ETERNALLY GOLD: Trym Aunevik gets royal welcome home after proving himself an all-time best at Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi

ETERNALLY GOLD: Trym Aunevik gets royal welcome home after proving himself an all-time best at Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi

Trym Aunevik, 17, didn’t return to Longyearbyen with any gold medals – or even bronze. But the same lifetime of determination earning him a trip to the Special Olympic World Games in Abu Dhabi deemed More »

SCOOTER OFF: Governor overrules city, orders Hurtigruten Svalbard to immediately remove dozens of snowmobiles from open field due to complaints

SCOOTER OFF: Governor overrules city, orders Hurtigruten Svalbard to immediately remove dozens of snowmobiles from open field due to complaints

“No parking” of snowmobiles in a large field near the edge of Longyearbyen does not mean the city can violate its own code by declaring “except for a huge tourist fleet,” The Governor More »

Snow now, snow tomorrow, snow forever: More than 100 locals gather in heavy snowstorm hoping it’s more than a memory in northernmost gathering of global ‘climate strike’

Snow now, snow tomorrow, snow forever: More than 100 locals gather in heavy snowstorm hoping it’s more than a memory in northernmost gathering of global ‘climate strike’

As luck would have it – or not, if folks wanted a more “tragic” setting – it was an idyllic snowy Arctic morning for more than 100 people marching in the world’s northernmost gathering of a global More »

10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY FLASHBACK: This was Icepeople’s homepage on July 29, 2010. It has most of our web articles between then and the first issue in March of 2009

10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY FLASHBACK: This was Icepeople’s homepage on July 29, 2010. It has most of our web articles between then and the first issue in March of 2009

Seeds inside the Doomsday Vault in peril, amazingly warm winter temperatures, warnings about behaving badly around polar bears, a wrecked ship abandoned in a remote part of Svalbard…hmmm, maybe contrary to common More »

MISSING MAIL: Postal flight cancelled Wednesday and Thursday, so some of these shelves may be empty before the weekend

MISSING MAIL: Postal flight cancelled Wednesday and Thursday, so some of these shelves may be empty before the weekend

Technical problems have resulted in the cancellation of the postal flight to Longyearbyen on Wednesday and Thursday, meaning many fresh grocery products and other items may be in short supply or unavailable, according More »

 

Snail mail: Mail flights cut to four per week, now arrive too late for same-day delivery of medicine, fresh food

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Neither snow nor rain nor all that other clichéd stuff may stay mail couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds even in Svalbard, but they are confronting what medical officials and others call worrisome delays due to bureaucrats on the mainland opting for fewer and later postal flights to Longyearbyen.

‘Not as bad as we feared’: At-the-door sales save Polarjazz from ‘panic’ scenario – but continuing next year still uncertain

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Since improvisation is the heart of jazz, it’s fitting that locals expressed their feelings about Polarjazz spontaneously with a rush of at-the-door ticket sales to stave off what organizers feared would be a disastrous year.

But the affection isn’t enough to alter the brains of the festival who say significant changes are necessary if it is to return next year.

ORDER 66: Demolition of nearly half of the 142 residences in avalanche areas scheduled this year beginning in late spring

firsthomes

People in at-risk areas fearing the loss of homes due to avalanches are now facing the certain loss of them when the snow is no longer a threat as the city plans to begin demolishing the first of 142 residences targeted in late May or early June, with a total of 66 scheduled to be torn down this year.

Taking the wild away from wildlife: Governor may close popular snowmobile areas again due to polar bear, seal disruptions

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Tip: If you’re trying to avoid disturbing polar bears they flee if they sense snowmobiles three kilometers away. If you’re not trying to avoid disturbing them you’re the reason a travel ban in areas they frequent is being considered this spring that may have profound consequences for tourism and expeditions.

Random weirdness for the week of Feb. 5, 2019

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Since nobody will ever be stupid enough to think we’re offering food for the brain, the rants this week are all about food for the gut (meaning, egad, we’re the perfect Trumpian tabloid). And in the predatory spirit of “I’ve got mine, screw yours” we’re starting off with the above neener-neener by a polar bear at a seagull who’s definitely not getting the bigger guy’s seal of approval.

Disaster diplomacy: Oil spill, radiation leak and epidemic will be simulated by researchers to test Russia-Norway relations

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BY ILAN KELMAN
Guest contributor
A two-year investigation into disasters around Svalbard kicked off Jan. 19-20 with a planning meeting at The University Centre in Svalbard. This project’s focus is whether or not dealing with disasters – before, during and after – can be used more in the Arctic to foster peaceful links between Norway and Russia. Conducting the study in Svalbard aims to make the research useful for those living in the archipelago.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 5, 2019

riskhomes

Dwellings at Vei 226 to be first avalanche-area homes of 142 demolished
Residences at the addresses Vei 226 Nos. 23, 25, 27 and 29 are scheduled to be the first four of 142 dwellings in avalanche-prone areas to be demolished beginning in late spring, according to city officials.

Svalbard warms 4°C during past 50 years, may warm a total of 10°C by 2100, states ‘devastating’ landmark climate study

cryingglacier

Svalbard is already 4°C warmer (7.3°C during winter) than 50 years ago with devastating and fatal consequences, and will be a total of 7°C to 10°C warmer by 2100 without drastic action.

Winter is two months shorter than 50 years and will be two months shorter by 2100.  Precipitation (mostly rain, obviously) will increase 45 percent to 65 percent, and the number of already extreme storms of late will increase significantly and magnitude.

That drastic new Svalbard climate change report is drastically changing people’s opinions (just kidding – it’s so totally not)

scooterswater

It’s nonsense because so-called experts have also said eggs and lard are bad for you. If people take the report seriously they should just move so there’s fewer impacts. And if the propaganda actually comes true, folks ought to embrace the warm feelings of great gardening and balmy summer holiday weather without leaving home.

Did you really think yet another climate change report warning of devastating impacts was going to change anybody’s mind?

LIVEBLOGGING POLARJAZZ 2019 (DAY 5): Svalbard’s version of ‘Footprints’ takes on a totally new blue hue in Mine 3

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4:58 p.m.: I’m wrong about a lot of things. At the moment that includes the advice that folks coming up here should get a great twilight view before heading into Mine 3 for the finale of Polarjazz. It’s pitch black out, so any tourists feeling cheated out of photos should make their displeasure loud and clear to…well, I’d rather not have it be me. Maybe yell at you dog – I’m sure it’s done something to deserve it.

Hopefully I’m not wrong about my hopes this will be the most intriguing concert of the festival, due to the rustic location and the performance of a Svalbard-specific suite composed just for Polarjazz. Titled “SPOR” (“footprints”), it featured Norwegian actress Juni Dahr reciting verse, acclaimed Norwegian musicians Tore Brunborg and Per Oddvar Johansen on a variety of instruments, and the Store Norske Men’s Choir as accompaniment.