Climate change in the Arctic means more winter rain, and consequently more rain falling on snow. The result can be a buildup of ice under the snow, which can wreak havoc with arctic ecosystems.
The polar night descends on the arctic archipelago of Svalbard for more than 100 days a year. But even in the depths of this darkness, the oceans are churning with activity.
Every year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste blows, falls or flows into the world’s oceans. Earlier this autumn, participants in the annual Svalbard Course plucked up 512 kg of the stuff from just one beach in two hours.
The last week of January 2012 brought wild weather to the Norwegian arctic island archipelago of Svalbard and its largest town, Longyearbyen. A new cross-disciplinary study provides a comprehensive look at the effects of this extreme weather event on everything from town infrastructure to the natural environment.