Tag Archives: climate change

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?

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

noice

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.

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

sundaytemps

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.

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

crabtrial

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

snowpocalypse

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.

Arctic Forests: What the Svalbardian rocks tell us about past climate and future warming

tropicsvalbard

This was written by guest contributors Thomas Frank and Stan Schouten

Barren lies the tundra right outside the northernmost city in the world, Longyearbyen. As the winter approaches, strong winds and cold temperatures make this place truly hostile. The darkness of the winter months adds to that, allowing only very specialist forms of life to survive here high above the Arctic circle.

While the fauna has managed to sustain even large species such as the polar bear, the flora is limited to flat vegetation with hard leaves creeping on the cold ground. It is impossible for any bigger plants to survive in such a cold environment with only very short growth seasons. Indeed, it is very hard to imagine that this climatic setting could have been different in the past – and yet it´s true.

Local takeaway from new major ‘climate catastrophe’ report: Svalbard now warming up to three times as fast as elsewhere

pollution

Today’s top story worldwide is a landmark U.N. report declaring global emissions need to be cut in half in 12 years to avoid catastrophic fires, food shortages, storms and other disasters. But for Svalbard the report is even more alarming, as it states the archipelago is now warming up to three times as fast as most parts of the planet – a major step up from the “twice as fast” assertion in recent years.

Hot off the press: As Longyearbyen hits 90 months of above-average temps, here’s the story of the “Hell on Earth” summer told in headlines

heatmap

Hitting 90 straight months of above average temperatures in Longyearbyen certainly makes for a hot headline. But it’s nothing compared to the heat felt by locals spending their summer holidays scattered elsewhere around the world.

SVALBARD SOVEREIGNTY: Norway’s royal family sees polar bears, picks up beach trash, visits museums and does other “typical” stuff during weeklong vacation

Royalcover

They were just another family taking a weeklong holiday in Svalbard.

They got a reprieve from the mainland heat while gazing at the fjords and wildlife during sometimes chilly boat trips. They removed ocean trash from beaches where they stopped. They learned about polar science during a stop in Ny-Ålesund and whale hunting during a museum visit in Longyearbyen. They exchanged handcrafted gifts with locals, and departed with fond memories of the sights and people they met.

And all of Norway was abuzz about the details that were kept largely secret until the very end.

Norway’s entire royal family wrapped up a private vacation in a very public way on Thursday with a visit to The University Centre in Svalbard to commemorate its 25th anniversary, as well as the adjacent Svalbard Museum where – unlike commoners – they got to play with ancient whaling gear and stroke the fur of a stuffed polar bear.

Shell game: Seabirds and scientists in Ny-Ålesund sent scrambling as polar bears increasingly raiding nests for eggs

bearsnyalesund

Polar bears losing their traditional hunting areas on the sea ice due to climate change are increasingly seeking out seabird nests for their eggs, in turn disrupting the peak season for birds who are breeding and researchers who are studying the animals.

A nest raid by a female polar bear and her cub last Sunday near Ny-Ålesund forced researchers to temporarily abandon their annual population count of common eiders and barnacle geese in Kongsfjorden. This summer’s intrusion comes after the same bear raided 80 eider birds’ nests holding about 300 eggs in three to four days.