Category Archives: Svalbard

Gjelder Hele Svalbard: Vacation at the top of the world

This polar bear sets the tone for all visitors, greeting them at the airport’s baggage claim.

Darin Lietz Seattle, Wash. “Where in the world is Svalbard?” Unless I’m addressing a native Scandinavian, that’s the reaction I tend to get upon mentioning this remote Arctic archipelago. After explaining where it is, and the fact that I’ve actually visited the place, the next invariable question is, “Why would you want to go there?” That’s a reasonable ...

Strange purple powder frightens Svalbard dwellers

Mysterious purple powder scares in Svalbard The waste plant in Longyearbyen is closed, and a mysterious substance has been sent in for analysis The waste plant in Longyearbyen is closed, and a mysterious substance has been sent in for analysis "The powder is very volatile, it has gone everywhere and turns purple when sprayed with water," writes the ...

Norwegian Dr. Jørn Hurum Honored by National Geographic in Washington, D.C.

Jørn Hurum, Paleontologist

Norwegian paleontologist Dr. Jørn Hurum is awarded the National Geographic "Emerging Explorers Award" in Washington D.C. due to his excavations on Svalbard. “We search for fossils in the high Arctic, moving hundreds of tons of rock by hand in wet, freezing conditions. It’s fantastic.” Dr. Hurum explained to National Geographic. Dr. Hurum is ...

Hurum wins Emerging Explorers prize from National Geographic

jorn Hurum

Norwegian palaeontologist Jørn Hurum has been awarded the National Geographic Society's Emerging Explorers prize for his important finds of prehistoric giant sea reptiles on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. Hurum is chief palaeontologist at the University of Oslo's Natural History Museum and is the first Norwegian to receive this prize. The $10,000 prize ...

On the Edge: Up in the High North

Siv Jensen. Photo: Magnus Fröderberg/norden.org

A few weeks ago, I once again had the privilege of visiting Svalbard. Located halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, the archipelago of Svalbard features the most northerly town in the world with more than 1,000 inhabitants. It’s named Longyearbyen and located on the western coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the ...

NOK 10 million to opening process in the Jan Mayen area

The Norwegian Government proposes ten million kroner for environmental studies in connection with the ongoing process to open the sea areas surrounding the island of Jan Mayen for petroleum activities. "We have initiated an opening process in the sea areas surrounding Jan Mayen. This appropriation is important to move the process further ...

Improved results in 2009

Audited figures for 2009 show a considerable strengthening of the municipalities’ finances compared to 2008. Net operating surplus for the municipalities is estimated at 2.7 percent in 2009. The municipalities’ gross operating surplus in 2009 was about NOK 3.3 billion. The figures show that the municipalities’ gross operating revenue was ...

Fires spread environmental toxins over the Arctic

Transported air mass (in nanoseconds per kg) from straw and stubble burning regions in Russia (indicated by black dots) to Svalbard. (Illustration: NILU)

Forest fires and straw and stubble burning in North America and Eastern Europe are leading to record-high concentrations of the environmental toxin PCB over Svalbard. As a result of climate change, airborne pollution is thus becoming an increasing problem in the Arctic. For the last decades, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been ...

Slight fall in Svalbard population

Svalbard has a high level of in- and out-migration, markedly influencing the size of the population. On Jan. 1 2010, 2,481 were registered at Svalbard, 84 fewer than one year earlier. A total of 2,052 of these lived in the Norwegian settlements Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund. During 2009, the number of inhabitants in the Norwegian settlements decreased ...