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Monthly Archives: August 2018 − News


Gui­de­book “Spitz­ber­gen-Sval­bard”: next edi­ti­on soon avail­ab­le

The first edi­ti­on of my gui­de­book Spitz­ber­gen-Sval­bard came out in Ger­man in 2007, fol­lo­wed by the first Eng­lisch edi­ti­on Spits­ber­gen-Sval­bard in 2008 and the first Nor­we­gi­an edi­ti­on Sval­bard – Nor­ge nær­mest Nord­po­len in 2017. The Ger­man ver­si­on soon beca­me popu­lar amongst Spits­ber­gen-tra­vel­lers and enthu­si­asts, so I could deve­lop the book through several edi­ti­ons. The 5th Ger­man edi­ti­on came out in 2015 and it is now out of print, the new (6th) edi­ti­on of the Ger­man ver­si­on is cur­r­ent­ly in print and expec­ted to be avail­ab­le in Sep­tem­ber 2018. I have updated the book com­pre­hen­si­ve­ly, both the text and the index have been impro­ved and enlar­ged so the new edi­ti­on will have 580 pages (the old edi­ti­on has 560 pages). Maps and fonts have been impro­ved. My know­ledge and expe­ri­ence keep gro­wing also after more than 20 years of lear­ning and living the Arc­tic in theo­ry and real life and all this beco­mes part of updated edi­ti­ons, and so does new rele­vant legis­la­ti­on, recent deve­lo­p­ments in Lon­gye­ar­by­en and so on and so forth.

Guidebook (German) Spitzbergen-Svalbard, 6th edition, September 2018

The newest Ger­man edi­ti­on of the gui­de­book Spitz­ber­gen-Sval­bard is in print and due to be released in Sep­tem­ber 2018.

Many pro­fes­sio­nal gui­de col­leagues use this book (inclu­ding its Eng­lish and Nor­we­gi­an ver­si­ons) on a dai­ly basis in their arc­tic lives, refer­ring to it as the “Sval­bard bible” (or Spits­ber­gen bible, wha­te­ver you pre­fer)! A com­pli­ment that I as the aut­hor am hap­py to accept.

The Eng­lish ver­si­on Spits­ber­gen-Sval­bard has been updated tho­rough­ly in ear­ly 2018, and the same goes for the Nor­we­gi­an ver­si­on Sval­bard – Nor­ge nær­mest Nord­po­len which came out in 2017.

All three ver­si­ons of the gui­de­book can be orde­red on this web­site inclu­ding the Ger­man ver­si­on. If you order the Ger­man ver­si­on, you will get the new, 6th edi­ti­on as soon as it is avail­ab­le (expec­ted in Sep­tem­ber 2018).

Bed avail­ab­le in ladies cabin on Anti­gua (11-21 Sep­tem­ber 2018)

Spits­ber­gen under sail with SV Anti­gua, 11 inten­se days – a dream jour­ney for friends of the Arc­tic at a time when sun­sets have star­ted to bring ama­zing colours to the­se high lati­tu­des again. Now the­re is the oppor­tu­ni­ty to join on a short noti­ce – the­re is a vacan­cy in a ladies cabin. Click here to read more about this trip. This trip will be Ger­man spea­king, so the descrip­ti­on is also in Ger­man.

Spitsbergen under sail with SV Antigua, September 2018

Spits­ber­gen under sail with SV Anti­gua in Sep­tem­ber 2018: Space avail­ab­le in a ladies cabin.

So – go ahead and wel­co­me on board!

Just get in touch with Rolf Stan­ge (con­ta­ct) for any ques­ti­ons regar­ding the trip, the ship, Spits­ber­gen … or get in touch direct­ly with the Geo­gra­phi­sche Rei­se­ge­sell­schaft for reser­va­tions and boo­king.

Again, nega­ti­ve records from the arc­tic: ice cover low, tem­pe­ra­tures high

It comes hard­ly as a sur­pri­se: once again, the­re are nega­ti­ve records of the cur­rent sea ice situa­tions. As the Nor­we­gi­an Ice Ser­vice released on Twit­ter, the­re has never been as litt­le ice around Sval­bard as cur­r­ent­ly sin­ce begin­ning of the record­ings in 1967. As the latest ice chart shows, both Sval­bard and neigh­bou­ring Frans Josef Land are com­ple­te­ly free of sea ice:

ice chart 22 August 2018

Ice chart of 22 August 2018 (by MET Nor­way).

Accord­ing to the Nor­we­gi­an Ice Ser­vice, the sea ice cover in the Sval­bard area was 123,065 squa­re kilo­me­tres, which is 105,139 squa­re kilo­me­tres less com­pa­red to the long-term average (1981-2010), a loss of almost 50 %!

But sci­en­tists are even more worried about the loss of ice north of Green­land, which is also visi­ble in the ice chart abo­ve. Nort­hern­most Green­land is an area whe­re ice is pushed against the coast by cur­r­ents, so it is – was – buil­ding up a very solid ice cover aver­aging 4 m in thic­kness and reaching more than 20 m thic­kness in pla­ces! This ice cover was, howe­ver, wea­ke­ned by warm air incur­si­ons such as the extre­me event in Febru­a­ry. The wea­ke­ned ice could be moved around by wind much more easi­ly, and this is exact­ly what hap­pen­ed now in a lar­ge area north of Green­land. Even if the water sur­face free­zes again soon, the dama­ge is now done and it is hard­ly rever­si­ble: as the term mul­ti-year ice sug­gests, it takes many years to replace a lost area of such ice, but it is hard­ly expec­ted that this will hap­pen at all given cur­rent cli­ma­te deve­lo­p­ments.

Rossøya, Vesle Taveløya ice-free

Sval­bard fur­thest north: Ros­søya (left) and Ves­le Tav­leøya com­ple­te­ly ice-free, mid-July 2018.

It fits into this pic­tu­re that Lon­gye­ar­by­en has now got an unbro­ken seri­es of 90 (!) mon­ths with tem­pe­ra­tures abo­ve the long-term average. A dra­ma­tic deve­lo­p­ment, but hard­ly a sur­pri­se.

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