Tag Archives: Norwegian Polar Institute

‘UNNECESSARY RISK’ BY OFFICIALS IN POLAR BEAR’S DEATH: Lack of equipment and failure to assess animal’s health among faults by governor and science experts, report states

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Sharp criticism of the death of a polar bear tranquilized by officials in January near Longyearbyen is being expressed by The Norwegian Food Safety Authority, noting among other problems a lack of necessary equipment and failing to adequately assess the condition of the bear to determine if it could withstand the anesthesia, according to a report obtained by Svalbardposten.

AUTOPSY – BEAR DIED OF ANESTHESIA-RELATED CAUSES: Officials cite ‘unfortunate,’ but not unexpected reasons polar bear stunned near Longyearbyen died on helicopter flight north

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A two-year-old polar bear sedated and flown by helicopter away from Longyearbyen in late January because of repeated visits in/near town died during the flight of “circulatory failure/shock due to the combination of prolonged chasing, stress and drug anesthesia,” the Norwegian Polar Institute declared in a statement Thursday following an autopsy.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES FOR SVALBARD FOR SUNDAY: Government’s Svalbard aid statement in English, Russian consul general discusses Barentsburg impacts and more

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This story will be updated throughout the day.

Svalbard remains free of officially diagnosed cases of the coronavirus as the global pandemic crisis nears the end of its second surreally quiet weekend in the archipelago, but government agencies aren’t idle as they continue to release information for the archipelago’s foreign residents and discuss the impacts with media in other countries with residents here. Meanwhile, life for researchers in Ny-Ålesund is “almost normal” as they continue a variety of projects and a New Zealand resident in the Arctic guiding program is grappling with issues related to a return-home declaration from her homeland.

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

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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.

A ‘TITANIC’ ICEBREAKER? Sea ice damage forces science ship dubbed ‘Norway’s new pride’ to abandon first Arctic expedition

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There’s no good way to spin this: The Kronprins Haakon research ship, hailed as one of the world’s most advanced icebreakers, sustained enough damage from sea ice on its maiden Arctic expedition north of Svalbard to force the cancellation of the trip and put several major projects in jeopardy.

WHAT THE FOX?! Arctic fox makes 3,506-km trip from Svalbard to Canada in 76 days – more than a marathon per day

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All the talk (and reality) of the alarming shrinkage of the Arctic sheet whizzed right past a rather speedy Arctic fox who at the end of March of last year began what researchers say is a record-fast 3,506-kilometer journey from Svalbard to Greenland to Ellesmere Island in Canada in 76 days – a rate of 46 kilometers per day.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of March 12, 2019

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Mary-Ann Dahle strongly considering selling Mary-Ann’s Polarrigg because she is seriously ill with cancer, Svalbard’s walruses making a strong comeback after being nearly hunted to extinction and two intoxicated men found crawling/walking barefoot in the snow are saved by observers.

Access of evil: Polar bears in eastern Barents Sea have highest toxin levels on Earth; Russia, China, climate change blamed

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Polar bears who spend most of their time on the sea ice east of Svalbard have one-third more toxic pollutants in their blood than bears elsewhere in the Arctic, according to a 15-year study.

Among the primary reasons are high levels of industrial pollution from China and Russia, plus the fact polar bears in the east Barents Sea are being forced to exert more energy hunting and swimming – and therefore eat more – due to the rapid loss of Arctic ice caused by climate change.

Polar bear ransacks cabins at Kapp Laila; officials tranquilize it and fly it far north

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A polar bear that ransacked several cabins at Kapp Laila was tranquilized and flown by helicopter to Nordaustlandet on Friday, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

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.