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HomeLinks and Lite­ra­tu­re → Arc­tic Lite­ra­tu­re

Arctic Literature

Arc­tic Lite­ra­tu­re
Below you will find the fol­lo­wing sub­di­vi­si­ons: Gene­ral, Arc­tic, Svalbard/Spitsbergen, Green­land, Franz Josef Land, Jan May­en


  • Hough­ton, John (3rd edi­ti­on 2004): Glo­bal warm­ing. The com­ple­te brie­fing. Ever­y­thing con­cer­ning cli­ma­te chan­ge: back­ground, cli­ma­te of the past, pro­ces­ses, model­ling and pro­gno­sis, impacts, stra­te­gies. By the for­mer chair­man of the IPCC (Inter­go­vern­men­tal panel to Cli­ma­te Chan­ge, sci­en­ti­fic advi­so­ry comit­tee to the UN on the sub­ject). ISBN-13 978-0-521-52870-0. Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press, Cam­bridge.


  • ACIA (2004): Impacts of Warm­ing Arc­tic: Arc­tic Cli­ma­te Impact Assess­ment (Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press).
  • Dou­glas & McIn­ty­re (2003): His­to­ri­cal Atlas of the Arc­tic. – Derek Hayes, Van­cou­ver and Toron­to. 208 pp, ISBN 0-295-98358-2.


  • Aga, Ole J. (Ed., 1986): The Geo­lo­gi­cal Histo­ry of Sval­bard. Evo­lu­ti­on of an arc­tic archi­pe­la­go (Edi­tor: Ole J. Aga, main aut­hor: David Wors­ley. Published in Sta­van­ger by Sta­toil. 121 pages. ISBN 82-991255-0-2). Very nice intro­duc­tion into Svalbard’s earth histo­ry with many colour foto­graphs and dra­wings.
  • Amund­sen, Bir­ger (1993): Isbjørn­lan­det. – Cap­pelen For­lag. 128 pp (ISBN 82-0214260-1). Nice rea­ding. Sto­ries from all over Sval­bard, most­ly from Edgeøya, around polar bears and bear hun­ters. Lots of images, obvious­ly rather old style: heroic men and bears, which are usual­ly the prey of proud Nor­we­gi­an hun­ters. Nevert­hel­ess, nice to read and quite infor­ma­ti­ve. Who would not like to spend some win­ter weeks in Kong Karls Land or at André­e­tan­gen…? (Nor­we­gi­an)
  • Anker-Nils­sen, T., Bak­ken, V., Strøm, H, Golov­kin, A.N., Bian­ki, V.V., Tata­rinko­va, I.P. (Sci­en­ti­fic eds., 2000): The Sta­tus of mari­ne birds bree­ding in the Barents Sea regi­on. – Rap­port Nr 113,Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te. 213 pages (ISBN 82-7666-176-9). A wealth of infor­ma­ti­on regar­ding dis­tri­bu­ti­on, migra­ti­on pat­terns etc of sea­birds bree­ding in the Barents Sea, inclu­ding Sval­bard (less infor­ma­ti­ve regar­ding bree­ding bio­lo­gy and iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on).
  • Arl­ov, Thor Bjørn & Rey­mert, Per Kyr­re (2001): Sval­bard – en ferd i fort­idens far­vann. – Tapir Aka­de­misk For­lag, Trond­heim. 275 pp, ISBN 82-519-1715-8. Nar­ra­ti­on of a boat jour­ney to Bell­sund and Kross­fjord with his­to­ri­cal back­ground, Nor­we­gi­an.
  • Born, E.W., Gjertz, I., Ree­ves, R.R. (1995): Popu­la­ti­on Assess­ment of Atlan­tic Wal­rus. -Med­del­el­ser Nr. 138, Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te, Oslo.
  • Dall­mann, W. (Ed., 1999): Litho­st­ra­ti­gra­phic Lexi­con of Sval­bard. Review and recom­men­da­ti­ons for nomen­cla­tu­re use. Upper Palaeo­zoic to Qua­ter­nary Bed­rock. –Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te, Trom­sø. 318 pp, ISBN 82-7666-166-1. Tech­ni­cal lite­ra­tu­re, but a tre­asu­re for ever­y­bo­dy who has inte­rest in geo­lo­gy and some rele­vant back­ground. Rich­ly illus­tra­ted with pho­to­graphs, dra­wings and geo­lo­gi­cal maps. 
  • Ellings­ve, Eli Johan­ne (2005): Steds­navn på Svalbard/Names on Sval­bard. – Tapir aka­de­misk for­lag, Trond­heim. 186 pp (ISBN 82-519-2011-6). Short Norwegian/English expl­ana­ti­ons of the major pla­cen­a­mes in Sval­bard. Not com­pre­hen­si­ve, but smal­ler and more han­dy than the big­ger ‘Pla­cen­a­mes of Sval­bard’.
  • Elve­bakk & Pre­strud (Eds., 1996): A cata­lo­gue of Sval­bard plants, fun­gi, algae and cya­no­bac­te­ria. Published as Skrift­er 198 by the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te, Oslo. »Offi­ci­al« cata­lo­gue of Sval­bards vege­a­ta­ti­on.
  • Gjæ­re­voll, Olav/Rønning, Olaf I.: Sval­bard Flowers (Tapir For­lag, Trond­heim 1999. 121 pages. ISBN (of the Nor­we­gi­an edi­ti­on!) 82-519-1528-7). This litt­le but for the beg­in­ner very useful book con­ta­ins brief descrip­ti­ons and colour foto­graphs of the most important hig­her plants of Svalbard’s flo­ra. Available in Eng­lish, Ger­man and Nor­we­gi­an.
  • Gold­berg, Fred (2003): Dra­ma in the Arc­tic. S.O.S Ita­lia. The Search for Nobi­le and AMund­sen. A dia­ry and pos­tal histo­ry. – 144 pp, ISBN 91-631-3971-5. Excel­lent over­view of Nobile’s expe­di­ti­on from Ny Åle­sund to the North Pole and the sub­se­quent search and res­cue expe­di­ti­ons, during which among­st others Roald Amund­sen dis­ap­peared. 
  • Hjel­le, Audun: Geo­lo­gy of Sval­bard (Published 1993 by the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te as No 7 in the series ‘Polar Hand­books’. 162 pages, includes a small sca­le geo­lo­gi­cal map of Sval­bard. ISBN 82-7666-057-6). Writ­ten for the inte­res­ted public, but I would rather recom­men d it for tho­se who bring some basic know­ledge in geo­lo­gy.
  • Isak­sen, Kjell & Bak­ken, Vidar (Eds., 1995): Sea­bird popu­la­ti­ons in the nor­t­hern Barents Sea. Source data for the impact assess­ment of the effects of oil dril­ling acti­vi­ty. (Published by the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te as Med­del­el­ser Nr. 135, Oslo. ISBN 82-7666-087-8). Over­view of bree­ding popu­la­ti­ons inclu­ding litt­le maps and seve­ral spe­cia­li­sed chap­ters such as: ‘Esti­ma­ti­on of the bree­ding den­si­ty of Litt­le Auks (Alle alle)’, ‘The bree­ding popu­la­ti­on of Litt­le Auk (Alle alle) in colo­nies in Horn­sund and nor­thwes­tern Spits­ber­gen’, ‘Important moul­ting are­as for sea­birds in Sval­bard’, ‘Dis­tri­bu­ti­on of sea­birds at sea in the nor­t­hern Barents Sea’, ‘The pre­dic­ta­bi­li­ty of the spa­ti­al dis­tri­bu­ti­on of guil­l­emots (Uria spp.) in the Barents Sea’, ‘The effect of sea ice on the dis­tru­bu­ti­on of sea­birds in the nor­t­hern Barents Sea’. 
  • Kovacs, K., Gjertz, J., Lyder­sen, C. (2004): Mari­ne Mammals of Sval­bard. (Published by the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te, Oslo. ISBN 82-7666-208-0. 64 pp. Very nice, litt­le book about mari­ne mammals which can be seen in Sval­bard: polar bears, seals, wha­les. 
  • Kovacs, Kit (Ed., 2005): Birds And Mammals Of Sval­bard (Published by the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te as No 13 in the series ‘Polar Hand­books’. 203 pages. ISBN (10) 82-7666-221-8 oder ISBN (13) 978-82-7666-221-4). Slight­ly lar­ger (and thus hea­vier), but most­ly more com­pre­hen­si­ve and bet­ter illus­tra­ted than the old edi­ti­on of ‘Birds and mammals’ (see Mehlum, 1990), which it has repla­ced.
  • Mehlum, Fri­dt­jov (1990): Birds And Mammals Of Sval­bard (Published by the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te as No 5 in the series ‘Polar Hand­books’. 139 pages. ISBN 82-90307-67-5). Over­view over the important bird and mammal spe­ci­es bree­ding in the Sval­bard area with many colour foto­graphs and a chap­ter about gene­ral eco­lo­gy of the area. While being in Sval­bard, I hard­ly go any­whe­re wit­hout this book in my pocket. Out of print and repla­ced by Kovacs (Ed., 2005)
  • Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te: The Pla­cen­a­mes of Sval­bard. -Rap­port­se­rie Nr. 122 (Reprint of older edi­ti­on from 1991). The title sounds bor­ing, but this book is a tre­asu­re for any­bo­dy with some inte­rest for the histo­ry of Sval­bard. 
  • Røn­ning, Olaf I.: The Flo­ra of Sval­bard (Published 1996 by the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te as No 10 in the series ‘Polar Hand­books’. 184 pages. ISBN 82-7666-100-9). About… guess what! Yes: the Flo­ra of Sval­bard. The book uses a bota­ni­cal key sys­tem and is good for you if you have some back­ground in bota­ny.
  • Soper, Tony: The Arc­tic. A Gui­de To Coas­tal Wild­life (Bradt Tra­vel Gui­des (UK)/The Glo­be Pequot Press Inc (USA). 143 pages. ISBN 1 84162 020 3). Over­view of arc­tic birds and mammals.
  • Sørei­de, Oddmund (1994): Hopen. Ishavsøy og meteo­ro­lo­gisk stas­jon. Fris­ke Tank­ar A/S, Øys­te­se. 158 pp, ISBN 82-91386-05-6. Very detail­ed infor­ma­ti­on about the island Hopen. Nor­we­gi­an.


  • Born, Erik W./ Böcher, Jens (edi­tors): The Eco­lo­gy of Green­land (. Edi­ted 2001 by the Minis­try of Envi­ron­ment and Natu­ral Resour­ces in Nuuk, Green­land. 429 pages. ISBN 87-558-1514-6). After some basic eco­lo­gi­cal con­cepts fol­low the chap­ters: Flo­ral and Fau­nal Histo­ry (Green­land befo­re, during and after The Ice Ages), The Cli­ma­te, Adapt­a­ti­ons to Arc­tic Con­di­ti­ons, The Oce­an (The Oce­an Envi­ron­ment, The Mari­ne Eco­sys­tem, Lower tro­phic levels, Fish, Sea Birds, Mari­ne Mammals), Land and Fresh Water (The Ter­restri­al Envi­ron­ment, The Soil, The Fresh Water Envi­ron­ment, Vas­cu­lar Plants, Mos­ses, Fun­gi, Lichens, Small Ter­restri­al and Fresh Water Ani­mals, Birds Asso­cia­ted with Land and Fresh Water, Ter­restri­al Mammals), Man and Natu­re (His­to­ri­cal Eco­lo­gy, Popu­la­ti­on Growth and Pat­terns of Resour­ce Explo­ita­ti­on, Modern Fishery-and Rese­arch, Modern Hun­ting-and Rese­arch, Pol­lu­ti­on).
  • Det Kon­ge­li­ge Dans­ke Geo­gra­fis­ke Sels­kab (publisher): Topo­gra­fisk Atlas Grøn­land is not just a coll­ec­tion of maps, but con­sists rather of 83 short chap­ters about vir­tual­ly ever­y­thing which might be of inte­rest within an Green­lan­dic con­text. If you have a serious inte­rest in Green­land and you can read Danish, then there’s hard­ly a way around this book (278 pages, published as Atlas over Danm­mark Serie II Bind 6, ISBN 87-87945-44-4).
  • Escher, Arthur/ Watt, W. Stuart (edi­tors): Geo­lo­gy of Green­land ( Published 1976 by The Geo­lo­gi­cal Sur­vey of Green­land (today: Geo­lo­gi­cal Sur­vey of Den­mark and Green­land: GEUS). 603 pages, ISBN 87-980404-0-5). Despi­te of its age of soon 30 years it gives a good and quite detail­ed over­view over the geo­lo­gy of Green­land and its various regi­ons – pro­vi­ded you have some basic know­ledge. An up-to-date book with a simi­lar con­tent has been published in 2008 by Hen­rik­sen (see below).
  • Hal­ler, John: Geo­lo­gy of the East Green­land Cale­do­ni­des (Inter­sci­ence Publishers 1971. 413 pages. ISBN 0 471 34420 6). Despi­te of its age of more than 30 years this book pro­vi­des a very useful and quite detail­ed intro­duc­tion into the geo­lo­gy of cen­tral and nor­t­hern East Green­land. In some details cer­tain­ly out of date, but still a very good start. Basic know­ledge requi­red.
  • Hen­rik­sen, Niels/Higgins, A.K./ Kals­beek, Feiko/ Pul­ver­taft, T. Chris­to­pher R. : Green­land from Archae­an to Qua­ter­nary. Descrip­ti­ve text to the Geo­lo­gi­cal map of Green­land 1:2 500 000 (Published by the Geo­lo­gi­cal Sur­vey of Den­mark and Green­land (GEUS) as Geo­lo­gy of Green­land Sur­vey Bul­le­tin No 185. 93 pages, includes a geo­lo­gi­cal map of Green­land. ISBN 87-7871-069-3, ISSN 1397-1905). Pro­vi­ded you have some basic know­ledge in geo­lo­gy, it gives a very good over­view over the geo­lo­gy of Green­land. The con­cept of the included map is inte­res­t­ing and com­bi­nes infor­ma­ti­on on both age and litho­lo­gy.
  • Hen­rik­sen, Niels: Geo­lo­gi­cal Histo­ry of Green­land – Four bil­li­on years of earth evo­lu­ti­on. Size: 25 x 29.7 cm, Prin­ted: June 2008, 1 Eng­lish edi­ti­on, num­ber prin­ted 4000, ISBN: 978-87-7871-211-0, published by and obtainable from the Geo­lo­gi­cal Sur­vey of Den­mark and Green­land (GEUS). This is the defi­ni­te, up-to-date book for you if are inte­res­ted in the sub­ject.
  • Mik­kel­sen, Peter Schmidt: Nor­døst-Grøn­land 1908-1960. Fang­st­mands­pe­ri­oden (Asche­houg, second edi­ti­on 2001, ISBN 87-11-11538-6, in Danish). About the histo­ry of East Green­land north of the Score­s­by­sund, espe­ci­al­ly the Danish and Nor­we­gi­an trap­pers.
  • Mik­kel­sen, Peter Schmidt: One Thousand Days with Siri­us. The Green­land Sledge Pat­rol con­ta­ins a wealth of histo­ry, sto­ries and fur­ther infor­ma­ti­on about the famous Siri­us pat­rol and bey­ond. (ISBN 0-9950773-0-3, trans­la­ted and published in Eng­lish by The Ste­a­ding Work­shop).
  • Silis, Ivars: Fro­zen Hori­zons. The world’s lar­gest natio­nal park (Nuuk, 1995. ISBN 87-558-1143-4) descri­bes the natu­re of the Natio­nal Park nice­ly illus­tra­ted in Eng­lish.

Franz Josef Land

  • Barr, Sus­an (edi­tor): Franz Josef Land (Published 1995 by the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te as No 8 in the series ‘Polar Hand­books’. 139 pages. ISBN 82-7666-095-9). This book is what you need if you are inte­res­ted in Franz Josef Land. Short chap­ters on Geo­gra­phi­cal posi­ti­on and gene­ral cha­rac­te­ristics of the FJL archi­pe­la­go, Cli­ma­te, Gla­ciers, Geo­lo­gy, Freshwa­ter Sys­tems, Soil, Vege­ta­ti­on, Mari­ne envi­ron­ment and wild­life and seve­ral chap­ters on histo­ry. Includes fur­ther lite­ra­tu­re and sum­ma­ries in Nor­we­gi­an, Ger­man, Polish, Rus­si­an and French. Very useful, con­side­ring the scar­si­ty of other recent lite­ra­tu­re about Franz Josef Land.
  • Dib­ner, V.D. (edi­tor): Geo­lo­gy of Franz Josef Land (Published 1998 by the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te(Oslo) as No 146 in the series Med­del­el­ser. 190 pages. ISBN 82-7666-107-6). For spe­cia­lists.

Jan May­en

  • Barr, Sus­an: Jan May­en. Nor­ges utpost i vest. Øyas his­to­rie gjen­nom 1500 år (Oslo 2003, ISBN 82-300-0029-8. May be obtai­ned at the sta­ti­on on Jan May­en or direct­ly from the aut­hor). If you can read Nor­we­gi­an and have an inte­rest for the histo­ry of this arc­tic island, then this is the book for you.
  • Haq­ue­bord, Lou­w­rens (main aut­hor, tog­e­ther with seve­ral other con­tri­bu­tors): Jan May­en. Vul­ca­nic Island in the North Atlan­tic Oce­an (Published 1998 as Volu­me 13 of the Cir­cum­po­lar Jour­nal by the Arc­tic Cent­re in Groningen/The Net­her­lands. 111 pages. ISSN 0925-2177). Over­view over natu­ral histo­ry inclu­ding geo­lo­gy, vege­ta­ti­on and birds. The main focus is histo­ry which is dealt with in 4 chap­ters. Very useful, espe­ci­al­ly as lite­ra­tu­re about Jan May­en is scarse other­wi­se.
  • Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te (publisher): Natur- og Kul­tur­mil­jøet på Jan May­en – med en vur­de­ring av ver­never­dier, kunn­s­kaps­be­hov og for­valt­ning (published 1997 as No 144 in the series Med­del­el­ser. 127 pages. ISBN 82-7666-126-2). Pro­vi­ded you can read Nor­we­gi­an, this book gives a good and some­what more detail­ed intro­duc­tion espe­ci­al­ly in terms of natu­ral histo­ry and eco­lo­gy.



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last modification: 2013-10-12 · copyright: Rolf Stange