#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Specialists of the Arctic and Antarctic Scientific Research Institute (AASRI) have developed a forecast of expected ice conditions in the Russian Arctic seas for the second half of summer navigation.
According to the scientists’ forecasts, in September-October in the Barents, Kara, Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi seas, light and medium types of ice conditions are expected.
“The situation in the Arctic seas is marked by a high variation this season. In particular, along the Chukotka coast, in the last decade of August, abnormally difficult ice conditions were noted: close-knit (seven to eight points) ice and very united (nine to ten points) ice, drifting in the Bering sea. Such an ice situation has not been registered in the last 20 years. We observed a clear tendency to reduce the period of the icebreaker-free sailing along the Northern Sea Route and the formation of severe ice conditions at the end of the navigation period. In September, the situation changed dramatically: in negative temperatures and strong north winds, a rapid melting of ice occurs. Just in a week, from September 9 to 15, the ice cover area was reduced by 15 percent, which may indicate a tributary of warm waters”, explained the AASRI director Alexander Makarov.
The expert emphasized that even in the global warming conditions, it is impossible to neglect the use of ice and hydrometeorological information, which plays a crucial role in ensuring safe and effective navigation on the limiting sections of the Northern Sea Route:
“Long-term ice forecasts that are necessary for optimal planning of marine operations are of particular importance. A reliable forecast provides the maximum use of the favorable year period to implement sea transport plans without the icebreakers and high ice class vessels involvement, on the other hand, the timely withdrawal of vessels from intensive ice formation areas”.
Thus, for example, a light background of ice conditions is expected in the Barents sea in September-October. In the southeast of the Barents sea, the complete absence of drifting ice is predicted. In the southwestern part and northeastern parts of the Kara sea, a light background of ice conditions is expected in the second half of the navigation. Sustainable ice formation can begin a little later than the usual terms.
Text: Ekaterina Elkanova, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko