Isbrytarna Ymer och Oden vid kajen i Luleå. Foto: Nils Eklund/Sveriges Radio.
The icebreakers Ymer and Oden quayside in Luleå, Photo: Nils Eklund/Sveriges Radio.

Thinnest ice since the 50's

The ice covering the Bothnian Sea and Bay of Bothnia at the northern end of the Baltic has not been so thin at this time of year since the late 50’s, when records started being kept, reports Swedish Radio News. The combination of a warm fall, mild winter, and the recent storm Ole have cleared much of the northern Swedish coast of ice.

Göran Fors, captain of the icebreaker Frej, tells Swedish Radio News “This is a great advantage for commercial shipping because they don’t require the assistance of icebreakers and there are no delays.”

Oceanographer Lisa Lind of the Swedish weather service SMHI says “We’ll probably have 2015 in the history books as the mildest ice year since we started keeping track at the end of the 1950’s.” But it’s too early to say if the situation is a reflection of climate change, based on an individual year:

“Well, 2011 was the harshest winter since the mid-80’s so you can’t draw too many conclusions about climate change,” she says.

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