Strong earthquake shakes Arctic island

Norway’s Arctic island Jan Mayen was shaken by an unusually strong earthquake during the night that measured 6.8 on the Richter scale. There were no reports of injuries, but state employees stationed there had a rude awakening. “It was a bit of a shock,” Silje Wennesland told news bureau NTB. She’s among the 14 military […]

New oil discovery ‘important’

Norway’s state oil company Equinor called the discovery of more oil in the Barents Sea “important,” when announcing this week that a well drilled near the Johan Castberg field can yield 25 million barrels. Nick Ashton, in charge of Equinor’s offshore exploration on the Norwegian and British continental shelfs, said oil from the new well […]

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 […]

Missing missile fires up concerns

Norwegian fishing industry and environmental officials were expressing concern Wednesday over reports that a nuclear-powered Russian cruise missile has gone missing in the Barents Sea. The area is both environmentally sensitive and a rich fishing grounds, raising fears of nuclear contamination. Nils Bøhmer of the environmental organization Bellona is among those worried by a CNBC […]

‘Maud’ back home after 101 years

The remains of the polar ship “Maud” are back home on the Oslo Fjord again, a century after Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen sailed away on what would be an unsuccessful expedition to the North Pole. It’s been a long voyage, with plenty of drama along the way. The vessel was built especially for operations […]

‘Maud’ returns to Norway

The remains of a ship that polar explorer Roald Amundsen sailed on another expedition through the Northwest Passage have arrived back in Norway. The polar ship Maud had been abandoned on a beach in northern Canada, with half of it lying under water for the past 90 years. A group of local boosters in Vollen […]

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 […]

Melting ice makes drilling ‘immoral’

A Norwegian researcher’s findings that the Barents Sea may be ice-free by 2040 has unleashed new heated opposition to Norway’s granting of licenses for even more oil and gas exploration. Environmentalists claim the drilling will be “immoral” also after the ice is gone. Ocean researcher Sigrid Lind has concluded in her new doctoral thesis that […]

Supreme court won’t hear appeal against Arctic oil drilling

Norway’s highest court (Høyesterett) has refused to hear a direct appeal filed by environmental organizations that lost their attempt to halt oil exploration in the Barents Sea. The organizations aren’t giving up, though, and will now file their complaint according to normal procedure at the appeals court level. Greenpeace, Natur og Ungdom (Nature and Youth) […]

Avalanche danger isolates Arctic communities

Norway’s North Cape and the fishing village of Berlevåg were among communities left isolated this week by either avalanches or the danger of them. In Berlevåg, shelves were bare at the local grocery store when it wasn’t able to receive fresh supplies heading into the long Easter holiday weekend. The main E69 highway up to […]