Sea surface temperature (SST) data were taken from http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/ and averaged over the Bear Island – Svalbard area (74-79ºN, 08-25ºE), central (71-74ºN, 20-40ºE) and southeastern Barents Sea (69-73ºN, 42-55ºE). The SST shows much of the same variations as the air temperatures. During winter, over most of the Barents Sea, SST was higher-than-normal, with maximum anomalies of 1.2-1.4 °C in the eastern areas. During spring, positive anomalies of SST decreased to 0.3-0.7 °C in the eastern Barents Sea whereas negative anomalies of SST (0.2-0.3 °C) dominated in the western sea.
During summer and autumn, SST anomalies decreased in most of the Barents Sea whereas on the whole, SST was near normal, with small (0.2-0.4 °C) negative anomalies. During October-December, positive anomalies of SST were observed in most of the sea whereas maximum anomalies (up to 1.0 °C) were found in the eastern areas (Figure 4.2.3).
The time series from the coastal waters at the fixed station Ingøy confirm the pattern from the SST whereas during the winter of 2007-2008 the surface temperature were above the long-term mean, in spring 2008 they decreased towards the long-term mean in the summer, while in fall 2008 and early winter 2009 they were above the long-term mean (Figure 4.2.4). The same signal took place in the deeper waters (at 250 m), but the decrease occurred somewhat later in summer and was stronger. The fall of 2008 was colder than the 2 years before, particularly at depth, but from December 2008 the temperatures were again above the long-term mean. However, they are lower than during the last 3 winters.
Looking at the overall temperature field in 100 m depth in August-September 2008, the temperatures were above the long-term mean in most of the Barents Sea (Figure 4.2.5). The highest anomalies were observed in the eastern parts, with anomalies of 1.0-1.5 °C. In the southwestern parts the temperatures in the inflowing Atlantic Waters were 0.5 °C above the long-term mean while the Coastal Waters was 0.5-1.0 °C below. Compared to 2007 the temperatures during summer were lower except in the northeastern areas.
The temperature in the bottom layer in August-September 2008 corresponded to the temperatures of warm and anomalous warm years for most of the Barents Sea, and was close to those of 2007. Positive temperature anomalies were, on average, 0.5-1.5 °C. On the whole, the eastern Barents Sea was warmer than the rest of the sea (Figure 4.2.6).