20. Feb 2023 | Nature

Hokkaido Trivia – What Makes the Drift Ice in Hokkaido

you can see the drift ice slowly drifting down from the north

I think I’ll focus my Trivia on drift ice for this month 😊

Have you ever thought of what it is?

Drift ice is FROZEN SEA WATER – NOT blocks of ice from River Amur in Russia as many people still think. 

Okhotsk Sea is located nearest to the equator among all oceans that freeze, i.e. it’s the warmest ocean in the world that freezes!  Moreover, as you all know sea water, because of its salinity, is difficult to freeze.

Question: Then how does this warm ocean freeze???
Answer: Only by the miraculous geographical and climatical conditions that meet here:

1) land that completely surrounds the ocean
2) fresh water from the River Amur in Russia
3) freezing cold wind from Siberia

I won’t go deep into the scientific explanations here, but if you should be interested, please email me! info@ahww.jp

Well then, this is it for this week. Enjoy the drift ice and your winter activities in Hokkaido!

(written by: Junko – the owner and tour guide of a website for Abashiri, Hokkaido https://ahww.jp  My tours esp. on drift ice, prison museum, and historical trails are given from the perspectives of a local resident.)