Category Archives: Svalbard

Culture test: The March for Science now has its own ‘alternative facts’ about the northernmost participants

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There’s indisputable photographic evidence Bernice Notenboom took part in the March for Science in Longyearbyen on April 22. But the quickly growing “reality” is she took part in the global event’s northernmost march at the North Pole.

‘No science, no beer!’ More than 100 people emphasize need for reality during Longyearbyen’s participation in the March for Science

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Zoe Burr acknowledges she’s been living “in a bubble” during her studies of sea birds in Svalbard in recent years, which means she hasn’t heard much talk from skeptics of science – and also is less than ideally suited to reach out to them.

She tried to do so Saturday by taking part in the global March for Science on Saturday, with Longyearbyen among the roughly 500 locations expected to participate. The local marchers, plus those in Ny-Alesund, were the world’s northernmost participants.

Northernmost noisemakers: Longyearbyen, Ny-Ålesund to participate in global March for Science on April 22

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A report just came out saying climate change needs to be a factor when experts determine the risk of avalanches in Longyearbyen. In certain parts of the world they wouldn’t even be allowed to use the phrase, much less rely on old data that’s being purged and new studies that may never be funded.

The growing emergence of that alternate reality is why Ny-Ålesund and Longyearbyen will be among the roughly 500 locations worldwide where a March for Science will take place on Saturday.

Margin of error: NVE evaluation of February avalanche says better data and more caution needed when evaluating risk

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Get used to serious storms more frequently and evacuations after them as officials rely a bigger safety margin in determining if there is a risk of avalanches or landslides hitting structures.

Barneo, expeditions on high alert after polar bear shot by expedition; leader disputes accusation he failed to report incident

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The leader of a group that shot and wounded a polar bear during a ski expedition from the Barneo ice camp to the North Pole is being accused of handling the encounter negligently and failing to report the incident to camp officials, therefore putting other expeditions in danger.

He is denying the accusations and offering a much different narrative of the encounter, which was also initially detailed in a post on his company’s website April 11, the date it occurred.

Wailing about Svalbard: Nearly 3 million sign petition protesting whaling in Norway as season begins

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If you’re OK with whaling, you’re OK with being eaten by a cannibal.

That’s among the most popular reactions to the barrage of media coverage as Norway began its annual six-month whale hunting season this month with an increased quota of 999 minkes, up from 880 last year. The number of protests is equally shrill as an anti-whaling video featured on Al Jazeera’s Facebook page has been viewed more than seven million times in a week and a petition to ban the hunts has received nearly 2.7 million signatures.

Senior moment: Harry Botha, 75, joins seven-continent marathon club as oldest finisher in this year’s North Pole Marathon

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Harry Botha, 75, ran three hours of the Everest Marathon with a broken wrist and jaw. So the possibility of losing some fingers because he took a pee break during this week’s North Pole Marathon was all just a part of another day at the races.

Wiped out? Svalbardbutikken increases prices, runs out of toilet paper; figuring out why reveals more madess

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A packet of salmon fillets costing about 40 kroner a few weeks ago now costs more than 70. A whole frozen chicken selling for about 50 kroner now costs more than 90. And for a couple of days you couldn’t buy toilet paper at any price.

Random weirdness for the week of April 11, 2017

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There’s always a certain irony about how our Arctic islands get so many people inflamed, but perhaps that’s just the climate here these days, so to speak, as our town at 78 degrees north just had its 78th straight month of above-average temperatures.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of April 11, 2017

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Spate of accidents, small avalanches causes for caution during sunny and busy Easter Week
Several accidents resulting in injuries and at least two small avalanches have occurred in the past few days as Svalbard enters one of its busiest weeks for outdoor excursions, according to The Governor of Svalbard and other officials.