15 Facts About Norwegian Sea


Norwegian Sea is a marginal sea in the Atlantic Ocean, northwest of Norway between the North Sea and the Greenland Sea, adjoining the Barents Sea to the northeast.

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Unlike many other seas, most of the bottom of the Norwegian Sea is not part of a continental shelf and therefore lies at a great depth of about two kilometres on average.

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Norwegian Sea was formed about 250 million years ago, when the Eurasian plate of Norway and the North American Plate, including Greenland, started to move apart.

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In winter, the Norwegian Sea generally has the lowest air pressure in the entire Arctic and where most Icelandic Low depressions form.

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Norwegian Sea is a transition zone between boreal and Arctic conditions, and thus contains flora and fauna characteristic of both climatic regions.

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Largest damage to the Norwegian Sea was caused by extensive fishing, whaling, and pollution.

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Systematic oceanographic research in the Norwegian Sea started in the late 19th century, when declines in the yields of cod and herring off the Lofoten prompted the Norwegian government to investigate the matter.

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Until the 20th century, the coasts of the Norwegian Sea were sparsely populated and therefore shipping in the sea was mostly focused on fishing, whaling, and occasional coastal transportation.

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Since the late 19th century, the Norwegian Coastal Express sea line has been established, connecting the more densely populated south with the north of Norway by at least one trip a day.

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The importance of shipping in the Norwegian Sea increased with the expansion of the Russian and Soviet navies in the Barents Sea and development of international routes to the Atlantic through the Baltic Sea, Kattegat, Skagerrak, and North Sea.

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Norwegian Sea is ice-free and provides a direct route from the Atlantic to the Russian ports in the Arctic, which are directly linked to central Russia.

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Navigation across the Norwegian Sea declined after World War II and intensified only in the 1960s–70s with the expansion of the Soviet Northern Fleet, which was reflected in major joint naval exercises of the Soviet Northern Baltic fleets in the Norwegian Sea.

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Norwegian Sea is part of the Northern Sea Route for ships from European ports to Asia.

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Norwegian Sea ice is a common problem in the Arctic seas, but ice-free conditions along the entire northern route were observed at the end of August 2008.

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The large depth and harsh waters of the Norwegian Sea pose significant technical challenges for offshore drilling.

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