Svalbard And Jan Mayen News

© Andrey Cherlat / Adobe Stock

Norway Supreme Court Hears Snow Crab Case with Implication for Oil

oil industry," Oeystein Jensen, a senior research fellow in law at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Oslo, told Reuters.The verdict is expected in three to four weeks.The issue arises out of a conviction for illegal fishing of an EU fishing vessel, the Senator, in the waters off the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago.Norway, which is not a member of the EU, argued successfully in a lower court that the European Commission does not have the right to issue fishing licences off Svalbard, over which Norway has sovereignty via a 1920 treaty.The ship's owner, Latvian fisherman Peteris Pildegovics,

Arctic FoxTail (Photo: H. Henriksen)

Oil Spill Cleanup Device Tailored for the Arctic

to the new Arctic Foxtail which can operate -21°C under the same sea temperature and wind conditions, the developer said.H. Henriksen said the Arctic FoxTail proved capable of stable and continuous operation in sub-zero arctic conditions during recent testing on board MS Polarsyssel in Longyearbyen, Svalbard.The company is now delivering the first Arctic FoxTail to the NCA.Arctic FoxTail was recently tested on board MS Polarsyssel in Longyearbyen, Svalbard (Photo: H. Henriksen

Norway to Spend More Looking for O&G Near Russian Border

end a dispute over their maritime border, which included oil and gas exploration. But since Russia's annexation of Crimea Norwegian officials have expressed concern about Russian military exercises in the region.Norway also fears that tensions between Russia and the West could have implications for Svalbard, which belongs to Norway but has become significant because of growing interest in Arctic oil and gas..Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said last year the area bordering Russia southeast of the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, which is not yet opened up for exploration, could hold 8.6 billion barrels

AWI sea-ice physicists have ericted an ice camp to investigate melt ponds on Arctic sea ice. (Photo Alfred-Wegener-Institut  Mar Fernandez)

Threat from wandering greenhouse gas

it contains, are all pushed on by the wind and currents. According to Thomas Krumpen, “It takes about two and a half years for the ice formed along the coast of the Laptev Sea to be carried across the Arctic Ocean and past the North Pole into the Fram Strait between the east cost of Greenland and Svalbard.” Needless to say, the methane trapped in the ice and the underlying saltwater is along for the ride. The rising temperatures produced by climate change are increasingly melting this ice. Both the area of water covered by sea ice and the thickness of the ice have been decreasing in recent

The scientific base of Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, as seen from the sea. The future Satellite Ranging Station will be located between the two antennas visible in the image. Credits: Norwegian Mapping Authority/Per Erik Opseth. Photo: NASA

NASA, Norway to Develop Arctic Laser-Ranging Station

data for satellite and spacecraft navigation and underpins many of NASA’s Earth-observing missions and science.”   Under the new agreement signed on Aug. 7, Norway and NASA will build and install a satellite laser ranging facility in the scientific base of Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. NASA will also provide expert consultation on how to operate the instruments.    The ground-based laser transmits ultrashort laser pulses aimed at satellites specially equipped with a retroreflector, an array of special mirrors that bounce the pulses back. The system measures the time

NORsat-1 in EMC test at SFL. Two AIS antennas may be seen at the top, and four Langmuir probes off to the sides. The solar wings of the satellite are at the bottom. (Photo: Space Flight Laboratory)

Microsatellites Launched for Maritime Monitoring, Comms and Science

with support from the Norwegian Coastal Authority, Space Norway and the European Space Agency. The Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrying the satellites into orbit launched from Baikonur at 06:36:49 UTC Friday, July 14, 2017.   Shortly after launch both satellites were contacted from ground stations in Svalbard and Vardo, Norway. Both satellites are healthy based on initial telemetry, and commissioning is underway.   The first satellite, dubbed NORsat-1 carries a state-of-the-art Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver to acquire messages from maritime vessels, a set of Langmuir probes to

© André Gilden / Adobe Stock

Melting Sea Ice: A Canary in the Coal Mine

if there is less Arctic sea ice – it will not impact the level of the sea. That is true.   But not all the ice in the Arctic is free-floating. In fact, the majority of Arctic ice is found in the Greenland ice cap, with lesser volumes of ice located on Arctic islands, such as Ellesmere and Svalbard. The same environmental changes that are accelerating the melting of Arctic sea ice are accelerating the melting of Arctic non-floating ice, although not yet to the same extent. As that non-floating ice melts, sea levels around the world will rise.    If the Greenland ice cap were to

Map FRAM (Graphic Thomas Soltwedel)

Litter Levels in the Arctic Depths On the Rise

continues to rise, posing a serious threat to its fragile ecosystem. Since 2002, AWI researchers have been documenting the amount of litter at two stations of the AWI’s “Hausgarten”, a deep-sea observatory network, which comprises 21 stations in the Fram Strait, between Greenland and Svalbard. The results of the long-term study have now been published in the scientific journal Deep-Sea Research I. “Our time series confirms that litter levels in the Arctic deep sea have risen rapidly in the past few years,” says first author and AWI biologist Mine Tekman. The scientists

“During this summer we had the drilling operation based on our 3D and 4D images. But CAGE undertook several expeditions this year that also focused on retrieving data regarding the development of marine ecosystems in the dark ocean floor areas of the Arctic.” – Prof. Jürgen Mienert, CAGE Director (Photo: CAGE)

Methane: The Arctic's Buried Treasure

using ice sheet conditions, pressure, low temperature, and retreat of the ice sheet to see where we may still have both permafrost and hydrates in those Arctic gas hydrate fields.”   In July, CAGE undertook an expedition to the sedimented and gas-hydrate charged Vestnesa Ridge, offshore Svalbard. Vestnesa lies on the active ridge system of the oceans, which are undersea mountain chains formed by tectonic movement and stretching around the globe. Utilizing advanced technology, an expert team of engineers, operators and researchers battled the elements, drilling at 1,200 meters of water depths

Photo: Fugro

Barents Sea Metocean and Ice Networks Project Underway

projects throughout Norwegian waters, Fugro was contracted for the project.   In October 2015 five Fugro-manufactured Wavescan buoys, one current- and water level-monitoring mooring, and five ice thickness and current-profiler moorings were deployed at offshore sites between Hammerfest and Svalbard. The buoys, which are suited for the conditions of the Barents Sea, are now collecting raw wave, current, meteorological and sea-water parameter data, processing the information and transmitting the summary data via satellite link. Real-time data are then displayed on a project-specific webpage

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