In the Chukchi Sea, autumn 1996 was windier than most of the previous 35 years. Conditions in the Bering
Strait were anomalous, with fresh coastal water absent from the Strait and a partial flow reversal apparently occurring. In
the central Chukchi Sea, the northeastward flow of the Alaskan Coastal Current was reversed. In the northern Chukchi
Sea, upwelling of offshore, high-nutrient upper halocline waters inundated much of the shelf near Barrow Canyon. The
resulting chlorophyll blooms indicate dramatically enhanced ecosystem productivity along this northern shelf region.
With increasing climatic change occurring in this region, shelf break productivity would likely increase in the future.