Tag Archives: climate change

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

industrialarea

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.

Positive outlook: Svalbard’s average temperature for year may be above freezing for first time ever

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It’s not quite as mind blowing as the North Pole being 20 degrees Celsius above normal this fall, but the freakish temperatures that have caused so many problems in Svalbard this year may result an annual average temperature above freezing for the first time in the archipelago’s history, scientists said Friday.

The prediction came on the same day an international report was released stating the Arctic is perched on the edge of fundamental social and environmental change as it faces 19 tipping points ranging from loss of summer sea ice to the slow creep of shrubs and trees across the tundra.

Letters to the Future: A year after Paris is there any hope for climate change action in the new ‘post-truth’ era?

ApocalypticFuture

A year ago writers, scientists, artists and others were asked to predict the outcome of the Paris climate talks as if writing to their children’s children, six generations hence. Those letters would likely be very different today.

Here’s your ‘OMG! Trump won the election!’ guide to what it may mean for Svalbard

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Tourism and research/work involving environmental issues will suffer. People and businesses that buy things from and/or travel to the U.S. and some other countries will benefit. Russia will get even more aggressive in the Arctic, which means Norway may step up commercial, military and other activities in the far north as well. And, yes, there will probably be a slight uptick in the number of U.S. residents and students, but hardly a mad stampede.

Hot and wet: Longyearbyen sets precipitation, heat records in October; 71st straight month of above-average temps

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It’s not exactly earth-shattering news that this October was by far the warmest and wettest in Longyearbyen – that part already happened with all the landslides that occurred during the month due to the weird weather.

But some figures beyond the month and beyond Longyearbyen certainly might rattle folks.

Random weirdness for the week of July 5, 2016

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Since this week seems to be our “reality check” issue, we’re leading with something whose only local connection is it involves our unofficial “sister city” in the U.S., but is high on our rant list for WTF Are Climate Change Deniers Thinking??!! It was a chilling weekend in Juneau, Alaska, where within a day of each other: 1) record flooding occurred when a glacial ice dam collapsed and released an entire lake on the town, and 2) a 1,225-meter-high mountainside spontaneously collapsed on a glacier field a bit further north.