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Home → Author Archives: Jan Leiendecker 

Author Archives: Jan Leiendecker 

Oil and gas from the Arctic? Test drillings northeast of Svalbard

During September and October the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (Oljedirektoratet) arranged seven test drillings northeast of Svalbard. The financing for these drillings was approved by the Norwegian Parliament (Storting). Such activities are highly contentious, particularly because Norway clearly defined that there … Continue reading

Election of the new City Council (Lokalstyre) in Longyearbyen

Sunday the 4th and Monday the 5th of October were election days in Longyearbyen. For the upcoming four years the 15 members of the new City Council (Lokalstyre) were elected. The City Council is the supreme organ of the local … Continue reading

Smoldering fire at cultural heritage in Colesbukta

Almost two weeks ago a team of the Sysselmannen started extinguishing a subterranean fire in Colesbukta caused by a camp fire. The fire was ignited at the foundation of a historical building which is protected as a listed monument. In … Continue reading

Glaucous gulls: The population in Svalbard is under pressure

Researchers of the Norwegian Polar Institute reported about a significant decline of the glaucous gull population on Bear Island, the most important breeding area for glaucous gulls in Svalbard and the Barents Sea. During the past few decades a permanent … Continue reading

May 17th: Norwegian Constitution Day is also celebrated in the Arctic

May 17th is the National Day of Norway. On this day Norwegians celebrate the Norwegian Constitution which was adopted on May 17th in 1814 by the recently established Constituent Assembly at the small place of Eidsvoll in southern Norway. A … Continue reading

Lower extent of winter sea ice in the Arctic

During this winter season 2014/2015 the sea ice in the Arctic has extended much less than it usually did. As the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado reports, this winter the ice likely reached … Continue reading

Night flight across Longyearbyen

A virtual Spitsbergen experience of a special kind can be enjoyed in a video recently published by Heinrich Eggenfellner: Night flight across Longyearbyen Equipped with a camera he sends his remote-controlled quadrocopter on a midnight flight across the icy center … Continue reading

Solar eclipse in March attracts visitors to Spitsbergen

Those who stay in Spitsbergen on March 20th will have the rare opportunity to enjoy the event of a total solar eclipse. At 10:11 a.m. and 51 seconds in the sky above Longyearbyen the moon starts to move in a … Continue reading

Young man died in snow avalanche

About 7 km south of Lonyearbyen, in Fardalen, a 21-year-old Norwegian was found dead under a snow avalanche on Saturday 24th of January. As the Sysselmannen reports, the police in Longyearbyen was informed on Saturday noon about a large avalanche … Continue reading

Polar bear gathering on Hopen

The days between Christmas and New Year´s Day the crew of the Norwegian weather station on the remote island Hopen was visited by an exceptionally high number of polar bears. On single days up to six polar bears were convened … Continue reading

New Norwegian spy ship in the Barents Sea

The Norwegian Intelligence Service (Norsk Etterretningstjenesten) is getting a new spy vessel for operations in the Barents Sea. As it´s four predecessors the ship is named Marjata. It will be put into service officially in 2016. Since the 1950s the … Continue reading

Coal mining not profitable: Store Norske cuts 100 jobs

The Norwegian coal mining company Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani (SNSK) will reduce the number of employees as a reaction to their loss-making mining activity in Spitsbergen. Rapidly falling world market prices for coal encountered rising costs for mining in the … Continue reading

Decline in polar bear population in the southern Beaufort Sea

In November U.S and Canadian scientists published the results of a 10-year study period focusing on the polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea. The results are alarming: During the period of investigation from 2001 to 2010 the … Continue reading

Coal mining in Spitsbergen under pressure

The Norwegian mining company Store Norske Spitsbergen Kullkompani is set under pressure by the permanently low world market price for coal. Since 2012 the Norwegian coal mining in Spitsbergen is a loss-making business. Falling prices encountered inferior qualities and rising … Continue reading

Polar Code: IMO regulations for shipping in polar waters

After several years of negotiations the IMO (International Maritime Organization), the United Nations shipping organization, completed a mandatory international code that regulates shipping in Arctic and Antarctic waters. The so-called Polar Code is supposed to improve the safety of shipping … Continue reading

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