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Monthly Archives: November 2013 − News & Stories


Arctic ice development in 2013

New data about the arctic ice loss in 2013: A danish report gives new figures about the ice loss from the Greenland inland ice and sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. According to the report, ice loss was significant in 2013, but slightly less dramatic than in 2012 both for land and sea ice.

The contribution of the Greenland inland ice to global sea level rise in 2013 is 1.2 mm. The time frame considered is from October 2012 to September 2013, to include one winter and one summer season (glaciological year). This sea level rise is the value that corresponds to the total netto ice loss of 430 Gt (1 Gt = 1 Gigatonn = 1 billion tonns). The largest ice volume lost within 24 hours was on July 25, when an incredible 12 Gt either melted or broke off as iceberg! In 2012, however, the corresponding value is an even more incredible 20 Gt. The negative trend of the Greenland inland ice’s mass balance is accordingly continued in 2013, even though it is slightly less rapid than in 2012, regarding some important key figures.

The glacier movements were more or less normal in 2013. At least, no dramatic events were recorded as in 2012, when the large Petermann Glacier in western north Greenland showed some dramatically huge calving.

The trend of the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean seems to be roughly comparable. During spring, the time of the largest ice cover, there was at least more ice than during the past 5-8 years on average, but this is hardly good enough to relax considering the series of recent negative records. The ice loss continues, even if it is slightly less rapid then in the negative record year of 2012. The annual ice minimum is number six on the list of years of the smallest sea ice cover since 1979. An important reason is believed to be in the relatively calm wind conditions of the Arctic Ocean, which pushed less ice out through the Fram Strait between Greenland and Spitsbergen into the Atlantic than in previous years.

Polarportal is an information plattform run by several Danish research institutions, including DMI (the Danish Meteorological Institute) and GEUS (Danish Geological Service) to publish their results.

Glacier ice in Scoresbysund, east Greenland.

Glacier ice, east Greenland

Source: Polarportal

Trapper station at Austfjordneset to be used again

The trapper station at Austfjordneset in inner Wijdefjord will be used again. The hut belongs to the Sysselmannen, who used to give it to applicants who wanted to live as trapper for at least one year. A few years ago, the station was closed. Reasons given were too high costs or legal uncertainties, both of which was not really convincing and the decision to close Austfjordneset accordingly controversial.

Now, a new trapper may move in. He or she should have experience with hunting and trapping, sledge dogs, good health and a CV without dark spots and may then apply to the Sysselmannen until the end of 2013.

Trapperstation at Austfjordneset

n_c7_Austfjordneset_27Juli11_01

Source: Sysselmannen

First ton coal taken out of Lunckefjellet

The first ton coal has been seen the light of day in the new mine at Lunckefjellet, north of Sveagruva.

It will, however, still take some time until regular production can start. So far, the company, Store Norske, has invested 1.2 billion Norwegian Kroner at Lunckefjellet. The exploitable coal reserves at estimated near 8.4 million tons, far less than for example in Sveagruva in its early days, where mining is now coming near its end. Mining at Lunckefjellet will, accordingly, only last a couple of years.

Geologically, the Lunckefjellet seam is an equivalent of the Longyear seam, which is stratigraphically a bit higher (in other words: younger) than the Svea seam.

The Reindalen from above. On the south side (right), the new mine creates.

Reindalen

Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com news are currently taking a break

The Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com news are currently taking a break – in Spitsbergen, there is now polar night and things are accordingly pretty calm, and the main author is in Antarctica these days. Please visit our Facebook page for regular updates from Antarctica and some first photos. And of course soon on Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com: photo galleries, triplogs and panoramic images – the latter for the first time also from the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

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