Svalbard Daily Planet for the week of July 21-27, 2019


NEW! If you instinctively closed the new pop-on our website without glancing at (we do it all the time elsewhere, so we know how annoying they can be and are trying to do something actually appealing and newsworthy), this is a week-by-week roundup of stories about Svalbard from media around the world that are interesting, but not worthy of their own articles here. From deadly serious headlines about planetary threats to utterly bizarre tabloid fodder about planetary invasions here, the range of what others write is as diverse and fascinating as Svalbard itself (if not always completely spot-on, so these summaries are edited for context where necessary).• Saturday, July 27: Record number of Svalbard reindeer starve during past winter due to climate change


Åshild Ønvik Pedersen, a researcher at the Norwegian Polar Institute, takes a sample from a reindeer carcass during an annual population count in Svalbard earlier this year. Photo by Norwegian Polar Institute.

More than 200 dead reindeer were observed in Svalbard during this year’s population count, a record number caused by a mild winter created that food shortages, according to researchers at the Norwegian Polar Institute. “This is a terrifying example of how climate change impacts nature,” Åshild Ønvik Pedersen, head of the project involving three researchers who’ve conducted the count for the past ten weeks, told NRK. Among the difficulties the reindeer encountered was heavy rain last December that froze on the ground, keeping the animals from digging through for food. The oldest and youngest reindeer fared the worst since competition was available food was fierce.

(For this first roundup only, the headlines below are from before we started publishing the pop-up summaries)

• Friday, July 26: First tufted puffin at Bjørnøya among multiple ‘new’ species in Svalbard
• Thursday, July 25: ‘Great tits do not risk climate change extinction’
• Wednesday, July 24: 
Visiting Svalbard’s hot springs in Iceland at the North Pole?!
• Tuesday, July 23: ‘We weren’t expecting this much adventure’ say U.S. passengers rescued after sailboat fire
• Monday, July 22: Latvian researchers head to Svalbard to study glaciers
 Sunday, July 21: Arctic summer 2019 means record-beating heat, dramatic ice loss and raging wildfires