Ice Season in the Baltic Sea and Its Climatic Variability
Ice forms annually in the Baltic Sea. The length of the ice season is 5–8 months, maximum annual ice thickness is 50–120 cm, and maximum annual ice extent is 12.5–100% of the Baltic Sea area. The ice cover of this brackish basin is marine type, with biota in brine inclusions and presence of leads and ridges due to ice drift. Ice has an important role in the ecology and human life conditions in the region. Thermal memory of the Baltic Sea is a few months, and the variability of ice seasons is connected to the strength of the North-Atlantic westerlies bringing mild winter weather. Ice seasons are sensitive to climate: for 1ºC change in air temperature the length of the ice season changes by 1–2 weeks and the areal extent changes by 2.5% units of the Baltic Sea area.
KeywordsDanish Strait Freezing Date Brine Pocket Archipelago Area Continental High Pressure
- BACC Author Group (2007) Assessment of climate change for the Baltic Sea Basin. Springer, Berlin/HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
- Haapala J, Leppäranta M (1997) The Baltic Sea ice season in changing climate. Boreal Env Res 2:93–108Google Scholar
- Palosuo E (1953) A treatise on severe ice conditions in the Central Baltic Merentutkimuslaitoksen Julkaisu/Havsforskningsinstitutets Skrift 156Google Scholar
- Palosuo E (1975) Formation and structure of ice ridges in the Baltic. Winter Navigation Research Board, Rep. No. 12. Board of Navigation, HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
- SMHI (Swedish Meteorologicl and Hydrological Institute) and FIMR (Finnish Institute of Marine Research) (1982) Climatological ice atlas for the Baltic Sea, Kattegat, and Lake Vänern. Sjöfartsverkets tryckeri, Norrköping, SwedenGoogle Scholar