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Daily Archives: 21. February 2017 − News & Stories


Avalan­che in Lon­gye­ar­by­en

On Tues­day mid day, an avalan­che from the moun­tain Suk­ker­top­pen hit houses in Lon­gye­ar­by­en and des­troy­ed two buil­dings in way 228, clo­se to the posi­ti­on of tho­se houses that were des­troy­ed during the avalan­che in Decem­ber 2015. Two lives were lost in 2015.

This time, peop­le have escaped with luck. As far as is known so far, the­re is no inju­ry or loss of life.

The­re had been strong eas­ter­ly winds and drif­ting snow sin­ce Mon­day evening, a wea­ther situa­ti­on simi­lar to that befo­re the 2015 avalan­che. The local admi­nis­tra­ti­on had issued an avalan­che warning with the con­clu­si­on that infra­st­ruc­tu­re and buil­dings in Lon­gye­ar­by­en were not at risk. This eva­lua­ti­on was obvious­ly wrong.

Tho­se direct­ly con­cer­ned expe­ri­en­ced some dra­ma­tic moments, but escaped with some luck.

The area hit and other ways that might be at risk as well as the pede­stri­an bridge Per­le­por­ten are clo­sed until fur­ther noti­ce from offi­cial side.

Place whe­re the avalan­che acci­dent occur­red

Lawinenunglück 21.02.2017

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

“Repo­si­to­ry” for plastic was­te at 2500 meters depth

Two rese­ar­chers from the Alfred Wege­ner Insti­tu­te in Bre­mer­ha­ven found lar­ge amounts of plastic was­te at a depth of 2500 meters on the seabed in the Frams­trait, a strait bet­ween Green­land and Spits­ber­gen.

From 2002 to 2014, the Frams­trait seabed was sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly pho­to­gra­phed with a remo­te-con­trol­led came­ra. The result of the stu­dy is dra­ma­tic: the deep sea threa­tens to beco­me a kind of “repo­si­to­ry for plastic was­te”, fears deep sea bio­lo­gist Dr. Mela­nie Berg­mann. In 2014 6333 plastic parts were coun­ted in the regi­on on a squa­re kilo­me­ter seabed! Alt­hough the­re is rela­tively litt­le human influ­ence here, the amount of plastic was­te is com­pa­ra­ble to that found clo­se to lar­ge cities, for examp­le in the lower waters of Lis­bon.

Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly just one of many: plastic bag – pho­to­graph taken at 2500 meters depth… (Image: Mela­nie Berg­mann, Alfred-Wege­ner-Insti­tut)

Platic bag on the seabed

Whe­re exact­ly the gar­ba­ge comes from, can not be said doubt­less­ly. What is cer­tain is that plastic was­te is also trans­por­ted into polar regi­ons with the Gulf Stream. In Frams­trait several lar­ge streams of sea meet. It is the only link bet­ween the polar sea and the oce­ans. But also the sea ice could trans­port plastic parts, says Dr. Mela­nie Berg­mann. If the ice melts in sum­mer, plastic was­te can be released.

At the begin­ning of Febru­a­ry an obvious­ly sick Cuvier’s Bea­ked Wha­le (Ziphi­us cavi­rostris) stran­ded on the island of Sotra clo­se to Ber­gen. The Cuvier’s Bea­ked Wha­le is actual­ly a deep-sea wha­le, which very rare­ly stays in coas­tal are­as. In his sto­mach, more than 30 plastic bags were found …

Source: Alfred-Wege­ner-Insti­tut, NRK, Aften­pos­ten

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