Climate change threatens Svalbard

After decades of warnings, Norway’s Arctic settlements on Svalbard are suddenly facing more dramatic effects of climate change. Its current, highly visible consequences on Svalbard are emerging just as climate and environmental advocates met once again last week, for a Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco that also attracted Norwegian officials caught between efforts […]

Polar bears found ‘playing’ with plastic

When British wildlife photographer Kevin Morgans finally spotted some polar bears on Svalbard, and started taking pictures, it was with mixed feelings. His photos showed a mother and her two cubs, playing and chewing on what turned out to be plastic garbage. Morgans told Oslo newspaper Aftenposten that the three bears were resting on a […]

Polar bears return to an Arctic island

A man from Stavanger who’s working at a remote meteorology station on an island east of Svalbard encountered no less than 14 polar bears in the course of just one day. Experts think the sightings may indicate better ice conditions in the area. Bjørn Naustevik Myklebust, age 30, told local newspaper Svalbardposten that his overnight […]

Norway hosts ‘Seed Vault Summit’

It’s been 10 years since Norway opened the global seed vault on Svalbard. Agriculture Minister Jon Georg Dale has invited seed depositors and partners from around the world to a “Seed Vault Summit” on Svalbard this weekend, to celebrate the anniversary. Dale, along with Crop Trust and NordGen, will mark the occasion with panel discussions, […]

Svalbard residents evacuated again

Extreme weather bearing down on Svalbard this week forced the evacuations Tuesday of around 180 residents on the Arctic island of Spitsbergen. Strong winds and even rain were threatening to set off more avalanches on the steep slope behind their homes. The evacuation order came on the second anniversary of an avalanche in the same […]

Repairs ordered for seed vault entrance

Climate change has been creating challenges for the area leading into the world’s so-called “doomsday vault” for seed storage on Svalbard. Now the Norwegian agency in charge of state property and maintenance plans to renovate the vault’s entrance, after warmer temperatures have weakened the permafrost around it. State and local officials on Svalbard, the Arctic […]

End of an era on Norway’s Svalbard

The Arctic territory of Svalbard has long been administered by Norway, with coal mining as it major source of income. Now Norway’s government has formally decided against bailing out the Svalbard coal mining operations it owns once again, marking the end of one era and, hope most involved, the beginning of another that will continue […]

Helicopter wreckage set to be retrieved

A remote-controlled submarine sent to Svalbard by the Norwegian military has located the wreckage of a Russian helicopter that crashed into the sea off Barentsburg in the Arctic island group last week. All eight on board the helicopter are presumed dead. Around 40 Russian search and rescue experts including 17 divers arrived in Barentsburg on […]

Search widened for missing helicopter

UPDATED: The search continued on Friday for a Russian MI-8 helicopter with eight people on board that crashed into the sea just off Svalbard’s Russian mining settlement of Barentsburg late Thursday afternoon. Norwegian authorities mounted a major search and rescue operation, but it’s believed the helicopter sank to the seafloor. The search was expanded Friday […]

Norway strikes new climate pact, with NASA

Last week Norway signed a climate pact with the state of California, to help it electrify driving. Now Norway has signed a new deal with the US’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to strengthen monitoring of climate change in the Arctic. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Tuesday that NASA and Norwegian mapping agency Kartverket will […]