- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
460

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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APPENDIX
temperatures for the corresponding year in the region around
the Kara Sea, although, of course, we must not lose sight of
the possibility of minor deviations, since Obdorsk lies rather
far to the south. If we now compare the curves for the mean
temperatures at Obdorsk—especially that for the ten months—
with the impression of the ice conditions which wc obtain
from the reports of former voyages, wc find a remarkable
agreement. Below the figure an attempt has been made to
indicate the ice conditions as they appear to have been from
the survey of voyages in the various years given above.
(See Fig. II.) We find that the ice years were grouped
about the years in which the curve shows the lowest average
temperatures, such as 1888, 1895, 1902 and 1903, 1912 ; or
else they occur when there had been a relatively low tempera
ture for several years in succession, as in 1883 and 1884 ; a
particularly unfavourable year was to be expected in 1903, as
the year itself was comparatively cold, and it succeeded an
unusually cold year, 1902. On the other hand, the open years
occurred to a marked extent at the periods when the curve
shows the highest temperatures, as in 1887, 1890, 1894, 1896
and 1897, but especially in 1900 and 1901, and in 1904. There
seems to have been an exception in 1907, when there was ap
parently some ice in the Kara Sea, although it was a very warm
year. But there cannot have been much ice, in any case at
the end of August, as a Norwegian sealer and the Russian sealer
Foka both sailed through the Kara Sea at the close of August,
and found ice-free water.
Greater agreement than this can hardly be expected, and we
seem to be justified in assuming a connexion between the
variations in the quantity of ice in the Kara Sea in autumn, and
the variations in the mean temperature of the air in these
regions during the preceding year. But if this is correct, it
must enable us to form a fairly confident opinion of what the
ice conditions and the chances of navigation in the Kara Sea
will be in the autumn, if we can find out in the spring or early
summer what sort of a winter and spring there has been in the
region around the Kara Sea, or at Obdorsk, for instance. It is
true that the summer temperature, as we have seen, also in
fluences the melting of the ice ; but in most years we ought,
460

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