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Home → September, 2018

Monthly Archives: September 2018 − News


The Sval­bard Glo­bal Seed Vault: online-tour in 360 degree pan­ora­ma for­mat

Most peop­le will never have the chan­ce to visit the famous Sval­bard Glo­bal Seed Vault bey­ond a glim­pse of the ent­ran­ce from out­side. Col­lo­quial­ly also known as “dooms­day vault”, it is used sin­ce 2008 to store seeds of food crops to make sure the spe­ci­es sur­vi­ve even when all other stocks are des­troy­ed by natu­ral or man-made eco­lo­gi­cal dis­as­ters or war.

The insi­de of the Sval­bard Glo­bal Seed Vault is, howe­ver, clo­sed to the public. Only tho­se who are working the­re, some VIP visi­tors and media teams, on cer­tain dates and with pri­or regis­tra­ti­on, get insi­de. During a media visit in 2016, I had the rare chan­ce to pho­to­graph the Seed Vault inclu­ding 360 degree pan­ora­mas, which can now be seen on this page (click here). Parts of the Seed Vault are cur­r­ent­ly under reno­va­ti­on.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The Sval­bard Glo­bal Seed Vault is now acces­si­ble as a pan­ora­ma tour on this web­site.

Polar bear fami­ly in Bjørn­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en

Today (Mon­day, 10 Sep­tem­ber), a polar bear fami­ly was seen near Ves­t­pyn­ten, not far from the air­port and camp­si­te at Lon­gye­ar­by­en. It was a fema­le bear with two first-year cubs, pro­bab­ly the same polar bears that were seen on Satur­day at Rev­ne­set, on the north side of Advent­fjord oppo­si­te of Lon­gye­ar­by­en. On Satur­day, the bears were cha­sed away by heli­co­p­ter towards Sas­sen­fjord, away rom Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Polar bears inclu­ding fema­les with cubs regu­lar­ly cover lar­ge distan­ces. A walk inclu­ding lon­ger swim­ming distan­ces from Advent­fjord (Lon­gye­ar­by­en) to Sas­sen­fjord and back wit­hin 2 days is ful­ly rea­listic and nor­mal.

When the bears were seen near Ves­t­pyn­ten today around 16.00, both curious onloo­kers and the Sys­sel­man­nen (poli­ce) were soon on the sce­ne, as repor­ted by Sval­bard­pos­ten. The Sys­sel­man­nen fol­lo­wed the polar bear fami­ly by car slow­ly towards Bjørn­da­len fur­ther west.

The­re, hopes that the bears might con­ti­nue and disap­pe­ar from the Lon­gye­ar­by­en area soon vanis­hed in the haze, as the bears were seen fee­ding on a lar­ge wha­le car­cass, pos­si­b­ly from a sperm wha­le as appears on a pho­to taken by the Sys­sel­man­nen. This might pro­vi­de the bears in ques­ti­on with food for a lon­ger peri­od, if the wha­le does not start to float and drift away again. Chan­ces are also that the wha­le car­cass attracts fur­ther bears.

The Sys­sel­man­nen asks the public not to get clo­se to the bears and to be alert and to exer­cise usu­al safe­ty mea­su­res at any time in the field.

polar bears and whale carcass, Bjørndalen

Polar bear fami­ly with a solid meal in Bjørn­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en, Mon­day (10 Sep­tem­ber) after­noon. Pho­to © Sys­sel­man­nen.

Update: the polar bears were sca­red away from the wha­le car­cass by the Sys­sel­man­nen later on Mon­day, as Sval­bard­pos­ten wro­te. The dead wha­le was towed into the fjord by Polar­sys­sel, the Sysselmannen’s ship, and the bears were sca­red and moved up into Bjørn­da­len.

The Spits­ber­gen-Calen­dar 2019 is avail­ab­le

Our alrea­dy almost tra­di­tio­nal Spits­ber­gen-calen­der ist now avail­ab­le for 2019. It is avail­ab­le as befo­re in the big­ger A3 for­mat (beau­ti­ful on the wall) and the smal­ler A5 (gre­at for examp­le on the table or on the wall whe­re not so much space is avail­ab­le).

Spitsbergen-Calendar 2019

With arc­tic impres­si­ons through the year: the new calen­dar Spits­ber­gen 2019 is now avail­ab­le.

As oppo­sed to other offers avail­ab­le on the mar­ket, we select a set of 12 ent­i­re­ly new pho­tos every year to crea­te a com­ple­te­ly new calen­dar with fresh impres­si­ons, showing some of Spitsbergen’s most beau­ti­ful sides inclu­ding sce­ne­ry, wild­life and flowers.

Spitsbergen-Calendar 2019

Unusu­al per­spec­ti­ve of an impres­si­ve land­s­cape: the ice cap Aus­t­fon­na seen from the air.

Unusu­al per­spec­ti­ves of remo­te pla­ces tog­e­ther with stun­ning wild­life pho­tos form a good part of the selec­tion, which is com­ple­ted by flowers and stun­ning sce­ne­ry of polar land­s­capes and ice.

Spitsbergen-Calendar 2019

Of cour­se the­re are some polar bears in the calen­dar 🙂

Click here to see all images of the Spits­bergn calen­der 2019, more infor­ma­ti­on and orde­ring.

Job mar­ket in Lon­gye­ar­by­en gro­wing in spi­te of reduc­tion in coal mining

The gre­at fear of a col­lap­se of the job mar­ket in Lon­gye­ar­by­en after the signi­fi­cant reduc­tion of coal mining, espe­cial­ly in Sveagru­va, did not beco­me rea­li­ty so far. This is indi­ca­ted by the latest sta­tis­tics of the Sta­tis­tik Sen­tral­by­rå, the Nor­we­gi­an direc­to­ry of sta­tis­tics. In 2017, the­re were 4.2 % more jobs in Sval­bard com­pa­red to 2016. The num­ber of jobs in mining were actual­ly redu­ced by 34 % down to 100, but this loss was more than com­pen­sa­ted by growth in other bran­ches, most­ly in rela­ti­on to tou­rism. Hotels and restau­rants crea­ted 36.3 % more jobs in 2017 than in 2016, total­ling 315 jobs in 2015. ´

Longyearbyen: job market growing

Lon­gye­ar­by­en is gro­wing, also on the job mar­ket: 4,2 % more jobs in 2017.

This growth is mea­su­red in “Års­verk”, which may be best trans­la­ted with “man hours per year”. 315 “års­verk” do not necessa­ri­ly mean 315 full-time employees, but an amount of paid work that could be done by 315 peop­le wit­hin one year. This amount of work may, howe­ver, be spread over a lar­ger num­ber of part-time or sea­so­nal jobs, which is cer­tain­ly the case to some degree in tou­rism. “Tou­rism” as such is not a cate­go­ry in the sta­tis­tics. Jobs crea­ted wit­hin tou­rism are mea­su­red in cate­go­ries such as hotels & restau­rants, ser­vice indus­try and trans­port and logistics.

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