The Hydrometeorological Center of Russia reports that the ice on January 20 covered a 13.80 million km² large area of the Arctic. This is a little more than in 2012, but 759 000 km² or 5,2 percent less than normal.
The ice loss is largest in the western sector of the Arctic – Greenland Sea, Barents Sea and Kara Sea, where there is as much as 15 percent less ice than normal.
On January 20 the thickness of the ice was 15-30 cm less than normal in the Kara Sea, the center reports.
The same trend is registered by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), who earlier this month reported that the Arctic sea ice extent for December 2012 remained far below average, driven by anomalously low ice conditions in the Kara, Barents, and Labrador seas. According to NSIDC’s measuring, the average sea ice extent for December 2012 was 12.20 million km². This is 1.16 million km² below the 1979 to 2000 average for the month, and the second-lowest December extent in the satellite record.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
The current situation in Ukraine makes cross-border cooperation with the neighboring countries even more important, Barents Secretariat leader Rune Rafaelsen says. At the same time, Norway has joined NATO’s condemnation of Russia’s military escalation on the Crimea peninsula.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.