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.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.