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Author Topic: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720  (Read 8375 times)

Niall Dollard

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Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« on: January 31, 2017, 01:35:23 AM »
The link below has an interactive chart on maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720.

http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/daviz/maximum-extent-of-ice-cover-1#tab-chart_1

The Baltic Sea covers an area of circa 420,000 km2. Complete ice coverage has been achieved 16 times since 1720. The last time being 1947. Since then 1987 has come closest (407k coverage).

The first time there was complete coverage was 1740 (no real surprise there!). Followed by 1754, 1789, 1799.

In the 19th century it happened 9 times, with a particular cluster in the last half of the century (6 times in less than 30 years). 1809,1830,1838,1867,1871,1877,1881,1888,1894

In the 20th century there were only 3 occasions (all in the 1940s) : 1940,1942,1947

Of note is the huge variability from year to year. Even just 3 years after the cold year of 1740 there was a very low max extent of only 90k.

The 15 year average line shows a significant downward trend (especially since 1981).

The lowest max extent was in 2008 (49k). 2015 was close to this (51k) and by the looks of things this year will be very low too.

sesyf

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 03:07:51 PM »
News today told that ice area in Baltic is lowest ever measured for the date. No details...

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2017, 04:16:20 PM »
Is there any correlation between Baltic Sea ice coverage and Arctic (or any Arctic basin) ice coverage since 1979 (or before)?  If there is, we might be tempted to project the relationship back some.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

FishOutofWater

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2017, 01:02:24 AM »
There's a good correlation with the winter JFM AO index. Obviously, the northern hemisphere warming trend over the past 30 years is like a tide that raises all boats.

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2017, 05:50:56 AM »
What drives sea ice cover in the Baltic?
Well, yes, temperature, but the amount of ice does not seem to line up with my recollection of global climate. E.G. The coldest years of the 20th century were around 1913/14 yet they were low Baltic ice years - with a recovery by 1916. The warmest period of the 20th century was the early 1940s- which had the heaviest Baltic ice cover of the 20th century. According to this counter intuitive correlation, the Baltic should be producing heavy ice the past few years, but it didn't. Therefore there may be something different going on these days......Seriously, I don't understand and would really like to!

diablobanquisa

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2017, 09:44:22 AM »
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079661109000123

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/223502802_Geophysics_of_sea_ice_in_the_Baltic_Sea_A_review

"The ice extent and length of the ice season depend on the indices of the Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation"


Fig. 4. Mean MIB, 2-m air temperature and 10-m wind vector over the Baltic Sea region in winters (January–March) with (above) NAO index ⩾ 0.5 and (below) NAO index ⩽ −0.5. The NAO indices, air temperatures, and winds are based on the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis.








mati

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2017, 04:54:52 PM »
Driving on the Baltic Sea .. Haapsalu to Noarootsi


I seem to recall a story of railway tracks being laid between Estonia and Finland in the winter ...

I wonder if the freshness of the Baltic Sea helps it freeze easier than the saltier atlantic
and so it goes

sesyf

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2017, 08:31:52 PM »
There have been some temporary railways on ice in the northest part of Baltic after the WWII when an exploded bridge was rebuilt. Otherwise, there have been no railways on e.g. on the Finnish Gulf...

Pics of steam engine going thru water is rather unsettling, water splashing and passengers standing in carriage doorways as if ready to jump if the ice does crack...

Niall Dollard

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2017, 01:37:32 AM »
What drives sea ice cover in the Baltic?
Well, yes, temperature, but the amount of ice does not seem to line up with my recollection of global climate. E.G. The coldest years of the 20th century were around 1913/14 yet they were low Baltic ice years - with a recovery by 1916. The warmest period of the 20th century was the early 1940s- which had the heaviest Baltic ice cover of the 20th century. According to this counter intuitive correlation, the Baltic should be producing heavy ice the past few years, but it didn't. Therefore there may be something different going on these days......Seriously, I don't understand and would really like to!

I am not sure whether you are referring to annual mean temps and to what geographic area, when you say "coldest years" ?

The most significant time period to get extensive ice coverage over the Baltic is understandably, to get a prolonged cold spell from the Dec-Mar period.

The landmark cold winters for northwestern Europe in the 20th century correspond pretty well with extensive Baltic Sea Ice coverage.

Taking the relevant Dec-Mar Central England Temperature data :   

1913-1914 were not cold. Lowest month was Jan 1914 with CET=+3.7.

1917 was the cold one. Jan CET = 1.6 and Feb = 0.9 and that shows up with a quite extensive cover on the Baltic

1940 : Jan CET was very cold = -1.4 and Feb cold too = 2.6. Extensive ice on the Baltic.

1942 : Prolonged cold during Jan and Feb. CETs = 0.9 and 0.1 respectively. Extensive ice on the Baltic.

1947 : Had a very cold Feb with CET =-1.9 and Extensive ice on the Baltic.

1985 : Jan CET =0.8 and Extensive ice on the Baltic.

1987 : Jan CET was cold CET=0.8. Extensive ice on the Baltic.

I am a little bit surprised that the Baltic did not achieve full ice coverage during 1963 (and 1979 also saw prolonged cold over western Europe).

For 1963 the Baltic achieved a max coverage of 78% and for 1979 it was 76%. Not bad especially when compared to recent years. But maybe there were some other factors at play, synoptics?, which prevented 100% coverage.

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2017, 03:30:16 AM »
Thank you Niall et al.
I'm afraid I did not do any checking before asking the forum for an answer.
I was using my recollection of global temperature. Which is not perfect.
I did not think of zeroing in to mid winter.
I did not think of zeroing in to NW Europe.
I did not consider how the AO and NAO might correlate with Baltic ice cover.
Thank you for satisfying my (clearly lazy) curiosity. :)

Niall Dollard

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2017, 10:31:19 PM »
It's always interesting looking back on old ice extent records and we are lucky that, unlike the Arctic, the Baltic area has always been well populated and could piece together a detailed chart back to 1720.

I do wonder if a complete freeze over of the Baltic will ever occur again in my lifetime. Unless something dramatic changes, the odds are increasingly stacked against it.

Looking back over the very cold northern European winters of the past, a big feature was the Scandinavian High Pressure system. Every few years it seems, it would exert a strong influence  and import cold air of Russian origin over Europe. When this happened during the winter months, the Baltic Sea ice would grow rapidly. They would often block out the Atlantic air for several weeks eg. February 1985.

I have heard some debate that a strong, persistent Scandinavian High hasn't existed since Feb 1991. I don't know if this is necessarily true - but for whatever reason the "Scandi" High seems to be more short lived, of weaker influence, occurring too late in the season (eg March 2013) and more often centred (pushed?) to the east over western Russia. And a feature of recent European winters, including this one, is for the deep cold then to be channelled SW from Russia down into the Balkans and SE Europe. With NW Europe once again living a charmed life.

Perhaps the steady decline in sea ice over the Barents/Kara seas has had an effect on the potential formation and sustainability of the Scandi High. Even as I type this, the NWP models are predicting yet another Scandi High to build, but it looks like it may be a short lived affair with no real persistent cold to rapidly develop the Baltic Sea ice cover.

I can see at least 3 major issues preventing a future max ice cover event for the Baltic :

1) Synoptic weather patterns. In particular the lack of persistent Scandinavian High as mentioned already.

2) Global warming. In this study (2007) it is stated that  the warming trend for the entire globe was about 0.05°C/decade from 1861–2000, while the trend for the Baltic Sea basin has been somewhat larger, 0.08°C/decade. Warmer global temperatures have meant it's going to be increasingly difficult to freeze the sea.

3) Increased Baltic SSTs. By the end of this century the projected decrease of ice cover is dramatic, with the Bothnian Sea, large areas of the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Riga, and the outer parts of the southwestern archipelago of Finland becoming, on average, ice free. This may happen even earlier.


ArcticMelt2

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2020, 04:48:41 PM »
The link below has an interactive chart on maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720.

http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/daviz/maximum-extent-of-ice-cover-1#tab-chart_1

The Baltic Sea covers an area of circa 420,000 km2. Complete ice coverage has been achieved 16 times since 1720. The last time being 1947. Since then 1987 has come closest (407k coverage).

The first time there was complete coverage was 1740 (no real surprise there!). Followed by 1754, 1789, 1799.

In the 19th century it happened 9 times, with a particular cluster in the last half of the century (6 times in less than 30 years). 1809,1830,1838,1867,1871,1877,1881,1888,1894

In the 20th century there were only 3 occasions (all in the 1940s) : 1940,1942,1947

Of note is the huge variability from year to year. Even just 3 years after the cold year of 1740 there was a very low max extent of only 90k.

The 15 year average line shows a significant downward trend (especially since 1981).

The lowest max extent was in 2008 (49k). 2015 was close to this (51k) and by the looks of things this year will be very low too.


This year, most likely there will be a minimum ice area in the Baltic in history (over the last 400 years of observation).

According to the NSDIC, the ice area is now less than 20 thousand square kilometers. In the coming weeks, warming is expected in the region, so the maximum is most likely already reached.

http://masie_web.apps.nsidc.org/pub/DATASETS/NOAA/G02186/plots/4km/r13_Baltic_Sea_ts_4km.png

ArcticMelt2

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2020, 05:41:51 PM »
https://www.climate4you.com/SeaIce.htm



Daily sea ice extension in the Baltic Sea according to MASIE. See location map above. Latest diagram update: 26 January 2020.

https://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/ice-winter-2007-2008



Quote
The ice cover reached the winter's maximum on 24th of March with 49,000 km2, the all-time low

ArcticMelt2

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anaphylaxia

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Niall Dollard

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2020, 07:13:48 PM »
Max ice extent on the Baltic this year 2020 was only 37,000 km2.

This is the lowest max in the series going back to 1720.

https://twitter.com/HaapalaJari/status/1250385761385545729

gerontocrat

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Re: Maximum extent of ice cover in the Baltic Sea from 1720
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2020, 01:53:13 PM »
But they still have their icebreakers, and they are still needed.

From http://baltice.org/weather/

FINNISH ICE REPORT 19.04.2020
The ice is drifting southwards.
In the northern Bay of Bothnia 35-75 cm thick fast ice in the archipelago to Kemi 3. Off the fast ice, 30-65 cm thick consolidated ice approximately to Kemi 2. From Oulu to Kattilankalla 35-60 cm thick, partly rottening, fast ice. Farther out to Oulu 3 there is 30-65 cm thick consolidated ice and to Holma 25-60 cm thick ridged very close ice. From Kemi 2 and Holma to 6 nautical miles southeast of Bothnia-buoy there is open water and some strips of ice. Farther out about 20 nautical miles 20-60 cm thick open and very close ice. Off Raahe 20-50 cm thick very close ice to Jaakko. 20 nautical miles farther west 25-60 cm thick very close and close ice.

In the southern Bay of Bothnia it is open water. Rotten ice in places, in the inner archipelago.

In the Quark it is open water.

In the northern Lake Saimaa 5-20 cm thick, partly rotten ice and openings. The ice is drifting.

In the southern and central Lake Saimaa and Saimaa Canal there is rotten ice in places near coasts. Elsewhere open water.

Icebreakers: Otso, Kontio and Urho assist in the northern Bay of Bothnia. Meteor assists in the Lake Saimaa.
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