"Fram" Arctic Climate Research Laboratory
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December 21, Norwegian scientists: No armed fight for resources foreseen in the Arctic
A new study from the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen Institute concludes that a military dispute over natural resources in the Arctic is not very likely, and that dispassionate diplomacy is a more likely and rational way of dispute resolution than military confrontation.
December 18, Red listed species in Svalbard
A little less than 2% of all red listed species in Norway are in Svalbard. At the moment only mammals, birds, fresh water fish and vascular plants are assessed in Svalbard. Several species are considered endangered. As many as 70 species from Svalbard are on the Red List for Norway right now. The largest group are vascular plants with 51 species out of which 35 are considered endangered. Among the Svalbard mammals polar bear, walrus and harbour seal are listed too.
December 11, Understanding Ocean Climate
High-resolution computer simulations performed by scientists at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS) are helping to understand the inflow of North Atlantic water to the Arctic Ocean and how this influences ocean climate.
December 10, In Deep Water: Will Essential Ocean Currents Be Altered by Climate Change?
Every second, a vast quantity of cold, dense seawater equal to six times the combined flow of every land river on Earth streams over an ocean-floor ridge that stretches between Greenland and Scotland. This deep southbound current, flowing from the Norwegian, Iceland and Greenland seas into the North Atlantic, is the lower limb of the Gulf Stream and its northerly extension, a great conveyor belt of ocean heat and salt that transports warm tropical water north from the equator. Most climate change models predict global warming will slow these flows, in part by altering a key component of the Atlantic's circulation, called deep-water formation...
December 10, New methods in use and new research in Hornsund
The field studies were part of the research programmes of the University of Silesia, conducted in co-operation with the Institute of Geophysics PAS.
The studies were carried out in the following locations:
* on the scree slope of the Fugleberget foothill
* on the 6m high marine terrace, close to the shore
* on the Hansbreen forefield moraine system.
December 9, Warmest decade ever in Norway
The average temperature in Norway has never been measured at higher levels than in the periode since 2000, registrations from all over the country show.
December 8, How Arctic Food Webs Affect Mercury in Polar Bears
With growing concerns about the effects of global warming on polar bears, it's increasingly important to understand how other environmental threats, such as mercury pollution, are affecting these magnificent Arctic animals.
December 4, IPY Report: December 2009
1. Oslo Science Conference, 8-12 June 2010
2. IPO at AGU Fall Meeting
3. IPY EOC update
4. APECS Update
5. IPO during December 2009
December 4, New rules for exporting goods to Svalbard
The Norwegian Customs Authorities have introduced risk assessment of cargo exported to non EU countries, Svalbard included. In order to comply with regulation in force Bring Logistics AS is tightening up the rules for declaring goods for export to Svalbard.
Risk assessment of cargo is imposed on all Customs Administrations as members of World Customs Organisation for the purpose of securing the global trade with goods. The risk assessment is based on risk management standards and detailed information about shipments.
December 3, Record warm November
Svalbard was more than 8 °C warmer than normal average in November.
The average temperature measured in November this year at the Svea mine on Svalbard north in the Barents Sea was -2,7 °C, or 8,8 °C above normal, reports the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. The temperature measuring at Svea started back in 1978. At Svalbard airport in Longyearbyen, the average temperatures was –1,9 °C, that is 8,4 °C above normal.
December 2, How Can Humanity Avoid or Reverse the Dangers Posed by a Warming Climate?
Wetlands from Bangladesh to Florida submerged. Drought and devastating heat in important granaries such as the Yangtze floodplain in China or Ukraine. Rains that come too often or too hard in India or the U.S. Northeast. The list of potentially devastating impacts from climate change is a long one. But with greenhouse gas emissions continuing to climb and concentrations in the atmosphere rising by roughly two parts per million (ppm) a year, climate catastrophes are looking more and more imminent.
December 1, Prehistoric tracks and Darwins heritage dominated open day
Last week, Svalbard Science Centre opened its doors for Longyearbyens school children. Many of the activities were related to evolution - a tribute to the Darwin year 2009.
Svalbard Science Centre traditionally arranges an open day as the polar night falls over Longyearbyen. This year, the main theme was evolution and Longyearbyens school children could learn about the adaptations needed to survive the arctic winter and how the counterflow system in the reindeers nose helps the animals to keep warm.
November 23, Emissions Increase Despite Financial Crisis
A new study from Norwegian and New Zealand scientists provides updated numbers for CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. While the global financial crisis may have slowed down the emission growth, it has not been sufficient to stop it: From 2007 to 2008 global emissions from fossil fuels increased by 2.2 percent. From 2003 to 2007, the average fossil emissions increased by 3.7 percent a year.
November 23, Arctic Atmospheric Boundary Layer - simultaneous profiling by SUMO
SUMO (Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer) has been used to monitor Arctic Atmospheric Boundary Layer (AABL) in Svalbard. SUMO can perform both vertical and horizontal surveys of the mean meteorological parameters: temperature, relative humidity, pressure and wind.
November 20, Detection of SO2 plumes with an ultra-violet camera - EnviCam
NILU scientists have built and tested new ultra-violet imaging camera that can detact emissions of SO2 and provide quantitative estimate of SO2 flux. The test was carried out in Ny-Ålesund where many large cruise ships emit unknown amounts of SO2 into the "pristine" air. The work was funded by Arctic Field Grant.
November 19, 2009. Arctic scientists deflated by climate skeptics
As the world climate summit closes in, scientists monitoring the impact of global warming in the far north have grown frustrated by public apathy and disbelief about the extent of the problem.
“Measuring ice thickness is extremely difficult,” says Edmond Hansen, an arctic change researcher at the Norwegian Polar Institute meticulously charting the effects of climate change, ahead of the December 7-18 Copenhagen summit.
November 18, Food seed banks need $250 million, experts warn
Seed banks need a further $250 million to preserve all varieties of food crops including those which may best survive future climate changes, the Global Crop Diversity Trust said Wednesday.
The crop trust is the main supporter of a seed vault in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, intended as a global back-up for food crops, and says it needs more money to complete that project and support other, more accessible seed banks worldwide.
November 16, 2009. Alaska fights to reverse polar bear listing
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says he has the best interest of polar bears at heart, but he doesn't intend to let the federal government's expanded protection for bears get in the way of the state's continued prosperity.
Like his predecessor, Sarah Palin, the governor is suing the federal government to overturn the listing of the iconic symbol of the Arctic as a threatened species, a move made last year that he believes could threaten Alaska's lifeblood: petroleum development.
November 15, 2009. Where does Svalbard rock ptarmigan spend winter?
Monitoring trekking pattern of Svalbard rock ptarmigan can be a difficult task. Researchers have equipped 8 birds with small satellite senders and are able to track the moving patterns also during the polar night.
November 13, 2009. Greenland Ice Cap Melting Faster Than Ever
Satellite observations and a state-of-the art regional atmospheric model have independently confirmed that the Greenland ice sheet is loosing mass at an accelerating rate, reports a new study in Science.
November 12, 2009. 3-dimensional mapping of glacier caves in Svalbard
Glaciers' inner hydrological systems remain largely unknown. Therefore speleological work delivers precious information and helps creating 3-dimensional maps of glacier englacial and subglacial drainage system. Jason Gulley reports on his work in caves of Rieperbreen, Hansbreen and other glaciers in Svalbard.
November 11, 2009. Tackling New Arctic Challenges From Space
International scientists, researchers and decision makers met at the ‘Space and the Arctic workshop’ to identify the needs and challenges of working and living in the rapidly changing Arctic and to explore how space-based services can help to meet those needs.
November 10, 2009. Norwegian-Russian cooperation within higher education
Bodø University College in Nordland, Norway, and the Pomor State University in Arkhangelsk, Russia, are expanding their cooperation through combined teaching on Bachelor’s level.
November 8, 2009. Svalbard Environmental Fund priorities sustainable tourism
Tourism industry can be happy with the support their 3 projects have received from the Svalbard Environmental Fund. Altogheter 4,4 mln kroner will be delivered to 23 projects, 14 of which are led by local recipients.
November 8, 2009. Changing Arctic Affecting Air, Ocean, And Everything In Between
Despite the fact that summer 2009 had more sea ice than in 2007 or 2008, scientists are seeing drastic changes in the region from just five years ago and at rates faster than anticipated. The findings were presented October 22 in the annual update of the Arctic Report Card, a collaborative effort of 71 national and international scientists.
November 8, 2009. Barcoding Svalbard floral
Inger Greve Alsos from UNIS and her colleagues have been collecting samples from plants growing in Svalbard. The samples are being DNA-analysed and barcoded in order to establish what specie each of them belongs to. DNA makes the taxonomy easy.
November 6, 2009. Fossilized algae indicate sea ice cover extent in the past 30 000 years
Geoscientists have succeeded in reconstructing sea ice cover extend in the past by use of two different fossil algae species found in the sediment cores from Fram Strait. The results show also how rapidly the changes were occurring.
November 6 2009. Mapping Terra Incognita - The invertebrate fauna of Edgeoya
The invertebrate fauna of Edgeøya has remained until now. PhD student from UNIS, María Luisa Ávila Jiménez decided to tackle this issue in the summer 2009. Samples were taken to carry out community comparison studies and phylogeographical analyses.
November 5, 2009. Eco-friendly Coast Guard vessel
The new Norwegian Coast Guard vessel KV Barentshav can now refuel natural gas close to the areas it is protecting in the Barents Sea. The Norwegian company Barents NaturGass is the first to deliver natural gas to vessels in Northern Norway.
November 2, 2009. Arkhangelsk to become center for higher education in the Arctic
When the new Northern (Arctic) Federal University opens in Arkhangelsk, it will be Russia’s center for education and research on the Arctic. The main motives for the establishment are protection of Russia’s geopolitical and economic interests in Northern Europe and the Arctic.
October 30, 2009. EU wants stronger role in Arctic
The EU is an Arctic entity, EU Commission representative Fernando Garces highlighted in a seminar last week. He also reiterated the Commission’s desire for permanent observer status in the Arctic Council.
October 28, 2009. Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks
As a respons to the Arctic Council Tromsø Declaration, the SAON process has now begun a second phase. The continuing process is lead by a steering group (SAON SG) consisting of representatives of the eight Arctic countries, permanent participants in the Arctic Council, and Arctic Council working groups. With the inclusion of representatives from IASC and WMO, the SAON SG is also connected to the Arctic science, observing and data management activities and interests of the non-Arctic countries, as well as to global observing systems.
October 27, 2009. Awards for two Svalbard researchers
This October, two outstanding researchers working in Svalbard were rewarded for their achievements in science: Geir Wing Gabrielsen (Norwegian Polar Institute) received the Nansen Award and Jørn Hurum (Natural History Museum, University of Oslo) received the Award for Excellence in Communication of Science.
October 26, 2009. Science Museum's climate change poll backfires
A poll by the Science Museum designed to convince the nation of the perils posed by climate change has backfired after being hijacked by sceptics.
The museum’s Prove It! website, which is designed to influence politicians at the Copenhagen climate summit in December, allows members of the public to pledge their support, or lack of it, to the environmentalist cause.
But so far those backing the campaign are out-numbered nearly six-to-one by opponents.
October 21, 2009. Young Earth Scientists Congress 2009
The first Young Earth Scientist conference will be conducted in Beijing China 25-28 October. The Arctic Portal will monitor this event closely and repost videos within this page. which will be recorded at the Congress roundtable sessions. The conference will focus on global climate, environmental and geological challenges facing today’s society, and aims to establish an interdisciplinary global network of individuals committed to solving these challenges.
October 21, 2009. Arctic Field Grant (Arktisstipend) - Call for Proposals
Svalbard Science Forum, in cooperation with the Norwegian Polar Institute, will award Arctic Field Grants in connection with research projects in Svalbard in 2010.
Application deadline: 20 Nov 2009, 4pm.
October 20, 2009. Near-Real-Time DMSP SSM/I Daily Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations
This data set provides a near-real-time (NRT) map of sea ice concentrations for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The near-real-time passive microwave brightness temperature data are acquired with the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) on board the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F17 satellite. The SSMIS instrument is the next generation Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) instrument. SSMIS data are received daily from the Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship System (CLASS) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and are gridded onto a polar stereographic grid. Investigators generate sea ice concentrations from these data using the NASA Team algorithm.
October 16, 2009. Arctic Poised to be Open Sea
New measurements suggest the Arctic will be largely ice-free during summer in about a decade and completely open during summer within 30 years. The projections are more stark and sudden than other studies in recent years that have also warned of a present and continuing meltdown.
October 16, 2009. Polar Bear Cubs Get a Ride in Icy Waters
Aboard a ship in the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, a tourist from Great Britain spotted a swimming polar bear with a cub on her back. Intrigued by the sight, the tourist got in touch with the Norwegian Polar Institute to ask about the mother bear’s behavior.
October 14, 2009. More money to Svalbard
The Norwegian Government plans to increase allocations to Svalbard with 10.3 million NOK. Most of the money goes to the Governor’s office.
October 13, 2009. Call for research student positions at the Arctic Graduate School - opportunity for Young Resarcher
IThe Arctic Graduate School (ARKTIS), coordinated by the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland, Finland, opens a call for six full-time research student positions for different periods between 1.1.2010 and 31.12.2013.
October 12, 2009. Excursion with MS Fram to Svalbard
A number of excursions will be offered to participants at IPY-OSC pre- and post-conference. Probably the most exciting of these will be a cruise with the coast liner MS Fram to Svalbard from 30th May until 7th June.
October 11, 2009. Agreement on climate change being the most important threat to polar bears
In March 2009, Norway invited the five nations with polar bears in their territory to a meeting under the Polar Bear Agreement from 1973. Now, the final report of this meeting is available.
October 9, 2009. High North on the Agenda in Bergen
BERGEN: Once more, politics and development in the High North are issues for discussion at a larger conference. In the Western Norwegian town of Bergen more than 200 students and others gathered to listen about resources and security politics in the Arctic.
October 8, 2009. IPY Report: October 2009
1. Oslo Science Conference, 8-12 June 2010
2. Polar Week Underway!
3. Polar Information Commons
4. Canadian Workshops and Conferences
5. APECS Update
October 7, 2009. October Polar Week: What Happens at the Poles Affects Us All
October Polar Week will focus on recruiting new individual and institutional partners, will stimulate increased engagement by polar partners, and will highlight classroom activities developed for the new IPY Polar Resource Book. This polar week will feature fresh accessible science, live events, fun classroom activities, virtual balloon launches and spontaneous global inter-connections - activities that have made IPY Polar Days effective and enjoyable.
October 6, 2009. Ocean acidification threatens fauna in arctic oceans
Researchers in the Laboratoire d'Oc?anographie at Villefranche (LOV) (Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)/Universit? Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC)) have just demonstrated that key marine organisms, such as deep-water corals and pteropods (shelled pelagic mollusks) will be profoundly affected ocean acidification during the years to come.
October 4, 2009. Permafrost landforms monitored by satellites
With help of satellite technology, researchers monitor periglacial landforms in the permafrost landscape in Svalbard. The project PERMASAR is a cooperation between the Northern Research Institute Norut in Troms?, the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), the Geological Survey of Norway, the Norwegian Space Centre and the University of Oslo.
October 2, 2009. Winter areas determine contaminant levels in Svalbard geese
A recent study shows that contaminant levels in pink-footed geese are three times higher than in barnacle geese. This may be caused by a different pollutant exposure in their wintering areas in continental Europe and Scotland, respectively.
October 2, 2009. Greenpeace blocking Svalbard coal shipment
Climbers from Greenpeace have since early Friday morning been blocking the loading of coal from the Svea mine at Svalbard. The action is a protest against coal mining and climate changes.
September 18, 2009. High Numbers Of Heat-loving Bacteria Found In Cold Arctic Ocean
A team of scientists led by U of C grad Casey Hubert has detected high numbers of heat loving, or thermophilic, bacteria in subzero sediments in the Arctic Ocean off the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. The bacterial spores might provide a unique opportunity to trace seepages of fluids from hot sub-seafloor habitats, possibly pointing towards undiscovered offshore petroleum reservoirs.
September 18, 2009. Arctic Sea Ice Reaches Minimum Extent For 2009, Third Lowest Ever Recorded
The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year, the third-lowest recorded since satellites began measuring sea ice extent in 1979, according to the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center.
September 17, 2009. New Svalbard Governor
This is the second period Inger? is Governor of Svalbard. First time was from 2001 to 2005. Odd Olsen-Inger? was Chief of Police in the Norwegian border town Kirkenes, and by that got good experience in cooperating with Russian authorities.
September 17, 2009. SPARC and disappearing permafrost - a story from Bayelva in Svalbard
SPARC investigates Sensitivity of Permafrost in the Arctic. A group of researchers has recently made field measurements in Bayelva catchment near Ny-?lesund. Depending on the snow depth the soil temperature at 1.5m depth at different locations differed by up to five degrees during winter.
September 11, 2009. Booming population of reindeer
The speedy climate changes may be the reason for a doubling of wild reindeers on Svalbard in the past 30 years.
September 9, 2009. More polar bears?
The Svalbard population of polar bears could be increasing, says World Wildlife Fund expert Dr Tom Arnbom.
September 9, 2009. Miners face cuts at Svalbard
Lower demand has reduced coal production by 50 percent at the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago. The local coal company now intends to dismiss 25 percent of staff. The small Arctic society at Svalbard might face troubled times following the economic problems of mining company Store Norske. The Store Norske accounts for a key part of employment at the archipelago. The other main local source of employment is the quickly developing polar research.