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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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