DAWN OR DECEPTION? Longyearbyen’s first sunrise of the year after nearly four months? Well, kinda…it’s complicated

DAWN OR DECEPTION? Longyearbyen’s first sunrise of the year after nearly four months? Well, kinda…it’s complicated

The nearly four-month-long polar night is over as the sun made a dazzling return with its rays to Longyearbyen on Saturday. Except in all but the technical sense it actually didn’t and More »

SOVEREIGNTY CLAWS: Norway tightens grip on Svalbard’s snow crabs and boosts its claim to oil with Supreme Court ruling

SOVEREIGNTY CLAWS: Norway tightens grip on Svalbard’s snow crabs and boosts its claim to oil with Supreme Court ruling

Norway won a huge – and expected – victory this week as the Supreme Court declared the country has exclusive rights to manage the crab stocks in the waters north of Svalbard, rejecting a European More »

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 12, 2019

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 12, 2019

Man arrives without job or place to stay, is expelled by governor the same day A man who arrived in Svalbard without a return flight ticket, money, job or place to stay was expelled More »

DANGEROUS DRIVE: Governor issues warning about large meltwater opening on glacier in east Svalbard

DANGEROUS DRIVE: Governor issues warning about large meltwater opening on glacier in east Svalbard

With the winter/spring tour season about to hit full speed, The Governor of Svalbard is warning travelers to exercise extreme caution on Ulvebreen is east Svalbard due to a large meltwater channel across More »

ALL-CONSUMING TERROR: Could massive polar bear “invasion” of town on neighboring Russian island happen in Svalbard? Probably not unless we get wasted, expert says

ALL-CONSUMING TERROR: Could massive polar bear “invasion” of town on neighboring Russian island happen in Svalbard? Probably not unless we get wasted, expert says

Those dozens of polar bears invading and terrorizing a small Russian island town to the east with some remarkably similar qualities to Longyearbyen are going to have plenty of energy to swim More »

 

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Jan. 29, 2019

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No sea ice in Isfjorden again this year, say UNIS researchers
A team of researchers taking marine samples in Isfjorden say it appears there is likely to be no ice in the fjord this year, an increasingly common occurrence in recent years due to climate change,  despite some frigid air temperatures since December.

Are you sitting down? Polarjazz hoping first-ever seat sections, more variety and a Very Special mine concert lure listeners

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For those with a “see it before it’s gone” mentality, this may be the final year of Polarjazz as we know it.

The world’s northernmost jazz festival has been a moneymaker each of its 21 years – until last year – by featuring evenings of overlapping music and mingling, and a mix of familiar and boundary-stretching performers. But facing the drastic economic and societal changes that have disrupted so many other longtime aspects of life here the past few years, festival organizers are making some notable changes this year before a likely major overhaul – and possible downsizing – next year.

Sickening study: ‘Superbug genes’ posing bigger threat than climate change and war found in Svalbard, researchers say. (But don’t head for the doomsday bunker quite yet)

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From the viral wasps of “Fortitude” to a biohazard “Doomsday Key” in the seed vault in a best-selling novel, discovering mysterious deadly elements that threaten to wipe out humanity has long been a stalwart of Svalbard fiction. But real-life researchers say they have discovered a “superbug genes” able to resist the most powerful antibiotics of last resort for treating human diseases in the archipelago, escalating the struggle to control infections to a crisis level.

New title for yet another boss: Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde, longtime oil advocate, named fourth minister in two years in charge of Svalbard policy in large-scale government makeover

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Svalbard got its fourth boss in two years on Tuesday and, while she appears to have little policy experience directly related to the archipelago and many are expressing frustration at the constant turnover, she’s not the lightening rod of controversy some of her predecessors who lasted mere days were.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Jan. 22, 2019

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New ski slope, lift on Sukkertoppen expected to open soon after long delay
A 140-meter-long ski slope and tow lift near the center of Longyearbyen that has been seven years in the making is now under construction and expected to be completed within a few weeks.

Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 22, 2019

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Guess it’s time to confess to again being part of a massive media coverup about stuff happening here, conspiring during the past week to declare a big trial in Oslo about catching crabs in Svalbard (no, not a red-light zone expose, much as we keep getting demands for one) is in reality mostly about which countries will get to drill for oil in the surrounding waters in the future. But our scheme to make it sound like a “what if” scenario have been foiled by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency which, having revised its World Factbook during the past few days, reveals Svalbard is is already producing and exporting a rather large amount of crude oil.

Classically cold: -30C temps expected Sunday in Longyearbyen, lowest in eight years; but that’s just an ordinary chill for old-timers and won’t break our 97-month above-average streak

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Having survived the “Great Gale” a couple of weeks ago that basically blew compared to long-ago storms that were actually dangerous, Longyearbyen’s booming population of soft newcomers are now bracing for the Cruel Cold on Sunday as temperatures are forecast to drop to a eight-year low of minus 30 degrees Celsius.

Dark-course contender: Dog racing season starts early as debut Mørketidsløpet Svalbard seeks to send local to first Finnmarksløpet

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Call it The First Great Race – along with the longest, darkest and quite possibly coldest.

A half-dozen dogsled teams and a handful of straggling spectators gathered at the dog kennels at the edge of Longyearbyen under an inky polar night twilight in minus 22 Celsius cold for a decidedly unceremonious start of the first-ever Mørketidsløpet Svalbard race at about 10 a.m. Saturday. Participants are seeking to complete a 150-kilometer single-time course (as compared to “multi-stage” races featuring untimed rests) from Adventdalen to checkpoints at Freyahytta and Vindodden before returning to town.

TRAWLING FOR TROUBLE: As one wrecked ship fuels emergency worries in north Svalbard, a vessel seized here is inflaming fears of future crises and conflict on a global scale

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While a damaged trawler stuck on an icy coast in north Svalbard is worrying local and national officials about the area’s emergency capabilities, some observers may be unaware of how the difficulties of another trawler are at the same time prompting a far more wide-reaching battle about a future where many more such ships will be seeking riches in remote waters in the region.

Deadly European snowpocalypse, Russian GPS jamming, oil drilling fiascos – here’s how Svalbard’s non-disaster storm made disaster news elsewhere

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It wasn’t just locals blowing it when it came to worries about last wind’s wind storm. It somehow showed up in global stories about storms in Europe that killed at least 26 people, fears about Mother Nature’s wrath as Norway’s government strives for “peak oil” in a few years and Russia allegedly jamming crucial GPS signals during the storm.