordic Seas is a traditional name of the Greenland Sea, the Iceland Sea, and the Norwegian Sea. Some authors include the Barents Sea in the Nordic Seas, as well. In the 1980s, American oceanographic literature made unsuccessful attempts to call them “The GIN Seas” (from the first letters of the seas). Although they cover only a small part of the world ocean, the Nordic Seas play unusual role in its circulation and the dynamics of the northern hemisphere’s climate. The importance of the Nordic Seas is in their location. Together with the Arctic Ocean, the NS make up the Arctic Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Greenland-Scotland Ridge to the Bering Strait. With respect to the bathymetry, it is the northernmost part of the Atlantic Ocean.


Arctic Ocean North Atlantic Oscillation Index Atlantic Water Knipovich Ridge Western Branch 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Aagaard K, Carmack E (1989) The role of sea ice and other fresh water in the arctic circulation. J Geophys Res 94:14485–14498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aleseev A, Istoshin B (1956) Chart of constant currents in the Norwegian and Greenland Seas. Trans Knivovich Pol Sci Inst (9):62–68. Translated in Spec Rep Fish, 327. U.S. Dep Inter, Fish and Wildlife Serv, Washington D.C., pp 69–76Google Scholar
  3. Anderson LG, Drange H, Chierichi M, Fransson A, Johannessen T, Skjelvan I, Rey F (2000) Seasonal and annual variability in the upper Greenland Sea based on measurements and a box model. Tellus 52:1013–1020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blindheim JV, Østerhus S (2005) The Nordic Seas, main oceanographic features, in The Nordic Seas. An integrated perspective. AGU Geophys Monogr 158:11–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blindheim J, Borovkov V, Hansen B, Malmberg SA, Turrell WR, Østerhus S (2000) Upper layer cooling and freshening in the Norwegian Sea in relation to atmospheric forcing. Deep-Sea Res I 47:655–680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Deser C, Magnusdottir G, Saravanan R, Philips A (2004) The effects of the North Atlantic SST and sea-ice anomalies on the winter circulation in CCM3. Part II: Direct and indirect components of the response. Journal of Climate 17:877–889CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dietrich G, Kalle K, Krauss W, Siedler G (1980) General oceanography, 2nd edn. Wiley, New York, p 626Google Scholar
  8. Drange H, Dokken T, Furevik T, Gerdes R, Berger W (2005) The Nordic Seas: an integrated perspective, AGU Monograph vol 158. Washington, p 374Google Scholar
  9. Druet C, Kowalik Z (1970) Dynamika Morza. Wydawnictwo Morskie, Gdańsk, p 428Google Scholar
  10. European Environment Agency (2008) Impacts of Europe’s changing climate. indicator based assessment, EEA–JRC–WHO Rep. No 4/2008Google Scholar
  11. Flatau MK, Talley L, Niiler PP (2003) The North Atlantic Oscillation, surface current velocities, and SST changes in the Subpolar North Atlantic. J Clim 16:2355–2369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Furevik T, Nilsen J (2005) Large-scale atmospheric circulation variability and its impacts on the nordic seas ocean climate—a review. In: Drange H et al (eds) The Nordic Seas: an integrated perspective, Geophysical Monograph Series vol 158, AGUGoogle Scholar
  13. Furevik T, Bentsen M, Drange H, Johannessen JA, Korablev A (2002) Temporal and spatial variability of the sea surface salinity in the Nordic Seas. J Geophys Res 107C12:8009. doi: 10.1029/2001JC001118 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Furevik T, Mauritzen C, Ingvaldsen R (2007) The flow of Atlantic Water to the Nordic Seas and Arctic Ocean. In: Arctic alpine ecosystems and people in a changing environment. Springer, Berlin. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-48514-8_8Google Scholar
  15. Hansen B, Østerhus S, Hatún H, Kristiansen K, Larsen MH (2003) The Iceland-Faroe inflow of Atlantic water to the Nordic Seas. Prog Oceanogr 59:443–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hansen B, Østerhus S, Quadfasel D, Turrell W (2004) Already the day after tomorrow? Science 305:953–954CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hansen B, Østerhus S, Turrel W, Jonsson S, Valdimersson H, Hatún H, Olsen S (2008) The inflow of atlantic water, heat and salt to the Nordic Seas across the greenland-scotland ridge. Arctic-Subarctic Ocean Fluxes, Springer, Berlin, pp 15–43 (Science)Google Scholar
  18. Hansen B, Østerhus S (2000) North Atlantic-Norwegian sea exchanges. Prog Oceanogr 45:109–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Helland-Hansen B, Nansen F (1909) The Norwegian Sea, its physical oceanography based upon the Norwegian Research 1900–1904. Report Norwegian Marine Invest 2:390Google Scholar
  20. Hurrell J (1995) Decadal trends in the North Atlantic Oscillation: regional temperatures and precipitation. Science 269(5224):676–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ingvaldsen R, Asplin L, Loeng H (2004) The seasonal cycle in the Atlantic transport to the Barents Sea during the years 1997–2001. Cont Shelf Res 24:1015–1032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Isachsen PE, LaCasce JH, Mauritzen C, Haakkinen S (2003) Wind-driven variability of the large-scale recirculating flow in the Nordic Seas and Arctic Ocean. J Phys Oceanogr 33:2534–2550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jonsson S, Briem J (2003) Flow of Atlantic Water west of Iceland and onto the north Icelandic shelf. ICES Marine Sci Symp 219:326–328Google Scholar
  24. Karcher MJ, Gerdes R, Kauker F, Köberle C (2003) Arctic warming: evolution and spreading of the 1990s warm event in the Nordic seas and the Arctic Ocean. J Geophys Res 108(C2):3034 (C001265)Google Scholar
  25. Kalnay E, Kanamitsu M, Kistler R, Collins W, Deaven D, Gandin L (1996) The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 77:437–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Manley TO (1995) Branching of Atlantic Water within the Greenland-Spitsbergen passage: an estimate of recirculation. J Geophys Res 100(C10):20627–20634Google Scholar
  27. Massel S (2007) Ocean waves breaking and marine aerosol fluxes. Springer, Berlin, p 323Google Scholar
  28. Mork KA, Blindheim J (2000) Variation in the Atlantic Inflow to the Nordic Seas, 1955–1996. Deep-Sea Res 47(6):1035–1057. doi: 10.1016/S0967-06379900091-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2006) 2- minute gridded Global Relief Data ETOPO2v2, Nat. Geophys. Data Center, U.S. Dept. Comm., Boulder,
  30. Orvik KA, Niiler P (2002) Major pathways of Atlantic water in the northern North Atlantic and the Nordic Seas toward the Arctic. Geophys Res Lett 29(19):1896. doi: 10.1029/2002GL015002 (L015002)Google Scholar
  31. Orvik KA, Skagseth Ø (2003) The impact of the wind stress curl in the North Atlantic on the Atlantic inflow to the Norwegian Sea toward the Arctic. Geophys Res Lett 30(17):1884. doi: 10.1029/2003GL017932 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Orvik KA, Skagseth Ø (2005) Heat flux variations in the eastern Norwegian Atlantic Current toward the Arctic from moored instruments, 1995–2005. Geophys Res Lett 32:L14610. doi: 10.1029/2005GL023487 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Piechura J, Walczowski W (1995) The Arctic Front: structure and dynamics. Oceanologia 371:47–73Google Scholar
  34. Poulain PM, Warn-Varnas A, Niiler PP (1996) Near-surface circulation of the Nordic seas as measured by Lagrangian drifters. J Geophys Res 101(C8):18237–18258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rahmstorf S, Ganopolski A (1999) Long-term global warming scenarios computed with an efficient couplet climatic model. Climatic Change 43:353–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rudels B, Fredrich HJ, Quatfasel D (1999) The Arctic circumpolar boundary current. Deep-Sea Res II 46:1023–1062CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rudels B, Fahrbach E, Meincke J, Budeus G, Eriksson P (2002) The East Greenland Current and its contribution to the Denmark Strait overflow. ICES J Mar Sci 59:1133–1154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schauer U, Fahrbach E, Osterhus S, Rohardt G (2004) Arctic warming through the Fram Strait: Oceanic heat transport from 3 years of measurements. J Geophys Res 109:C06026. doi: 10.1029/2003JC001823 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schauer U, Loeng H, Rudels B, Ozhigin V, Dieck W (2002) Atlantic Water flow through the Barents and Kara Sea. Deep-Sea Research I 49:2281–2296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schauer U, Beszczynska–Moeller A, Walczowski W, Fahrbach E, Piechura J, Hansen E (2008) Variation of measured heat flow through the Fram Strait between 1997 and 2006. Arctic-subarctic Ocean fluxes. Springer, NY, pp 15–43Google Scholar
  41. Simonsen K, Haugan P (1996) Heat budgets of the Arctic mediterranean and sea surface heat flux parameterizations for the Nordic seas. J Geophys Res 101(C3):6553–6576. doi: 10.1029/95JC03305 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Skagseth Ø, Orvik KA, Furevik T (2004) Coherent variability of the Norwegian Atlantic Slope Current derived from TOPEX/ERS altimeter data. Geophys Res Lett 31:L14304. doi: 10.1029/2004GL020057 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Stewart RH (2006) Introduction to physical oceanography. Department of Oceanography, Texas A and M UniversityGoogle Scholar
  44. Steele M, Morley R, Ermold W (2001) PHC: A global ocean hydrography with a high quality Arctic Ocean. J Clim 14:2079–2087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Swift JH (1986) The Arctic waters. In: Hurdle BG (ed) The Nordic seas. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 129–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tomczak M, Godfrey JS (1994) Regional oceanography: an introduction. Pergamon, Oxford, p 400Google Scholar
  47. Turrell WR, Hansen B, Haghes S, Østerhus S (2003) Hydrographic variability during the decade of the 1990s in the Northeast Atlantic and southern Norwegian Sea. ICES Mar Sci Symp 219:111–120Google Scholar
  48. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Geophysical Data Center (2006) 2-minute Gridded Global Relief Data ETOPO2v2Google Scholar
  49. Walczowski W (1997) Transfrontalna wymiana masy i ciepła w rejonie Frontu Arktycznego, PhD Thesis, IOPAN, p 123Google Scholar
  50. Walczowski W, Piechura J, Osinski R, Wieczorek P (2005) The West Spitsbergen Current volume and heat transport from synoptic observations in summer. Deep-Sea Res I 52:1374–1931CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Walczowski W, Piechura J (2006) New evidence of warming propagating toward the Arctic Ocean. Geophys Res Lett 33:L12601. doi: 10.1029/2006GL025872 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Walczowski W, Piechura J (2007) Pathways of the Greenland Sea warming. Geophys Res Lett 34:L10608. doi: 10.1029/2007GL029974 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wegner G (1973) Geostrophische Oberflächenströmung im nordlichen Nordatlantischen Ozean im Internationalen Geophysikalische Jahr 1957/58, Ber. Dt. Wiss. Komm. Meereforsch., 22, 411–426Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Oceanology, Physical OceanographyPolish Academy of SciencesSopotPoland

Personalised recommendations