Category Archives: Planet

12 YEARS, 1 MILLION SEED SAMPLES: Svalbard Global Seed Vault celebrates birthday w/ largest-ever group of depositors and world leaders in first major event after costly upgrades

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The Svalbard Global Seed Vault celebrated a huge repair job with a huge deposit of seeds on its 12th birthday Tuesday, as representatives from 36 genebanks on all seven continents and world leaders gathered at the so-called “ultimate failsafe” facility for a ceremony that resulting in the total collection surpassing one million seed samples.

As with many things involving the vault, it was a bipolar event as drastic hopes and concerns were raised about growing threats to the world’s food supplies, the vault’s role in potentially helping address them, the paradox of storing crops threatened by climate change in the place where change is happening faster than anywhere on Earth, and newly raised controversies about Norway’s sovereignty over Svalbard at time when the archipelago is considered one of the country’s top national security risks.

IT’S JUST MORE NUMBERS ¯\_(ツ)_/¯: Svalbard warming six times faster than elsewhere, Greenland ice melting seven times faster than ’90s, says newest soon-to-be-shrugged-off studies

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Twice as fast? Three times? Nope – now Svalbard is warming six times faster than the average elsewhere on Earth during the past six decades, according to figures unveiled only days after Longyearbyen surpassed nine consecutive years of above-average monthly temperatures.

Svalbard Daily Planet for the week of Aug. 19-25, 2019

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Climate change forces reindeer turn to seaweed (we’re pretty sure that means “eat” rather than literally transform), salvage resumes on the Northguider trawler, more about tourists wrecking and picking up wreckage in pristine areas, the Svalbard icebreaker is the first Norwegian ship to reach the North Pole, area temperatures at highest point in 300-year timespan and more headlines from the global media about this blessed land of the frozen chosen (with our always inspirational masthead motto for the day in italics).

Svalbard Daily Planet for the week of Aug. 4-10, 2019

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Ukraine joins non-Arctic nations seeking a strong presence in Svalbard to Russia’s outrage, Svalbard Bryggeri debuts a seriously watered-down beverage, why the seed vault isn’t an ideal place to go bananas and other recent headlines about Svalbard from the global mainstream media.

Svalbard Daily Planet for the week of July 28-Aug. 3, 2019

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Direct flights to/from Greenland’s northernmost tip, summer hotel stays down for the first time since 2013, Svalbard Vet now offers 24/7 care and more recent headlines from mainstream local and global media.

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

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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).

ONLY 120 HOURS TO SAVE SVALBARD: Global competition/exhibit by students imagines wild world of societies and environments 100 years from now

Lured by the challenge of making a solitary person do something that creates a community in Svalbard 100 years from now, the 600 worldwide visionaries came up with themes grouped into concepts such as helping humans limit/survive climate change, preserving the environment over people, artistry, infrastructure, Donald Trump and the post-apocalypse (no successive cause-effect implied for the latter two). And then out of 500 visionaries there’s the winning concept:

“AGATTACACTCTAACTG”

18 DEGREES ‘HOT’! Longyearbyen maybe warmest place in Norway on Saturday…but ask record setting France (46C) or Alaska (32C) if they’d trade with us

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Longyearbyen, shivering in rain and strong winds while mainland Europe baked this week, is joining the summer heat wave with a sudden jolt Saturday afternoon as the temperature is forecast to rise to 18 degrees Celsius for several hours.

SPECIAL REPORT: Polarizing polar bears – unmasking a proxy war strategy by online climate change denialists

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By Paul Rosenberg
Senior Editor, Random Lengths News

In early December, a video of a dying, emaciated polar bear, foraging for food on an iceless land, went viral on social media. The video garnered millions of views on Facebook and YouTube. For most, it was a vivid signal of the future in store for us all due to human-caused (anthropogenic) global warming ― rising temperatures due to increased carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. For those who deny or minimize the existence of anthropogenic global warming it wasn’t a polar bear, but a red herring (“Propaganda,” one YouTube viewer called it) — no one knows why it was dying, much less if it can be connected to global warming.

That’s true, but also a bit beside the point.

Nyet for NATO Parliamentary Assembly? Seminar participants, Russians question Norway’s Svalbard policies

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Heat is much on the minds of everyone concerned, whether it’s people in the room questioning Norway’s hypocrisy about local coal mining or others outside it claiming  Norway is provoking an international conflict.