Arctic Forests: What the Svalbardian rocks tell us about past climate and future warming

Arctic Forests: What the Svalbardian rocks tell us about past climate and future warming

This was written by guest contributors Thomas Frank and Stefan Schouten Barren lies the tundra right outside the northernmost city in the world, Longyearbyen. As the winter approaches, strong winds and cold More »

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Svalbardbutikken prices 25 percent to 40 percent higher than mainland grocers Grocery prices at Longyearbyen’s only grocery store are far higher than six supermarkets on the mainland, according to a comparison of More »

MASS DESTRUCTION: Demolition of 142 avalanche-zone homes; 553M kr. for new housing, protective measures gets final OK

MASS DESTRUCTION: Demolition of 142 avalanche-zone homes; 553M kr. for new housing, protective measures gets final OK

After three years of dealing with the enormous physical and emotional scars inflicted on Longyearbyen by a deadly avalanche, local leaders unanimously approved an emergency security plan Monday that will cause a far greater imprint by demolishing More »

STORMY OUTLOOK: Home at Sverdrupbyen evacuated, Vei 300 closed between Huset and Museumsveien closed due to avalanche risk

STORMY OUTLOOK: Home at Sverdrupbyen evacuated, Vei 300 closed between Huset and Museumsveien closed due to avalanche risk

One residence at Sverdrupbyen was evacuated and the road between Huset and Museumsveien closed to all traffic Tuesday afternoon due to avalanche concerns, according to The Governor of Svalbard. More »

Family of foreigners: Svalbard’s international residents share variety of Christmas experiences – with one common element

Family of foreigners: Svalbard’s international residents share variety of Christmas experiences – with one common element

Julia Paulsen said Christmas isn’t a major holiday in Indonesia since most of the population is Muslim, with only about 10 percent who are Christians. So it’s a day for being with More »

 

Arctic Forests: What the Svalbardian rocks tell us about past climate and future warming

tropicsvalbard

This was written by guest contributors Thomas Frank and Stefan Schouten

Barren lies the tundra right outside the northernmost city in the world, Longyearbyen. As the winter approaches, strong winds and cold temperatures make this place truly hostile. The darkness of the winter months adds to that, allowing only very specialist forms of life to survive here high above the Arctic circle.

While the fauna has managed to sustain even large species such as the polar bear, the flora is limited to flat vegetation with hard leaves creeping on the cold ground. It is impossible for any bigger plants to survive in such a cold environment with only very short growth seasons. Indeed, it is very hard to imagine that this climatic setting could have been different in the past – and yet it´s true.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

storesecurity

Svalbardbutikken prices 25 percent to 40 percent higher than mainland grocers
Grocery prices at Longyearbyen’s only grocery store are far higher than six supermarkets on the mainland, according to a comparison of nearly 90 products.

MASS DESTRUCTION: Demolition of 142 avalanche-zone homes; 553M kr. for new housing, protective measures gets final OK

avalancheoverview

After three years of dealing with the enormous physical and emotional scars inflicted on Longyearbyen by a deadly avalanche, local leaders unanimously approved an emergency security plan Monday that will cause a far greater imprint by demolishing 142 homes in at-risk areas while spending 553 million kroner for new housing and protective measures.

STORMY OUTLOOK: Home at Sverdrupbyen evacuated, Vei 300 closed between Huset and Museumsveien closed due to avalanche risk

husetevac

One residence at Sverdrupbyen was evacuated and the road between Huset and Museumsveien closed to all traffic Tuesday afternoon due to avalanche concerns, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

Family of foreigners: Svalbard’s international residents share variety of Christmas experiences – with one common element

partymain

Julia Paulsen said Christmas isn’t a major holiday in Indonesia since most of the population is Muslim, with only about 10 percent who are Christians. So it’s a day for being with family, with maybe a song or some other moment recognizing the occasion.

When she moved from her homeland to Longyearbyen with her husband Didrik three years ago her first Christmas was considerably more festive.

Random weirdness for the week of Dec. 4, 2018

deadfish

Talk about a “wow” headline: “Dead dinosaurs to power cruise ships.” Oh, wait, that’s yesteryear’s news since those rotting Jurassic carcasses are exacting revenge for our grave robbing by ensuring the fumes from their residue (which we refer to as “heavy oil”) wipe us out from climate chaos as well. Since that oil is now banned in our local waters is banned, some authority types that don’t rely on their “big gut” to make Earth-altering decisions are chasing a different form of carcass cruise ship control as Hurtigruten is hoping at least six of its 17 ships will be powered by dead fish by 2021.

On dashers! After November roars out like a lion with blizzards, December arrives like a lamb with lots of Christmas activities

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In the beginning there was a run in the snow, an “underwater” circus and an organized(?!) snowball fight. And there was evening, and there was more evening —the first day.

Then there was food, a parade of torches, letters to Santa, the lighting of the Christmas tree, an early visit from Santas (yes, plural) and stories. And there was yet even more evening, and there was an unceasing amount of evening —the second day.

God may have created the world in seven busy days, but Svalbard will spend another 23 full of festivities leading up to the supposed birthday of his Son (plus many more afterwards thanks to various traditional post-holiday events and the Russian Orthodox Christmas celebration in Barentsburg on Jan. 7).

TROUBLING TRAFFIC: 31 of 70 drivers cited for violations during vehicle checkpoint by local and Troms police Friday

policestop

Lots of snow and continuous darkness didn’t deter a “disappointing” number of local drivers from alleged traffic violations, as two people lost their driver’s licenses and 29 traffic-related fines were issued when officials from the National Mobile Police Service helped local police check 70 vehicles Friday afternoon near Longyearbyen’s power plant. 

EVACUATION LIFTED: Residents of Vei 228 allowed to return three days after displacement

return228

Residents of about a dozen homes along Vei 228 were allowed to return to them Sunday following a three-day evacuation due to avalanche concerns, but they probably shouldn’t count on settling in undisturbed for the rest of the winter.

EVACUATION UPHELD: Uncertain weather after heavy snow extends vacancy of Lia homes through Sunday

vei228evac

Residents of about a dozen homes in the center of Longyearbyen will have to wait at least one more day before being allowed to return after an evacuation of the home Thursday evening was extended until at least Sunday by The Governor of Svalbard.