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Monthly Archives: December 2010 − News & Stories


PCB-pro­ject com­ple­ted

Good Christ­mas news: The pro­ject to remo­ve local PCB sources from Spits­be­ren is now com­ple­ted with the final deli­very of rele­vant items from the Rus­si­an sett­le­ment Bar­ents­burg to Lon­gye­ar­by­en for dest­ruc­tion in Fin­land.

Over three years, a total of 4.762 items, most­ly older electri­cal com­pon­ents, con­tai­ning the long-lived, dan­ge­rous envi­ron­men­tal toxin PCB, have been remo­ved from sett­le­ments in Spits­ber­gen. 3.750 of the­se come from the Rus­si­an sett­le­ments Bar­ents­burg and Pyra­mi­den.

Bar­ents­burg: Spitsbergen’s lar­gest PCB-pro­vi­der

PCB-project completed - Barentsburg

Source: Sys­sel­man­nen

Pass con­trol in Lon­gye­ar­by­en

Star­ting 01 Febru­a­ry 2011, ever­y­bo­dy will have to pre­sent a pass­port or ID card when ent­e­ring or lea­ving Spits­ber­gen ter­ri­to­ry. This is due to regu­la­ti­ons of the Schen­gen trea­ty, which requi­res pass con­trol on the outer bor­ders. Becau­se of the Spits­ber­gen trea­ty signed in 1920, Spits­ber­gen („Sval­bard“) is not part of the Schen­gen trea­ty area (citi­zens of all signa­to­ry coun­tries have unli­mi­ted right of resi­dence), oppo­sed to Nor­way, the Schen­gen bor­der is bet­ween Nor­way and Spits­ber­gen. Accord­in­gly, Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ties are obli­ged to intro­du­ce pass or ID card con­trol at Lon­gye­ar­by­en air­port for all pas­sen­gers, inclu­ding Nor­we­gi­an citi­zens.

As Nor­we­gi­an citi­zens do not (yet) have ID cards, they can alter­na­tively use a dri­ving licen­se issued after 1998, bank card or mili­ta­ry ID papers. Child­ren, who do usual­ly not have dri­ving licen­se etc., may be iden­ti­fied by an accom­pany­ing adult. Once Nor­way has intro­du­ced natio­nal ID cards, it has to be used by Nor­we­gi­an citi­zens to enter or lea­ve Spits­ber­gen.

Lon­gye­ar­by­en air­port: soon with pass con­trol

Pass control in Longyearbyen

Source: Nor­we­gi­an government press release No 156-2010, 15 Decem­ber 2010.

Nort­hern light acti­vi­ty maxi­mum in 2013/14

Nort­hern light acti­vi­ty is con­nec­ted to the acti­vi­ty of the sun, which con­stant­ly sends char­ged par­ti­cles into space that react with the Earth’s hig­her atmo­s­phe­re and magne­tic field. The sun’s acti­vi­ty varies slight­ly with an 11 year perio­di­ci­ty. The next maxi­mum is expec­ted near 2013/14. Nort­hern light fans should be on watch that win­ter.

Nort­hern light in Spits­ber­gen, Octo­ber 2008.

Northern light activity maximum in 2013/14 - Borebukta

Source: Nord­licht-For­scher Dag Lorent­zen (UNIS, Lon­gye­ar­by­en), Sval­bard­pos­ten

Jan May­en Natu­re Reser­ve

The Nor­we­gi­an island of Jan May­en north of Ice­land has been decla­red a natu­re reser­ve on 19 Novem­ber 2010. The pro­tec­ted area inclu­des the who­le island with the excep­ti­on of the sta­ti­on area and the lan­ding strip. Addi­tio­nal­ly, a 12 mile zone around the island is also pro­tec­ted.

The regu­la­ti­ons are simi­lar to tho­se con­cer­ning the natu­re reser­ves in the Spits­ber­gen islands, but tou­rism – very limi­ted on Jan May­en any­way – will have to deal with restric­tions: lan­dings from ships insi­de the natu­re reser­ve are pro­hi­bi­ted unless the sta­ti­on com­man­der gives per­mis­si­on (this for­ma­li­zes a com­mon rou­ti­ne) and cam­ping is only allo­wed for sta­ti­on crew and their guests.

Visi­tor on Jan May­en

Jan Mayen Nature Reserve - Eggoya

Source and more details (Nor­we­gi­an): press release of the Nor­we­gi­an government

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