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 […]

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 […]

Kirkenes welcomes new train line from Finland

“This is a big day,” the mayor in Norway’s northern city of Kirkenes, Rune Rafaelsen, proclaimed after transport authorities in Finland said they want to move forward with plans for cargo train service between Rovaniemi and Kirkenes. They view Kirkenes as the best potential port for ongoing shipping routes through the Northeast Passage between Europe […]