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Home → July, 2009

Monthly Archives: July 2009 − News & Stories


Rus­si­an ship Petro­za­vodsk groun­ded at Bjørnøya

The Rus­si­an fishe­ry sup­port ves­sel that ran aground at Bjørnøya on 11 May is still in the same posi­ti­on. So far, it has only been pos­si­ble to remo­ve smal­ler amount of dan­ge­rous liquids (oil, die­sel, paint), but the major part of the die­sel volu­me is still on board. Minor spills have alrea­dy occu­red, and small num­bers of birds cove­r­ed with die­sel oil have been obser­ved. Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ties have made pre­pa­ra­ti­ons to remo­ve all remai­ning dan­ge­rous sub­s­tan­ces from the ship and have announ­ced that ever­ything will be done to com­ple­te the ope­ra­ti­ons befo­re the Guil­lemot chicks that are cur­r­ent­ly sit­ting in very lar­ge num­bers on adja­cent cliffs jump into the water (they lea­ve the nes­ting site befo­re they can fly). So far, bad wea­ther and rough seas have made the­se ope­ra­ti­ons impos­si­ble.

Bird cliff at the sou­thern tip of Bjørnøya, near the site of the Rus­si­an wreck.

Russian ship Petrozavodsk grounded at Bjørnøya

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

Chan­ge of mari­ne eco­sys­tem poses poten­ti­al thre­at on Litt­le auks 

First results of a new rese­arch pro­ject “Arc­tic Tip­ping Points” (ATP) show that high-arc­tic zoo­plank­ton spe­ci­es such as Cala­nus gla­cia­lis have star­ted to chan­ge their dis­tri­bu­ti­on are­as, migra­ting towards col­der waters, most likely due to recent war­ming wit­hin their tra­di­tio­nal ran­ge. This may for examp­le end­an­ger food sup­ply for spe­ci­es such as the Litt­le auk, Spitsbergen’s most abundant bird. Chan­ges of the mari­ne food chain are in any case very likely to have dra­ma­tic con­se­quen­ces for the who­le regio­nal eco­sys­tem.

Arc­tic zoo­plank­ton at the north coast of Spits­ber­gen.

Change of marine ecosystem poses potential threat on Little auks

Litt­le auks at nor­thwes­tern Spits­ber­gen.

Little auks at northwestern Spitsbergen

Source: Sval­bard Sci­ence Forum

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