Tag Archives: Ny-Ålesund

NORWAY’S 2020 BUDGET UNVEILED: Svalbard gets more for avalanches and research, less for ‘normal’ government stuff

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It might be said Norway’s government is now giving Svalbard lots of change come budget time every year, as next year’s proposed spending plan continues to increase funding for emergency-related expenses such as avalanche protection and large-scale shifts in society such as an emphasis on scientific research.

But the government is being more frugal with everyday expenses, reducing slightly the allocation to Longyearbyen’s municipal government and rejecting upgrade requests such as an energy conservation plan for the town’s mostly coal-fueled power supply.

JUST THE MIDDLE OF A REALLY LONG DAY? Svalbard’s four-month-long midnight sun puts chill on duration of solstice, but Ny-Ålesund residents celebrate with plenty of fire and ice

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In the world’s northernmost permanently occupied settlement the longest day of the year is…well, exactly as long as the 64 previous days and the 69 days ahead. Which is all the local wild life need to celebrate in proper “midsummer” fashion by breaking out the big costumes and really big ice cubes.

Intruding with impunity: Polar bear has broken into at least 10 cabins near Ny-Ålesund since July; governor says that’s no reason to relocate it

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A single polar bear is suspected of breaking into at least ten cabins in the Ny-Ålesund area since July, but The Governor of Svalbard is stating it is unacceptable to relocate the animal.

RABIES ALERT: Reindeer observed near Ny-Ålesund in mid-July tests positive for disease; warning issued about infection risk

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A sick reindeer that was killed along with her calf near Ny-Ålesund earlier this month has tested positive for rabies, raising concerns about the further spread of the disease and the upcoming reindeer hunting season, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

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

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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.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of March 7, 2017

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Alternative ‘doomsday vault’ to store data on film in Mine 3
Sometime in the future, when the amount of “fake news” has become so large and complex the truth is unclear, one may be able to enter a new type of “doomsday vault’ in Mine 3 and check the facts.”

Under development: Government’s proposed budget for Svalbard in 2017 boosts science and airport security, omits avalanche projects – for now

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New scientific research facilities and a few new officers to boost airport security are in. Avalanche-related construction projects are out – for now, although that might change during the next few weeks.

‘White’ out: Government’s new blueprint for Svalbard does little to alter natural transition into post-mining society

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There’s no magical “big” solution, no major new goals not already stated and – aside from 10 million kroner for infrastructure related to the Dec. 19 avalanche – no new hardcore funding commitments.

The long-awaited revision of the “Svalbard Message” – a “white paper” outlining the Norwegian’s policy goals for the archipelago – largely refers to commitments already made to keep coal mining on life support for the next few years while encouraging an expansion of both the size and diversity of private industries, plus an expansion of education and research activities.

Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 19, 2016

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It’s not as cool as the animated Lego horror show of an oil spill Greenpeace gave us back in 2014, but there’s still something entertaining about figuring out why that guy in the bow of a ship sinking in oil-drenched Arctic waters is having such a great day.

Disintigrating dreams: Two cabins at Bjørndalen in danger after erosion during a single storm; road also at risk

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Plenty of homes in Longyearbyen are suffering everything from cracking to the threat of being wiped out by landslides due to climate- and weather-related events. But three cabins on the outskirts of town and the road leading to them may be an indicator of how quickly destruction can occur in extreme conditions.