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Daily Archives: 10. April 2019 − News & Stories

Tem­pe­ra­tu­re in Lon­gye­ar­by­en sin­ce 100 mon­ths abo­ve average

Cli­ma­te in Lon­gye­ar­by­en war­mer than average sin­ce 100 mon­ths

Febru­a­ry and March 2019 have most­ly been cold mon­ths with tem­pe­ra­tures around -20 degrees cen­tig­ra­de and below over many peri­ods, but it has not been enough to reach the mon­th­ly average. Also in March, the average tem­pe­ra­tu­re of the mon­ths was abo­ve the long-term average. This was the 100th mon­th in a row that the tem­pe­ra­tu­re (average of the mon­th) was abo­ve the long-term average – more than 8 years, in other words, as cli­ma­te sci­en­tist Kje­til Isak­sen reports to Sval­bard­pos­ten.

Refe­rence peri­od: 1960-1990

The refe­rence peri­od for the long-term average is 1960-1990. The nor­mal tem­pe­ra­tu­re from this peri­od is histo­ry: cli­ma­te chan­ge is three times fas­ter in Spits­ber­gen than in main­land Nor­way and six times fas­ter than glo­bal­ly. Accord­ing to Isak­sen, this is lar­ge­ly due to incre­a­sed water tem­pe­ra­tures in the fjords and sur­roun­ding seas: the­re is more heat exchan­ge bet­ween sea and atmo­s­phe­re than befo­re and the decre­a­sed ice cover enab­les the water to absorb sun radia­ti­on and turn it into heat rather than reflec­ting a hig­her pro­por­ti­on back into space as pre­vious­ly.

Avalan­che bar­ri­ers as an adap­t­ati­on to cli­ma­te chan­ge in Lon­gye­ar­by­en

Sci­en­tists do not expect this trend to stop at any time soon. In Lon­gye­ar­by­en, the com­mu­ni­ty is adap­ting to a new cli­ma­te.

Avalanche barriers on Sukkertoppen close to Longyearbyen

Avalan­che bar­ri­ers on Suk­ker­top­pen clo­se to Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

After the cata­stro­phic avalan­che from 19 Decem­ber 2015 which has clai­med two lives, hund­reds of inha­bi­tants are evacua­ted every year during the avalan­che sea­son, many of them for several mon­ths. Plans are cur­r­ent­ly made to tear down buil­dings with 142 flats in are­as which are at risk from avalan­ches. Housing shor­ta­ge and an over­hea­ted housing mar­ket are chal­len­ges that many locals in Lon­gye­ar­by­en cur­r­ent­ly have to deal with.


Also in Bar­ents­burg peop­le are awa­re of the­se deve­lo­p­ments and an avalan­che risk map has recent­ly been publis­hed. Some buil­dings are in are­as at risk and would not be built now whe­re they are today. But it is assu­med that the situa­ti­on can be con­trol­led tech­ni­cal­ly, without moving or tea­ring down buil­dings.


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