Research Focus 1 ‘Physical drivers’

The Barents Sea is an important gateway between the North Atlantic and the central Arctic Ocean, with inflow of Atlantic Water from the South and Arctic Water from the rapidly changing Arctic Ocean. A firm understanding of the physical climate system in this region is a fundamental building block for sustainable management, and for prognostic models for the Barents Sea and adjacent Arctic.

The ‘Physical drivers’ work package investigates how the northern Barents Sea is influenced by different water masses, and how local physical processes redistribute and modify the forcing  from adjacent areas. The work package is a fundamental part of the Nansen Legacy, since a thorough understanding of the physical control on transports and redistribution of energy and matter is needed to understand the environmental conditions for the present ecosystem as well as distribution of pollutants and ocean acidification.

Overarching aims

  1. Measure fluxes of sea ice, water masses, momentum and heat into the northern Barents Sea
  2. Perform process studies to investigate the atmospheric, oceanographic, radiative and other physical controls on sea ice and stratification in the northern Barents Sea
  3. Produce high-resolution time series of sea ice and ocean climate properties in the northern Barents Sea and adjacent Arctic Ocean
  4. Combine regional coupled model simulations, idealized sensitivity experiments, 1D modeling and analysis of long data series to quantify the relative influence of large-scale forcing factors and local processes on the ice-ocean-atmosphere system