March 2011

25.03.11
Unusually low temperatures in the Arctic ozone layer have recently initiated massive ozone depletion. The Arctic appears to be heading for a record loss of this trace gas that protects the Earth’s surface against ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Measurements are resulting from the so-called "Match" campaign carried out by an international network of over 30 ozone sounding stations including AWIPEV in Ny-Ålesund.
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February 2011

Golden Boys - 22.02.11

The sun has come back after 4 months of polar night. The weather condition was optimal today after noon to observe the sunlight from Skaret, a pass over Ny-Ålesund accessible by snowmobile . The full AWIPEV team enjoyed the "warm" light despite the freezing air temperature of 34 degrees below zero.

First visit - 16.02.11

A polar bear visited Ny-Ålesund today at lunch time. The bear walked behind Mellageret to the harbour. The watchman and his team scared the animal away towards Brandalspynten on the west side of the settlement.

Many inhabited locations on Svalbard have gotten bear visits since last weekend (read more on http://svalbardposten.no/nyheter/mange-bjørnebesøk
The actual conditions permit bears to travel easily on frozen fjords. The sea ice on the West coast of Spitsbergen is closing up increasing the possibility to meet polar bear in the area.

Snowmobile season starts

Information from Kings Bay:

There are several regulatory aspects to keep in mind when driving a snow mobile in Svalbard in general and Ny-Ålesund in particular. Please see these documents:

The speed limit for snow mobiles inside Ny-Ålesund is 30 km/h and outside it is 80 km/h, and you’ll need a valid driver’s license to drive a snow mobile.

Ice on Kongsfjorden

Kongsfjorden has frozen for several weeks. The ice edge runs from Brandalspynten to Ny-London on Blomstrandøya. The drilling measurements showed that the ice thickness varies from 26 to 55 cm. Such good condition has not been observed since 2005 in Ny-Ålesund.