Width of the North Cape Current and location of the Polar Front in the western Barents Sea



[1] Earlier results have shown that stronger southwesterly winds give higher temperatures, stronger velocities and higher transports in the North Cape Current (NCaC) in the western Barents Sea. This investigation shows that the wind field causing the stronger southwesterlies also causes a wider NCaC, i.e., the NCaC becomes warmer and wider at the same time. In warm periods, the NCaC seems to be a two-core current system, while it has only one wider core in cold periods. The reason for the fluctuations in the width of the NCaC is a non-uniform wind field across the current. The varying width of the NCaC affects the location of the Polar Front south of Bear Island. The location of this front is not as stationary as earlier believed and in warm periods with strong wind, the front is located further upslope than in cold periods.