02 Japanese Culture

Drift Ice 流氷

Drift ice, a typical feature of Hokkaido. During February and March, the Sea of Okhotsk is filled with a fantastical silver world of drift ice. Drift ice is a mass of ice floating on the surface of the sea. The drift ice seen in Hokkaido is formed along the Siberian coast in the northwestern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, and moves southward with the monsoon and ocean currents from Siberia, arriving at the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk in Hokkaido.  Fishing is no longer possible for humans when there is drift ice, but the ice floes stir up the entire ocean, pushing up nutrients from the sea floor. Phytoplankton adheres to the ice floes, which in turn attract zooplankton and fish that feed on them, thus nurturing a rich ocean.


*語句 オホーツク海 the Sea of Okhotsk 流氷 drift ice 植物プランクトン phytoplankton 動物プランクトン zooplankton

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