Svalbard ice cores have not yet been fully exploited for studies of climate and environmental conditions. In one recently drilled ice core from Lomonosovfonna, we have studied the methanesulfonic acid (MSA) records in relation to temperature and sea ice. Under the present climatic conditions, MSA appears to be negatively correlated with the sea-ice conditions in the Barents Sea, and positively correlated with the instrumental temperature record from Svalbard. However, prior to about 1920 the MSA concentrations were about twice as high, despite the more extensive sea-ice coverage. After exploring different possibilities, we suggest that MSA concentrations were higher in the 19th century than in the 20th century due to increased primary production, in response to increased vertical stability of the sea surface layers, caused by increased meltwater production from the more extensive sea-ice cover. Thus, the MSA record from Lomonosovfonna probably both is a measure of the regional sea-ice variability on the multi-decadal scale and reflects locally favorable conditions for marine biogenic dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production on the sub-decadal scale.