Tag Archives: climate change

This week in Doomsday nonsense: ‘The Uninhabitable Earth,’ ‘Arks of the Apocalypse,’ DNA evidence for the end of the world

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To proclaim we’re all dead men walking is hardly alarmist: that’s been the case for everyone on Earth except for a few cases like Jesus or Lord Voldemort before his Horcruxes were vanquished. But calling a bit of water leakage into Svalbard Global Seed Vault a key sign of a mass extinction event now underway comparable to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs might be a doomsday cry too far.

Seedy sensationalism: ‘Doomsday seed vault in the Arctic has FLOODED,’ headlines scream. Not so much – and it’s old news

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“Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts.” The headline quickly made it the top-read story at The Guardian’s website Saturday and spread like wildfire to other sites.

Naturally climate change skeptics everywhere screamed “fake news!” And for once they were right – if not quite in the way they meant.

Nyet for NATO Parliamentary Assembly? Seminar participants, Russians question Norway’s Svalbard policies

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Heat is much on the minds of everyone concerned, whether it’s people in the room questioning Norway’s hypocrisy about local coal mining or others outside it claiming  Norway is provoking an international conflict.

Random weirdness for the week of April 11, 2017

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There’s always a certain irony about how our Arctic islands get so many people inflamed, but perhaps that’s just the climate here these days, so to speak, as our town at 78 degrees north just had its 78th straight month of above-average temperatures.

Deadliest force: Reseachers hope to improve avalanche-risk awareness with network of snowfall measuring devices

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You might think polar bears – and the potential for attack – are the biggest danger the Norwegian island archipelago of Svalbard. But avalanches kill far more people on Svalbard than polar bears ever have.

Extreme makeover: New 10-year land-use plan calls for facelift of industrial area, recreational upgrades, and avalanche and climate change safeguards

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With Mother Nature dramatically changing the landscape in Longyearbyen, city leaders have approved a dramatic makeover of their own to ensure the community is on solid ground.

Slush funk: Svalbard turns into watery winter wasteland with Norway’s highest temperatures

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Temperatures in Svalbard aren’t that far above average – for August.

But being on the opposite side of the calendar year means the high temperatures at various places in the archipelago are – to repeat an oft-used phrase as of late – freakishly warm. The average historical temperature for February at Longyearbyen Airport is minus 16 degrees Celsius, but highs from Sunday through Tuesday were 5.6, 5.9 and 5.4 degrees, respectively, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

Grave new world: Global leaders, scientists face era of darkness in Arctic as Trump leads war on enviornment, facts

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Drilling for oil in our backyard is good for the environment. Climate change is rich with blessings. Building up rival militaries is essential as we enter a new era of cooperation.

Those aren’t “alternative facts,” as such. Just the alternative way of thinking from politicians, scientists, business leaders and others pondering the future of Svalbard and other Arctic areas during the days immediately surrounding the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump. While his name wasn’t necessarily brought up often during conferences and other events – indeed, the administration’s presence at them was minimal – the aura of uncertainty from the election and other tumultuous events during the past year lingered heavily.

Frighteningly ordinary: Record high temperatures in 2016 nothing new for Longyearbyen or Earth

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At this point it’s not really news to set a record-high temperature for a month or year since it’s an ongoing thing in Longyearbyen and much of the rest of the world. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less alarming for experts analyzing the long-term trends after the town’s warmest and wettest year in recorded history.

Climate change skeptic takes over ministry that governs Svalbard – and he didn’t realize it’s part of the job

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Only a few weeks after Norway’s Conservative-led government teetered on the brink of collapse, it has taken a turn to the right with appointments that include putting a climate change skeptic in charge of the ministry that governs Svalbard – a responsibility he admits he was unaware of when he started the job Tuesday.