Sweden’s meteorological agency SMHI has reported that ice in the Baltic Sea reached the lowest levels since records began in the beginning of the 20th century. A maximum of 49,000 square kilometers of the Baltic—about 27% of the surface area that is expected to freeze over in an average winter—were covered in ice during the 2007-2008 ice season.
As much as 400,000 square kilometers or more of the Baltic can be covered in ice during cold winters.
SMHI announced this week that the 2007-2008 ice season has concluded for the region, approximately one to two weeks ahead of normal. The only remaining Baltic ice lies in the far north of the Gulf of Bothnia, which is itself the northernmost part of the Baltic Sea, near the Arctic Circle. Water in that area is low in salinity and freezes at lower temperatures than most seawater.
The southern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, as well as the Gulf of Finland, did not have any ice during the winter, with the exception of some harbors and bays near the coast.