New Paper by Keghouche et al in JGR: "Modeling dynamics and thermodynamics of icebergs in the Barents Sea from 1987 to 2005"

A modeling study of iceberg drift characteristics in the Barents and Kara seas for the period 1987–2005 is presented. Maps of iceberg density and potential locations subject to grounding complement sparse existing oceanographic and aerial field survey campaigns.

The model suggests preferential pathways from the most important calving sources. Icebergs originating from Franz Josef Land have the largest spread over the domain. Simulations confirm the previously observed seasonal cycle of the southernmost extent of the icebergs. Strong interannual variability of the iceberg extent with a weak decreasing trend occurs, similar to the observed sea ice extent.

Analysis of the atmospheric forcing reveals that years with anomalous northerly winds enhance the southward iceberg extension. Northerly winds also have a positive delayed impact on the iceberg extent. They limit the inflow of Atlantic Water into the Barents Sea and, therefore, its heat content the following year, increasing the mean age of icebergs and thus their potential extension.

Finally, the model is able to reproduce the observed extreme iceberg extension southeast of the Barents Sea in May 2003.