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Home → Author Archives: Rolf Stange

Author Archives: Rolf Stange

Der Seitenbetreiber, Autor, Verlagschef und Polar-Guide Rolf Stange schreibt über spannende Themen rund um Spitzbergen und die Arktis.

Prominent visitors to the ice

Spitsbergen has had a larger number of prominent visitors in June and July. In late June, members of the three Scandinavian royal families went on a cruise into the ice on board the Swedish icebreaker Oden, and ministers of a … Continue reading

Start of summer season 2008

Early and mid June sees the onset of the arctic “high summer”. The summer tourist has begun, and the first ships have already arrived Longyearbyen. An extraordinary amount of snow has fallen during the past winter and spring; locals say … Continue reading

The PCB-project is making progress

In 2007, concentrations of the long-lived environmental toxin PCBs higher than expected have been found in and near the settlements in Spitsbergen. Building materials (paint, concrete) and electrical parts seem to be major sources. The highest values were found in … Continue reading

Permafrost on Mars

The news of the successful landing of the NASA spacecraft “Phoenix” on Mars on 25 May 2008 went around the world. Now, images have been published that show surface structures that resemble frost patterned ground which is common in the … Continue reading

Van Mijenfjord – Sveagruva – Lunckefjellet

Van Mijenfjord is the shipping route to the Norwegian mining settlement of Sveagruva. It is mostly blocked by the long, narrow island of Akseløya, which increases the local fjord ice development significantly. Recently, Norway’s strongest icebreaker, KV “Svalbard”, had to … Continue reading

Environment: New pollutants / Rising values of atmospheric CO2

It is well known that environmental pollutants such as PCBs that originate from industrialized countries accumulate in the food chain in the Arctic to high levels in species such as Polar bears and Glaucous gulls, both top predators in this … Continue reading

Accidents in Barentsburg

In recent weeks, the Russian mining settlement of Barentsburg has suffered from several accidents. Three persons died during a helicopter crash at Kapp Heer, the helicopter base near Barentsburg, The aircraft collided with a building during a landing attempt in … Continue reading

New laws for tourism in protected areas

New regulations for the growing tourist traffic in Svalbard’s national parks and nature reserves have been in process for a while. In March 2008, the governor (Sysselmannen) has published some details, including: Ban on crude oil (common fuel for larger … Continue reading

Development of tourism in Spitsbergen

There were 86 097 overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses in Spitsbergen in 2007 (2006: 83 049, 1998: 46 201). The numbers have been constantly growing except from a minor decrease in 2003. Most guests were Norwegians (ca. 68 %), … Continue reading

Plans about new coal mine

SNSK (Store Norske Spitsbergen Kullkompani, the Norwegian mining company) has announced to open a new coal mine at Lunckefjellet in 2013. Lunckefjellet is between Sveagruva and Reindalen in Nordenskiöld Land. Lunckefjellet is supposed to have exploitable coal seams with a … Continue reading

Seed vault officially opened

On 26 February the new seed vault or “Doomsday Vault” as it is often called by the press was officially opened. Located near Longyearbyen, it is supposed to be able to survive global catastrophes including nuclear wars, direct missile attacks … Continue reading

Spectacular finds of dinosaur skeleton remains in the Isfjord area

Parts of dinosaur bones from Isfjord have been known since the early 20th century, but things really started to happen when Norwegian palaentologists found remains of no less than 28 individual marine reptiles near Diabasodden (Tempelfjord in Isfjord), dating to … Continue reading

Earthquake in Storfjord

Many inhabitants of Longyearbyen woke up in the early night on 20 February, when an earthquake made houses shake noticeably at 03.46 am. Damage or injuries did not occur. The epicentre was in Storfjord near the southeastern coast of Spitsbergen, … Continue reading

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