Svalbard

10 Stories

At Doomsday Vault Meant to Protect Our Seeds, a Breach

But don't panic just yet

(Newser) - "This is supposed to last for eternity," says the operator of the so-called Doomsday Vault , which since 2008 has been tucked within a mountain on a Norwegian island 800 miles from the North Pole where the soil is always frozen—or is supposed to be. The Guardian reports... More »

Santa's Reindeer Are Shrinking

Blame warmer temperatures, say scientists

(Newser) - Santa might need to recruit a few extra reindeer this year. According to Scottish scientists, Arctic reindeer are shrinking in size. Scientists weighed 135 reindeer on Norway's Svalbard archipelago, about 800 miles from the North Pole, each April from 1994 to 2015 and found the animals shrank from 121... More »

'Doomsday Vault' Sees Its First Withdrawal

Spurred by the Syrian civil war

(Newser) - The "Doomsday Vault" just got its first bit of doomsday press: coverage of its first-ever withdrawal of seeds. Since 2008, the vault has sat on a Norwegian island in the Svalbard archipelago, 800 miles from the North Pole where the soil is always frozen. It's a place so... More »

A Rare Total Solar Eclipse Wows (Parts of) Earth

Svalbard, Norway, offered perfect view, though clouds obstructed other areas

(Newser) - Sky-gazers in the Arctic were treated to a perfect view of a total solar eclipse today as the moon completely blocked out the sun in a clear sky, casting a shadow over Norway's remote archipelago of Svalbard. People shouted, cheered, and applauded as Longyearbyen, the main town in Svalbard,... More »

Polar Bear Mauls Solar Eclipse Tourist

Czech tourist was in his tent in Norway's Svalbard archipelago

(Newser) - A Czech tourist suffered minor injuries when a polar bear attacked the tent he was sleeping in on the remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norwegian authorities said today. Police spokesman Vidar Arnesen said the man, whom he didn't identify, was among a group of six that was on a... More »

'Doomsday Vault' Gets First Tree Seeds

Spruce and pine among new collection added to Svalbard Global Seed Vault

(Newser) - The " Doomsday Vault " sits on an Arctic Island, quietly helping to protect our future. At first, it mostly collected and stored food crops, but it recently got its first shipment of tree seeds, Wired reports. Norway spruce and Scots pine are, of course, not much of a meal,... More »

In This Frigid Territory, Unemployment Is Illegal

As a result, Svalbard is basically crime-free

(Newser) - How does Svalbard, Norway, remain nearly crime-free? There are a number of factors (there are fewer than 3,000 official residents and it's a remote territory with no quick escape routes), but perhaps the biggest one is that in Svalbard, it's basically against the law to be unemployed.... More »

For Fastest Internet, Try a Cabin on Edge of the World

Tiny Svalbard dwelling boasts world-class speeds

(Newser) - You wouldn't think a 750-square-foot cabin on the edge of a rock near the North Pole would offer much in the way of cutting-edge technology. After all, there are more polar bears than people in the area, and the cabin doesn't even have running water. What its Norwegian... More »

New Way to Fight Global Warming: Wipe Your Feet

Scientist cleans visitors' shoes to keep plant invaders from taking root on Arctic isle

(Newser) - Global warming could make it easier for non-native plants to take root on the Arctic's Svalbard archipelago, but one researcher is fighting the problem on the ground level, Der Spiegel reports. Chris Ware has set up shop at Longyearbyen’s airport, where he cleans arriving passengers' shoes. "Dirt almost... More »

As Ice Shrinks, Islands Emerge

New, unclaimed territories raise fears of accelerated global warming

(Newser) - The melting of ice in the Arctic Ocean has revealed previously undiscovered islands, one approximately the size of a basketball court. Reuters reports that the formerly submerged islands are unclaimed by any government but lie near Svalbard, the Norwegian territory north of the Arctic Circle. The discoveries raise fears that... More »

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