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Ice melting early in White Sea amid extremely warm weather, southern winds

March 13, 2015, 20:08 UTC+3 ARKHANGELSK

Southern winds carry ice floes out into the Barents Sea two months earlier than usual

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© Valery Matytsin/ITAR-TASS

ARKHANGELSK, March 13. /TASS/. Ice sheets have completely disappeared from the White Sea surface due to extremely warm weather and southern winds carrying ice floes out into the Barents Sea two months earlier than usual, the Russian Northern Department for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring non-commercial organisation told TASS on Friday.

In February the ice situation in the White Sea happened to be so complicated that the Yamal nuclear icebreaker arrived to assist local icebreakers in convoying vessels from the northern city of Murmansk through the ice-covered sea, said Yelena Skripnik, head of the marine and river hydrological forecast department.

"And March has begun with high winds of southern quarter and exceptionally warm weather /exceeding the average air temperatures by ten degrees Celsius/ that resulted in outward drifting of the ice and practically leaving the entire White Sea without it just two months earlier than usual," she said.

The White Sea was documented to have no ice so early back in 1967, according the department.

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