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Photo courtesy of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute
Various headlines about things such as Svalbard warming five to seven times as fast as the rest of the planet were prominent in worldwide media throughout June, so it’s fitting the average temperature for the month at Svalbard Airport was a record-high 6°C, 2.4°C above the average during the years 1991-2020.
Screenshot of snow “glass” on Operafjellet on May 28 from Svalbardposten website
If the record-breaking pace of snow melt in Svalbard has people steamed, right now it seems at least one of them will be able to inebriate their sorrows with some (hopefully well-chilled) champaign in record time as well.
Photo by Arild Olsen / Longyearbyen Lokalstyre
A day of traditional Syttende Mai festivities celebrating Norway’s independence and honoring Svalbard’s top citizens also was a day this year where national-level conflicts with Russia disrupted the camaraderie between citizens of two countries that traditionally exists regardless of troubles outside the archipelago.
Photo of Crown Prince Haakon, center, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit at Arctic Husky Travellers kennels by Sara Svanemyr, The Royal Court
It’s about as royal a three-day trip as any random tourist seeking a “real life” experience in Longyearbyen might hope for: meals and music with students, roaming coal mines with the workers, dogsledding, and literally topping off the tour at a top-secret mountaintop satellite facility.
Of course, this red-carpet rollout isn’t just for anyone. The tourists in this case were every much an attraction to locals as vice-versa as Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit participated in a packed schedule of gatherings focusing on how residents are faring during turbulent times and raise awareness about climate change.
Photo of catamaran being pulled by Polarstern icebreaker during plastic pollution survey courtesy of Alfred Wegener Institute
Sparsely populated areas of the Arctic shows a similar level of pollution as dense towns and cities around the globe, according to a new study published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment. This includes virtually all habitats, from beaches through layers of the water column to the seabed, and from pollutants including from fabrics, personal care products, packaging and other everyday materials.
Map by the Norwegian Polar Institute
A Trondheim woman visiting Svalbard was killed Sunday afternoon in a snowmobile accident during a group trip on Longyearbreen, according to officials.