The ocean climate indicators shed light on changes in sea ice, sea level, ocean temperature, salinity and freshwater currents. Changes in these factors may signal climate change and will have significance for the natural environment in Svalbard, on Jan Mayen and in surrounding waters.

Some indicators also measure processes that are closely linked with trends in the climate globally or in large parts of Europe. Since there are large natural variations in the Arctic, it is important to monitor the ocean climate indicators over a long period.