Tag / Svalbard

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  • Polar Bears and Ringed Seals: A Relationship in Transition

    Along the tidal glacier fronts of Svalbard, an archipelago halfway between Norway and the North Pole, polar bears have changed their hunting practices. A recent study published in the Journal of Animal Ecology indicates the new behavior is a response to rapidly disappearing sea ice. Charmain Hamilton and other researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute mapped changes…

  • Cape Farewell and The Farewell Glacier

    Artist David Buckland cares deeply for the health of the planet and believes the rest of the world should care as well. In 2001, he founded the Cape Farewell Project, an international non-profit based at the University of Arts London in Chelsea. He recently co-authored an article titled, “The Cultural Challenge of Climate Change,” along…

  • Glaciers Act as Pollutant Transporters in the Arctic

    When people think of the Arctic, they often think of polar bears on melting sea ice, not of an area contaminated by pollutants. However, according to an article by Maria Papale et al. in the Marine Pollution Bulletin, findings of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the Arctic demonstrate that ice can be a major transporter of…

  • Oxonians Retrace Paths Through Spitsbergen 93 Years Later

    During summer, a team of four students from Oxford University, led by undergraduate James Lam, completed a 184-mile expedition across the Ny-Friesland ice cap in Spitsbergen, Norway. Accompanied by a guide, Endre Før Gjermundsen, they skied across the ice cap from July 31 to August 29, retracing the route of a similar expedition conducted by…

  • Glaciers Serve as Radioactive Storage, Study Finds

    The icy surfaces of glaciers are punctured with cryoconites – small, cylindrical holes filled with meltwater, with thin films of mineral and organic dust, microorganisms, and other particles at the bottom of the hole. New research conducted by Polish scientists reveals that cryoconites also contain a thin film of extremely radioactive material. The study confirms…

  • Ice loss surpasses poaching as largest threat to Barents Sea polar bear

    Prior to the 1970s, hunting decimated polar bear populations across the Arctic. The international community has made strides in protecting the iconic species from over-harvesting through conservation agreements, which have helped the species start to recover. However, a review paper published in Polar Research in July suggests that the road to recovery is far from…

  • Polar Ecology in Flux Due to Climate Change

    Glacial melting and rising ocean temperatures are affecting the feeding, breeding and dispersion patterns of species, such as krill, cod, seals and  polar bears, in the polar regions, according to two recently published research articles. This climatic shift could create an imbalance in the regional ecology and negatively impact numerous species as the effects of climate change…

  • Photo Friday: Kronebreen Glacier in Svalbard

    This week’s Photo Friday features images from a research project in Svalbard. GlacierHub has interviewed two members of the research team. Nick Hulton, a team member, explained: Kronebreen is one of the fastest flowing glaciers in Svalbard, which is an Arctic archipelago situated north of mainland Norway. The glacier drains a large ice cap, transferring ice…

  • On Glaciers, Moss Become Asexual

    A recent study from the journal Czech Polar Reports presents interesting findings about a rarity on glaciers: moss. When glaciers have a certain amount of moisture and cryoconite—a base layer that consists of small rock particles, soot, and microbes that have accumulated on glaciers— sometimes mosses can grow on them. While it is not common…

  • Roundup: Kelp, Firn, and Plankton Studied in Svalbard

    Each week, we highlight three stories from the forefront of glacier news. Warming of Artic  Changes Kelp Forests’ Density and Depth From Polar Biology: “Arctic West Spitsbergen in Svalbard is currently experiencing gradual warming due to climate change showing decreased landfast sea-ice and increased sedimentation. In order to document possible changes in 2012–2014, we partially…