Category Archives: Svalbard

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 22, 2018


Polar bear spotted near Longyearbyen wanders off, but officials keeping watch
A polar bear spotted near Longyearbyen late Tuesday night wandered away from town a few hours later, but officials are continuing to monitor the area in case the animal returns, police said Wednesday.

Cultural champions: Musician/teacher Liv Mari Schei and longtime student Amalie Henriksen share latest of many harmonic moments w/ Longyearbyen’s top citizen awards


They’ve spent years together bringing their musical mastery to the community, first as teacher/student and now with the student also being a teacher. Both were shocked at winning Longyearbyen’s top citizen/youth awards within minutes of each other. And locals might do well to enjoy the talents of both during the next year since they may depart after that time.

Sound safety: Helicopter begins placing supports for avalanche barriers on mountainside above at-risk homes in Lia


To a casual observer the helicopter activity a short distance above the rows of quaint homes might have seemed like a noisy neighborhood nuisance, but the loads it was lifting came from the exact spot where a massive avalanche swept away 11 of those homes and killed two people – and the goal is to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.

Hopen to get lucky: Polar bear couple ‘delight’ voyeuristic meteorological station staff as well as each other


“This was not ordinary bunny rabbit sex. Here they kept going for a good hour, to the delight of the Hopen residents’ Peeping Tom mentality.”

Not much more needs to be said. But of course we will because, well, sex.

BACK IN BLACK? Store Norske’s new leader says 100M tons of coal can be extracted while mines are dismantled. The government doesn’t sound enthusiastic


Norway’s government has adamantly and repeatedly insisted Store Norske cannot reopen its two main mines, but the company isn’t giving up the fight as it is proposing to extract 100 million tons of coal from Svea during the dismantling process scheduled to take place for the next few years.

Noah’s bark: Dogs evacauted from flooded kennels as massive melt caused by high temperatures clogs drain pipe


The weather went to the dogs, making the weekend a real bitch for the canines and their owners as the kennels at the edge of Longyearbyen were flooded for several hours Saturday due to heavy snowmelt and a clogged drain pipe.

MISSING NEAR BJØRNØYA: Man who apparently fell overboard Coast Guard ship presumed dead after massive overnight search


A crew member who apparently fell off the Norwegian Coast Guard ship Nordkapp sometime Saturday morning in the vicinity of Bjørnøya is presumed dead after an extensive search by sea and air, emergency officials announced at midday Sunday.

Random bits of weirdness for the week of May 1, 2018


Maybe this is why climate change is happing so fast in Svalbard…the archipelago is actually at what appears to be the equator, according to a group of experts meeting this week.

Presidential meltdown: Svalbard eyed by group planning to carve ‘Mount Trumpmore’ on glacier so they can watch it melt


While Donald Trump is declaring that “someday” he deserves to be added to Mount Rushmore, an environmental group moved by his musings such as climate change being a Chinese hoax is planning an even cooler carving: his own Mount Trumpmore on an Arctic glacier now rather than later.

Wasteful spending: Ocean and coastal cleanup projects biggest recipients of 15.6M in environmental protection grants


It’s no longer a dirty secret: Svalbard’s shores are far from a pristine Arctic paradise and it’s going to take serious money and effort to combat the ongoing and worsening accumulation of trash on them.

That reality was recognized in the latest round of semi-annual grants from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund, with nearly a third of the 15.6 million kroner for 40 projects awarded to ocean and coastal cleanup efforts.