Ocean heat transport through the Barents Sea Opening (BSO) has strong impacts on the Barents Sea ice extent and the climate. In this paper we quantified the contributions from different atmospheric forcing components to the trend and interannual variability of the BSO heat transport. Ocean‐ice model simulations were conducted in which the interannual variation of atmospheric forcing was maintained only in or outside the Arctic in two different simulations. The sum of their BSO heat transport anomalies reasonably replicated the trend and variability from a hindcast simulation. The upward trend of the BSO heat transport mainly stems from the increasing ocean temperature in the subpolar North Atlantic. For the interannual variability, the local wind and upstream forcing are similarly important. The location of the Atlantic Water boundary current in the Nordic Seas, influenced by the cyclonic atmospheric circulation, is crucial in determining part of the BSO inflow variability.
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