Tag Archives: climate change

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.

AN INFECTIOUS COMMUNITY – FOR BETTER OR WORSE? Line Nagell Ylvisåker seeks answers in new book to dilemma of climate change impacts on her life as a journalist and mother

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For those now sharing woeful tales about self-isolation, Eli Anne Ersdal puts yours to shame. She was lying face down under a crushing blanket of debris-ridden snow, barely able to move and with only a small pocket of air around her head, believing the four family members she was eating breakfast with seconds ago were dead.

This how Line Nagell Ylvisåker, Svalbard’s senior working journalist, chooses to open her new book about a place she finds infectious both in its allure for raising a family and its potential peril due to events such as the avalanche that buried Ersdal that are indicative of a community under multiple rapidly-growing threats due to climate change.

HORNSUND’S TEMPS RISING ‘MORE THAN SIX TIMES’ FASTER THAN GLOBAL AVERAGE: Study at Polish station finds rapid loss of ice on land and sea a major factor during past 40 years

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Yet another leap in the “Svalbard is warming faster than elsewhere” chart is now pinpointed as the Polish Polar Station at Hornsund is reporting a study of the mean average temperature during the past four decades at the research station has risen more than six times as fast as Earth’s average.

MOSAiC FORCED OUT OF ‘ISOLATION’ FOR SUPPLIES, NEW STAFF: Year-long research project on ice far north of Svalbard on hold for three weeks as coronavirus cuts off support flights

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A year-long project to study climate change on a research ship far north of Svalbard is taking a forced three-week break to sail south to the archipelago to meet with with two other vessels carrying fresh supplies and personnel due to the coronavirus pandemic cutting off support flights, officials announced Friday.

LEAPING TO 110 MONTHS: Extra-cold end to extra-long Feb. can’t break Longyearbyen’s above-average temperature streak

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There were more cold days than warm during this leap-year February but, sort of like trying to claim an election win based on “popular votes,” ultimately all that matters is the overall tally that resulted in Longyearbyen extending its streak of above-average temperatures to 110 months.

But probably more frustrating to most who embrace winter in Svalbard was a freakish low level of precipitation, continuing a well-below-average trend since October that has resulted in a major lack of snow that’s making many areas popular with snowmobilers and dogsledders dangerous or inaccessible.

HOUSING HAVES VS. HAVE-NOTS: Controversy about crisis-level shortage in Longyearbyen, proposal for government to take over as landlords raised during prime minister’s visit

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Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said climate change “has had quite a large cost for Svalbard” during her visit to the archipelago this week. But some locals saying they’re paying the price in more ways than one – notably a crisis-level housing shortage that has many panicking about the immediate problem of merely having shelter during the coldest months of the year– due to hypocritical policies her government is pursing that are making the situation worse.

12 YEARS, 1 MILLION SEED SAMPLES: Svalbard Global Seed Vault celebrates birthday w/ largest-ever group of depositors and world leaders in first major event after costly upgrades

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The Svalbard Global Seed Vault celebrated a huge repair job with a huge deposit of seeds on its 12th birthday Tuesday, as representatives from 36 genebanks on all seven continents and world leaders gathered at the so-called “ultimate failsafe” facility for a ceremony that resulting in the total collection surpassing one million seed samples.

As with many things involving the vault, it was a bipolar event as drastic hopes and concerns were raised about growing threats to the world’s food supplies, the vault’s role in potentially helping address them, the paradox of storing crops threatened by climate change in the place where change is happening faster than anywhere on Earth, and newly raised controversies about Norway’s sovereignty over Svalbard at time when the archipelago is considered one of the country’s top national security risks.

‘YOUR PLANE TRAVEL DESTROYS POLAR BEAR HABITAT’: Flying to/from Svalbard melts about 3 sq. m. of ice, study suggests

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Folks who criticize as hypocritical all those scientists and tourists flying to Svalbard to see the pristine environment and effects of climate change have a new scientific number of their own to cite – each round-trip flight emits enough CO2 to melt about three square meters of the sea ice that is vital for polar bears and other Arctic wildlife.

ASK THEM ANYTHING: FAQs for Svalbard science pros at forum include oldest rock, next ice age, microplastics, nuclear waste storage, zombie apocalypse

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When it comes to popular Svalbard topics like climate change and zombies, there’s unquestionably a lot of non-expert nonsense out there.

60% OF SVALBARD COVERED BY GLACIERS? NOT ANY MORE: It’s 55% due to climate change since 2003. And ice and snow levels are dropping 25 and 43 percent per decade, respectively

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Time for another nugget of “common knowledge” about Svalbard to be liquidated, so to speak:  60 percent of the archipelago isn’t covered by ice, it’s about 55 percent.

While the updated figure might not seem massive to some casual observers, the reduction has occurred in less than 20 years due to climate change, according to an update of a major collaborative research publication released this week.