The temperature and the volume flux of the inflowing Atlantic Water in the Fugløya-Bear Island Section do not always vary in phase. The temperature is mainly determined by variations upstream in the Norwegian Sea, while the volume flux to a large degree varies with the wind conditions in the western Barents Sea. The volume flux varies with periods of several years, and was significantly lower during 1997-2002 than during 2003-2006 (Figure 4.2.10). The year of 2006 was a special year as the volume flux both had a maximum (in winter 2006) and minimum (in fall 2006).
Since then the inflow has been low, particularly during spring and summer. The inflow in 2008 was much as in 2007; moderate during winter followed by a strong decrease in spring. In early summer 2008 the flux was close to the average. As the observational series still only have data until summer 2008, it cannot give information about the situation in fall 2008 and early winter 2009.
There is no significant trend in the observed volume flux from 1997 to summer 2008.
Monthly wind-driven and total volume fluxes and their anomalies were calculated with a numerical model (Trofimov, 2000) for the main currents of the Barents Sea in 2008 (Figure 4.2.11).
In 2008, on the whole, the general circulation in the Barents Sea was stronger than in 2007. In comparison with the long-term means, annual total flux values were significantly higher in the Bear Island Current, central branch of the North Cape Current and Novaya Zemlya Current. They were slightly higher in the North Cape and Murman Currents, and slightly lower in the northern branch of the North Cape Current. Throughout most of the year of 2008, total fluxes in the Novay Zemlya Current were higher than normal and than in 2007.
In 2008, on the whole, the wind-driven circulation in the Barents Sea increased the general circulation during winter, and decreased it from mid-spring through summer.