House of Crumbs: Gingerbread recreation of Longyearbyen goes on diet, but still provides plenty of energy

House of Crumbs: Gingerbread recreation of Longyearbyen goes on diet, but still provides plenty of energy

It’s built exactly to scale, can withstand huffing and puffing, and even has the potential to provide local residents plenty of energy. More »

From one extreme to the other: Yet another month of record heat in November gives way to -21C this week

From one extreme to the other: Yet another month of record heat in November gives way to -21C this week

If December’s average temperature in Longyearbyen is minus four degrees Celsius or warmer, the yearly average will be above freezing for the first time in history. But what seemed highly possible a More »

Light Christmas: These traditional celebrations will offer chilly comfort to offset the darkness

Light Christmas: These traditional celebrations will offer chilly comfort to offset the darkness

Considering the past year has had perhaps a few too many surprises – and two other major commemorations this month have darker notes – perhaps it’s a good thing this year’s beginning More »

Rant: Yes, they’re really doing season two of that BBC docu-soap; that’s (gasp) a good thing

Rant: Yes, they’re really doing season two of that BBC docu-soap; that’s (gasp) a good thing

I have come not to praise, but to bury the show on many occasions during the past year. But since it’s clearly Not Dead Yet (sorry, I just discovered the existence of More »

A century of coal: Community celebrates Store Norske’s 100th birthday with memorial, revue, parties and more

A century of coal: Community celebrates Store Norske’s 100th birthday with memorial, revue, parties and more

It’s a birthday party that began in the dark and bitter cold, with attendees remembering the most tragic moments of the past 100 years. But shortly afterward there was plenty of warm More »

 

House of Crumbs: Gingerbread recreation of Longyearbyen goes on diet, but still provides plenty of energy

gingerbreadvillage16

It’s built exactly to scale, can withstand huffing and puffing, and even has the potential to provide local residents plenty of energy.

From one extreme to the other: Yet another month of record heat in November gives way to -21C this week

weatherchartnovdec

If December’s average temperature in Longyearbyen is minus four degrees Celsius or warmer, the yearly average will be above freezing for the first time in history. But what seemed highly possible a couple of weeks ago now appears highly doubtful with the community plunging into a deep freeze this week.

Light Christmas: These traditional celebrations will offer chilly comfort to offset the darkness

tree16a

Considering the past year has had perhaps a few too many surprises – and two other major commemorations this month have darker notes – perhaps it’s a good thing this year’s beginning of Christmas season celebration on Sunday didn’t hold any surprises.

Rant: Yes, they’re really doing season two of that BBC docu-soap; that’s (gasp) a good thing

bbc2

I have come not to praise, but to bury the show on many occasions during the past year. But since it’s clearly Not Dead Yet (sorry, I just discovered the existence of a Lego remake of “Monthy Python And The Quest For The Holy Grail”), I Assur (capital of Assyria, may Sir Robin rest in peace) you I will embrace the spawning of a second season with a shimmering soul.

A century of coal: Community celebrates Store Norske’s 100th birthday with memorial, revue, parties and more

memorialflowers

It’s a birthday party that began in the dark and bitter cold, with attendees remembering the most tragic moments of the past 100 years. But shortly afterward there was plenty of warm merriment, with outright ridicule still to come.

Random weirdness for the week of Nov 29, 2016

t2

We’re still trying to normalize our brains After Trump, but as it turns out maybe Svalbard should breathe a sigh of relief because Crooked Hillary’s e-mail scandal extends all the way up here, according to Wikileaks.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Nov. 29, 2016

deadcodmystery

Help solve the mystery: What caused a huge die-off of cod at the coal pier?
Pål Remen came across a shocking sight Monday morning when he discovered a large number of dead Arctic cod just above the high tide mark along the shore of the coal pier. “Perhaps there is a natural explanation behind this,” he wrote in a e-mail to Svalbardposten, providing the newspaper with photos from the shore. “Can you help?”

Scrappy birthday: Government proposes giving Store Norske 244M more in funding, loans to cope with debt

morecoalmoney

It might not be the gift Store Norske wants, but it’s apparently the gift the company needs on its 100th birthday as the Norwegian government is proposing giving the company an additional 244 million kroner in funding and loans to allow the company to refinance existing debt.

Positive outlook: Svalbard’s average temperature for year may be above freezing for first time ever

tempchart

It’s not quite as mind blowing as the North Pole being 20 degrees Celsius above normal this fall, but the freakish temperatures that have caused so many problems in Svalbard this year may result an annual average temperature above freezing for the first time in the archipelago’s history, scientists said Friday.

The prediction came on the same day an international report was released stating the Arctic is perched on the edge of fundamental social and environmental change as it faces 19 tipping points ranging from loss of summer sea ice to the slow creep of shrubs and trees across the tundra.

Goals of the alt-white: Officials urge funding avalanche safeguards, defining Store Norske’s future in revised ‘white paper’

debatewhiteaper

Build a wall – or at least a few barriers – to prevent unwanted intrusions. Give the coal mining industry a new life. Embrace the Russians while seeking solutions for dangerous territory.

No, Svalbard likely won’t look like Donald Trump’s American, but the proposals were part of the revised “white paper” for Svalbard debated by Parliament on Tuesday. The document  outlining policy goals for Svalbard is being updated three years earlier than expected due to a coal price crisis that has shut down nearly all Norwegian operations here.