Usually, February is a freezing month at the far Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. But this year is different. Over the last 30 days, the average temperature has been only 1,6 degrees Celsius, almost 15 degrees above normal.
Normally, the average February temperature at Svalbard is minus 16,2 degrees.
“We are talking about temperatures and temperature variations, which we normally never encounter”, Trond Lien from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute says to NRK. The reason for the abnormal temperatures is a long-lasting low pressure over the southern parts of the Norwegian Sea and the Northern parts of the Atlantic.
As previously reported by BarentsObserver, there have over the last years been several cases of extreme weather changes at Svalbard. On the 30th January 2012 , the town of Ny-Ålesund got an unprecedented 116 mm of rains, while the average temperature for the month was as much as 11,9 degrees above normal.
Researchers conclude that key parts of the Arctic is facing more rains and warmer temperatures.
The changes are affecting wildlife in the area. Along with the temperature increase, the number of reindeers at the archipelago has almost doubled. Since 1994, the average temperature at Longyerbyen, the local administrative center, has increased by 2 degrees.
The Murmansk Economic Zone was presented as a miracle cure for regional development and as key facility for the Shtokman project. Today, five years on, regional authorities put their faith in the fish industry.
Renowned Norwegian actress Gørild Mauseth is in the leading role when actors and producers from the Gorky Dramatic Theatre in Vladivostok come to Harstad to present a unique version of Tolsoy’s classic play Anna Karenina.
Nuclear safety projects in the Murmansk region wouldn’t be the same without her contribution. Finnish European Parliament Member Heidi Hautala is today one of 89 Europeans barred from Russia in response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine.
Wistleblower Edward Snowden is winner of this year’s recognized Bjørnson Award, but Norwegian authorities are unlikely to guarantee his safe travel to the award ceremony. The former CIA employee should instead be handed over the award in Pechenga, the Russian borderlands to Norway, a Norwegian university lecturer suggests.