The Fugløya–Bear Island section receives all Atlantic Water entering the Barents Sea from the southwest. Throughout 2013, Atlantic Water temperature was 0.2°C - 0.5°C above the 1977-2014 long-term average (Figure 4.2.10). Similar to temperature, water salinity also was above the 1977-2014 long-term average throughout 2013, with the anomalies ranging between 0.02 and 0.05, and trending downwards throughout the year (Figure 4.2.11).
Throughout 2012, Atlantic Water temperatures in the Kola section also were much higher than normal, with the largest anomalies (up to 1.8°C) observed in the central branch of the North Cape Current (Figure 4.2.11); temperatures were also much higher than during 2011. In the Murman Current, positive anomalies had an increasing trend until June. In the central branch of the North Cape Current, a trend of decreasing positive anomalies started in May and was accompanied by stronger-than-usual northerly winds. Despite this fact, and typical of anomalously-warm years, positive temperature anomalies in the 0–200m layer in these currents exceeded 1.0°C almost throughout the year. Temperatures in the central branch of the North Cape Current during January–October were the highest observed since 1951, and were the highest observed in the Murman Current during January–August since 1951. It should be noted that Atlantic Water temperatures in the 150–200m layer were 1.1–1.9°C higher than normal, and throughout the year were the highest observed since 1951. In coastal waters, positive temperature anomalies (above 1.0°C) were only observed during January-February (Figure 4.2.11). During the remainder of the year, positive temperature anomalies were 0.4–0.9°C, with the smallest values observed during August and September.
During 2013, Atlantic Water temperatures at 0-200m depths in the Kola Section were 0.5–1.0°C higher than normal, but throughout the year they were 0.1–1.2°C lower than in 2012 (Figure 4.2.11). In coastal waters, positive temperature anomalies (0.6–1.2°C) were observed during 2013, with the largest values (>1.0°C) during August, November, and December (Figure 4.2.11); the highest temperatures since 19521 were observed during August and November. In the Kola Section, the 2013 annual mean temperature within the 0–200m layer was typical of anomalously warm years, but was 0.5°C lower than in 2012.
In general, lower temperatures were observed in 2013 than in 2012 for both these sections (Fugløya-Bear Island and Kola).
During 2012, salinity levels in the Kola section were lower than in 2011 (Figure 4.2.11). In coastal waters, significant negative anomalies were observed during the first half of the year; they increased during the second half of the year, and reached positive values (>0.0°C) in December. In 2013, salinity levels in coastal waters and also in Murman Current of the Kola Section were generally lower than normal with the largest negative anomalies observed in July–November (Figure 4.2.11). In the central branch of the North Cape Current, salinity levels were on average 0.04°C higher than normal throughout 2013, and close to levels observed in 2012. Annual mean salinity during 2013 in the 0–200m layer in the Kola section was close to normal, and to levels observed in 2012.
Figure 4.2.11. Monthly mean temperature (left) and salinity (right) anomalies during 2012 and 2013 in the 0–200m layer of the Kola section. St. 1–3 – Coastal waters, St. 3–7 – Murman Current, St. 8–10 – Central branch of the North Cape Current (Anon., 2013).
The North Cape – Bear Island section — sampled in April, June, and November of 2012 — had positive temperature anomalies in the 0–200m layer of the North Cape Current which decreased from 1.6°С to 0.7°С between April and November. In 2013, the North Cape – Bear Island section was sampled in April and November. Positive temperature anomalies (0.6°С) were observed in the 0–200 m layer of the North Cape Current (Figure 4.2.12).
During November 2012, the Bear Island–West section (along 74°30'N) had temperature anomalies in the 0–200m layer of the eastern branch of the Norwegian Atlantic Current (74°30'N, 13°30'–15°55'E) which were 0.7°C higher than normal. In 2013, the Bear Island –West section was only sampled in November. The temperature in the 0–200m layer in the eastern branch of the Norwegian Atlantic Current was close to the long-term average with a small positive anomaly of 0.1°C.
The Bear Island–East section (along 74°30'N) was sampled three times during 2012, and had positive temperature anomalies — in the 0–200m layer of the northern branch of the North Cape Current (74°30'N, 26°50'–31°20'E) — which decreased from 1.9°С to 1.0°С between March and November. During 2013, the Bear Island – East section was sampled in April, July, and November. Positive temperature anomalies in the 0–200 m layer in the northern branch of the North Cape Current were 0.4–0.9°С with the largest values in July.
During 2012, the Kharlov section had positive temperature anomalies in the 0–200m layer of the Murman Current, which decreased from 2.0°С to 1.4°C between May and October. In 2013, the Kharlov Section was not sampled.
The Kanin section (along 43°15'E) located in the eastern Barents Sea was sampled four times in 2012. In the 0–200m layer of the Novaya Zemlya Current (71°00'–71°40'N, 43°15'E), positive temperature anomalies (1.4–2.0°C) were observed which decreased from February to December. In August, they were as high as the historical maximum in 1954. During 2013, the Kanin section was sampled in February, August, and December. In the 0–200m layer in the Novaya Zemlya Current, positive temperature anomalies decreased from 1.5–1.6°C in February and August to 1.2°C in December.
Figure 4.2.12. Annual mean temperature (upper) and salinity (lower) anomalies in the 0–200 m layer of the Kola Section in 1951–2013. Coastal waters – St. 1–3, Murman Current – St. 3–7, Central branch of the North Cape Current – St. 8–10 (Anon., 2013).