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462

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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APPENDIX
in the various years, as soon as it is known what the winter has
been like.
But in order to provide a still surer basis in the future for
regular navigation in the Kara Sea, it would be of the greatest
importance, in my opinion, to obtain a more complete and
systematic knowledge than we now possess of the ice conditions
in that sea in the summer and autumn. The point is to obtain
an accurate idea of how large a quantity of ice actually exists
in these waters during the time in which navigation can take
place ; how rapidly the ice decreases in the course of the summer
and autumn, and how great are the variations in the quantity
of ice from year to year. It will also be important to find out
how and to what extent the ice is displaced by wind and current.
Investigations ought also to be made of the currents and their
variations, the temperature and salinity of the sea at various
depths and in its various parts, at all periods of the summer and
autumn.
A systematic investigation of this kind might most profitably
be undertaken by three or four comparatively small såiling
cutters with motor power, which might penetrate, as soon as
the ice permitted, through the various inlets into the Kara Sea,
both in its northern and southern parts, and perhaps also west
ward from the Yenisei estuary. These boats should cruise in
the various parts of this sea till as late as possible in the autumn,
and make accurate observations of the distribution of the ice,
and so on, at various times.
What we know at present of the ice conditions in the Kara
Sea is derived merely from occasional and casual observations
on the various voyages that have been made. There can be no
doubt that such continued and systematic investigations would
result in an understanding of these conditions, based on definite
observations, which would be of the greatest importance to the
security of future navigation to the great Siberian rivers.
If these motor-cutters are provided with wireless telegraphy,
they will at the same time be of immediate service in sending
information of the ice conditions from out at sea to the wireless
stations, from which again the information can be communicated
to Europe or to ships on the way to the Kara Sea. On entering
the Kara Sea, these ships will also be able to obtain direct
462

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