Category Archives: Svalbard

Effort to begin wrecked Northguider trawler begins (again), travel in area banned until job completed in September

northguiderremoval

During a year where pretty much everything seems new and/or different, there’s one summer rerun/sequel in the works in Svalbard as crews are attempting again to remove the wrecked Northguider trawler from the northern part of the archipelago after similar efforts failed last year.

Nine years after July 22 attacks, local victims and families say new turmoil is why ‘utmost consequence of totalitarian and hateful thought can’t be remembered too often these days’

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Nine years after nearly being killed – but losing an eye and suffering other long-term injuries – in Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack at Oslo and Utøya, Viljar Hanssen didn’t have much to say – at least about that fateful July 22 date.

LOADED 22: Record high temperature predicted Saturday for Longyearbyen. But don’t kill yourself – things will be ‘normal’ again the next morning

recordhigh

It’s going to be 10 degrees Celsius on Friday morning and 10 degrees again on Sunday morning, so how radically different could things possible be in the interim?

About as radical as it can get, it turns out, as the Norwegian Meteorological Institute is predicting Longyearbyen will set a new all-time record high temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, exceeding the current record of 21.3 degrees set in 1979.

NO POLAR BEARS BY 2100? Svalbard faces most drastic threat to entire population, even if climate change impacts are reduced, in new global study

polarbeardecline

Svalbard’s polar bears are among the least threatened under current global climate conditions, but are facing the most drastic best-to-worst scenario and being among those most likely to go extinct during the next several decades due to climate change, according to a study published Monday.

Ultimate open-source doomsday safeguard? Or fodder for the post-apocalyptic ‘graffitists of Pompeii?’ Github makes long-delayed 21TB deposit in Svalbard’s Arctic World Archive

github archive

A set of film strips almost exactly 200 kilometers long is how we’ll share amazing technical wonders such as Bitcoin and Netflix with civilizations 1,000 years from now, at least in a scenario envisioned by GitHub after depositing 21 terabytes of “preserved” open-source software in Svalbard’s Arctic World Archive.

SVALBARD REOPENS TO EU/EEA COUNTRIES – WITH LIMITS: Travel to/from Norway w/out quarantine OK as of July 15; some countries still banned; other exemptions/restrictions apply

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Norway is reopening its borders to many residents of EU/EEA countries on July 15, but keeping them closed to several countries with high rates of COVID-19 infections and most residents of other countries worldwide, the government announced Friday.

However, officials in Svalbard are continuing to emphasize prospective visitors should exercise extreme caution in whether to visit this summer – and suggesting those in high-risk groups avoid doing so this year – even though the archipelago continues to suffer devastating economic impacts as summer tourism is only expected to be about 20 percent of that in recent years.

‘Gradually and more controlled than on the mainland’: Svalbard reopens to Schengen/EEA residents on July 15, limits continue on some aspects such as charter flights and cruise ship size

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A week after announcing mainland Norway will reopen for residents from Schengen Area and EEA countries on July 15, the government extended the order to include Svalbard – but with some limitations due to the archipelago’s ongoing relative lack of medical facilities and remote access for emergency transport.

HIGH NEGLIGENCE: Owner and captain of Northguider fined total of 330,000 kr. for wrecking trawler in north Svalbard, necessitating rescue of crew and multiyear removal effort

northguiderfines

The owner of the wrecked Northguider shrimp trawler that’s been stranded in north Svalbard since December of 2018 has been fined 300,000 kroner and the ship’s captain 35,000 kroner for safety and navigation violations, The Governor of Svalbard announced Monday.

UNLUCKY SEVEN: A new study takes Longyearbyen’s ‘warming faster than anywhere’ claim to yet another level – twice the Arctic average and seven times the Earth’s

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Chart showing number of days under -10C in Longyearbyen since 1910 by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

It’s starting to resemble a bidding war.

 

For a while Longyearbyen was warming twice as fast as Earth, a couple years ago it was three times, late last year all of Svalbard earned a six times claim, and now Longyearbyen has reclaimed the high spot with a new study relying in part on lost documents literally found deep underground that show warming is happening seven times faster.

Furthermore, now that “twice as fast” designation now applies to Longyearbyen compared to the rest of the Arctic, according to the study.

RADIOACTIVE SVALBARD: ‘Very low levels,’ possibly from Russian reactor, detected this month at stations near Longyearbyen and in Finnmark

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It’s not Chernobyl, Three Mile Island or probably even a trip to the dentist, but there’s something a bit strange in the air.

A small amount of radioactivity was detected earlier this month at monitoring stations near Longyearbyen and Kirkenes, according to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. The amount is not considered hazardous and the organization stated the source is still being determined.