Maciej Janecki, Artur Nowicki, Alicja Kańska, Maria Golenko and Lidia Dzierzbicka-Głowacka
Sea ice conditions in the Baltic Sea during six latest winters – 2010/2011 to 2015/2016 are analysed using coupled ice–ocean numerical model 3D CEMBS (3D Coupled Ecosystem Model of the Baltic Sea). Simulation results are compared with observations from monitoring stations, ice charts and satellite data. High correlation between model results and observations has been confirmed both in terms of spatial and temporal approach. The analysed period has a high interannual variability of ice extent, the number of ice days and ice thickness. Increasing number of relatively mild winters in the Northern Europe directly associated with climate change results in reduced ice concentration in the Baltic Sea. In this perspective, the implementation and development of the sea ice modelling approach (in addition to standard monitoring techniques) is critical to assess current state of the Baltic Sea environment and predict possible climate related changes in the ecosystem and their influence for human marine–related activities, such as fishery or transportation.