Tag Archives: climate change

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

askmain

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

climatereport2020

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.

STARTING NEW YEAR/DECADE OF ABNORMALITY: Streak of above-average temps in Longyearbyen extends to 109 months as December 2.6C warmer than normal

dec19temps

Hey, at least this year we didn’t get rain during the Christmas holidays.

Longyearbyen’s streak of above-average temperatures is now more than nine years long at 109 months entering the 2020s as December’s average temperature of -10.8 degrees Celsius was 2.6 degrees warmer than the average of minus 13.4 degrees, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Of course, that “normal” average is based on the years 1960-1990, which plenty of experts say skews the “new normal” during the past few decades due to climate change.

IT’S JUST MORE NUMBERS ¯\_(ツ)_/¯: Svalbard warming six times faster than elsewhere, Greenland ice melting seven times faster than ’90s, says newest soon-to-be-shrugged-off studies

darkice

Twice as fast? Three times? Nope – now Svalbard is warming six times faster than the average elsewhere on Earth during the past six decades, according to figures unveiled only days after Longyearbyen surpassed nine consecutive years of above-average monthly temperatures.

CHILLINGLY CLOSE: Ship struggles to reach polar explorers Børge Ousland and Mike Horn from ice north of Svalbard as they run out of food after three-month ski trip over North Pole

nearrescue

Down to their last day of food and suffering frostbite in temperatures of minus 40 degrees Celsius after spending three months skiing the Arctic ice over the North Pole, polar explorers Mike Horn and Børge Ousland found themselves separated by only a few kilometers from peers trying to reach them –but thwarted by an opening in the ice between them.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Dec. 3, 2019

newstore

An expansion to nearly double the size of Svalbardbutikken beginning soon, a large amount of sea ice around Svalbard is definitely not a sign climate change impacts are lessening, and the lack of a director at Visit Svalbard for the past eight months is taking a toll on employees and planned projects.

FRIGHTENINGLY CLOSE: Longyearbyen continues 106-month streak w/ above average temps, but only by 0.9C in Oct.

octtemps

The end of October sent plenty of chills through those in Longyearbyen, but it wasn’t quite enough to break a streak of above-average temperatures that’s now 106 months long. The difference of 0.9 degrees Celsius was, however, the closest to normal the town has been in more than two years and among the narrowest margins since the streak began.

SEVEN DEGREES OF SEPARATION: Longyearbyen’s climate change may be the fastest in the world, but the wide-ranging impacts tell the real tale (part one of a seven-part series)

snowmobilepuddle

It’s a catchy, but useless headline: “‘Doomsday vault’ town warming faster than any other on Earth.” It’s only six months old, yet now is just another cliché such as “the town where it’s illegal to die” (wrong) and “more polar bears than people” (also wrong).

reportersinthefieldpic

Part one of a seven-part series about the drastic effects of climate change on virtually all aspects of life in Longyearbyen and prospects for the future.

It says nothing about the sizable percentage of residents thrown out of their homes, collapse of the traditional workforce, mass arrival of foreigners and class warfare, and hostile military forces practicing a full-scale invasion just across the border. It’s used as a soundbite by policymakers to explain hardships, justify controversies and pursue policies that may or may not substantially address the issue.

So while such drastic blurbs may captivate the world’s attention (or not), they’re largely mundane for locals in the world’s northernmost town of Longyearbyen. They have far more important, but less sensational, things to worry about than a magazine cover declaring in fist-size letters they’re living in an apocalyptic preview of “The Uninhabitible Earth.”

IS ‘REOPENED’ SEED VAULT NOW READY FOR DOOMSDAY? Ribbon-cutting, new deposits celebrate completion of costly repairs after climate change exposes flaws in original design

vaultreopens

OK, now it’s ready for Armageddon, even if there’s a heavy rainstorm.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on Monday was both a celebration and a remarkable statement of irony, since the world-renowned facility officially opened more than 11 years ago. But the so-called ultimate safeguard for the planet’s crops didn’t even make it through its first decade before major design flaws were exposed by climate change impacts such as thawing permafrost and unseasonably heavy rain, resulting in lengthy repairs costing nearly triple the vault’s original construction price.

‘WE KNOW MORE THAN OUR PARENTS’: Youths at world’s northernmost climate strike say they’re living what older people have failed to learn

strikestart

Lina Engås Vikaune, 11, is growing up in consistently warmer temperatures where winters keep arriving later, but by participating in the northernmost of about 3,000 worldwide climate strikes Friday is obviously a brainwashed delinquent being abused by government school propagandists. Or something like that, in the opinion of many she was hoping to reach with a handmade polar bear protest sign and a few shouted chants.