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Home* News and Stories → It’s win­ter in Spits­ber­gen, but the fjords don’t noti­ce

It’s win­ter in Spits­ber­gen, but the fjords don’t noti­ce

Tem­pe­ra­tures in Janu­ary and espe­ci­al­ly Febru­ary were far abo­ve the long-term avera­ge (see Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com news: Febru­ary tem­pe­ra­tures in Lon­gye­ar­by­en 15 degrees abo­ve avera­ge). Now, win­ter has final­ly come to Spits­ber­gen the way it should be, but it looks as if it is too late for the sea water to cool down and allow the fjords to free­ze pro­per­ly. Even fjords that are usual­ly relia­bly fro­zen such as Van Mijenfjord, Tem­pel­fjord and inner Wij­defjord are lar­ge­ly open, and fjord ice cover is curr­ent­ly limi­t­ed to rela­tively thin sheets in the inner­most parts.

Noor­der­licht, usual­ly fro­zen in the ice in Tem­pel­fjord during the spring sea­son, has can­cel­led the “ship in the ice” for this sea­son and is ins­tead run­ning the first sai­ling excur­si­ons in Isfjord with geo­lo­gy stu­dents.

The pho­to below shows the ice edge in Tem­pel­fjord as of last Satur­day (March 29). It is only behind Kapp Schoultz/Kapp Mur­doch that the fjord is fro­zen. The days to come are sup­po­sed to be reason­ab­ly cold and we hope they may bring more ice. Locals and tou­rists can cho­se alter­na­ti­ve rou­tes inde­pen­dent of fro­zen fjords for their excur­si­ons, for exam­p­le to Barents­burg or to the east coast, but the regio­nal envi­ron­ment would great­ly bene­fit from nor­mal ice con­di­ti­ons, for exam­p­le Rin­ged seals, which give birth to their off­spring on fjord ice later in spring.

The fjord ice edge in Tem­pel­fjord last Satur­day (March 29). The fjord is open west of Kapp Schoultz..

Ice edge Tempelfjord



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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange