Finnmark dogsled race underway

Neither snow nor sleet nor the Corona virus could stop the 40th Norwegian dogsled race known as Finnmarksløpet. It took off over the weekend from Alta, along with a week-long winter festival that involves many local municipalities. The toughest competitors run 1,200 kilometers with their dogs over a course that stretches east from Alta via […]

Russia turns up the heat on Svalbard

Norway is resisting being drawn into a power struggle that’s heating up over important areas of the chilly Arctic. Russia, China and the US are all vying for more control in the region where Norway plays a major role through the Svalbard Treaty, which Russia accused Norway on Friday of violating. It’s the latest offense […]

Avalanche victims lacked location devices

Two German tourists killed in an avalanche on Svalbard Thursday were not equipped with electronic devices that could help them be located under the mounds of snow and ice. Both were found and dug out after an hour of searching, but emergency crews later had to declare both dead at the scene. The two avalanche […]

Norway on edge over its own ‘ice edge’

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway is caught in the midst of battle over its so-called Arctic “ice edge,” which experts claim really isn’t an edge at all. It’s rather meant to define a particularly sensitive area of the Arctic under Norway’s control, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be protected from oil and gas activity despite […]

Svalbard worth more than ever

Nearly a million Norwegians have been sitting through hours of more “slow TV” this week on a daily basis, apparently mesmerized by the beauty and history of Svalbard. Sunday marks 100 years since a post-World War I treaty gave Norway sovereignty over the wild and scenic archipelago, where new underwater discoveries may make the area […]

Polar bear died under sedation

A polar bear that had been sedated and airlifted out of a populated area on Svalbard died last week while being flown by helicopter to an Arctic wilderness area on the Norwegian-run archipelago. Wildlife authorities were at a lost to explain the second polar bear death in as many months. “We don’t know why it […]

Russia complains about Svalbard

UPDATED: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has asked for “bilateral consultations” with his Norwegian counterpart, Ine Eriksen Søreide, to discuss what Russia sees as limitations on its activities on Svalbard, the Arctic archipelago that’s subject to an international treaty but administered by Norway. It’s the latest sign of tension between Russia and Norway, which also […]

Tempers rise in line with temperatures

As Oslo sweats through a “frighteningly” warm winter, its large chapter of the Conservative Party made some hotly contested decisions over the weekend to help reverse climate change. The decisions to protect Arctic waters from more oil industry activity provoked other chapters and will challenge the party’s new Oil & Energy Minister, but cheered junior […]

Deadly day for wildlife in Norway

A polar bear and four wolves, officially listed as protected species in Norway, were all shot to death on New Year’s Day. The polar bear made the mistake of refusing to wander out of the main settlement on Svalbard, while the wolves were killed by hunters as soon as they received controversial permission to all but […]

Polar bear returns to Longyearbyen

An apparently hungry polar bear has been raising concerns in Longyearbyen, the main settlement on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard that’s administered by Norway. Local authorities thought they’d chased the bear out of town, but this week the bear was back. “We’re asking people to be very careful,” Governor Kjerstin Askholt repeated in a new […]