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Scientists and climatologists are saying that it would impact natural resources directly, making some parts of the world virtually uninhabitable. This, inevitably, would result in mass movement of human tide.

Norwegian minister of foreign affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre affirmed that back in 2011 at the Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement:

Human displacement due to climate change is happening now. There is no need to debate it.”

The realisation, somehow, has not hit authorities in Pakistan, who remain in a state of denial. This, despite the reality of having witnessed a movement (albeit a slow one) of people from rural to urban centres, due in part to climate-related events which have been taking place over the last several decades.

Good read on displacement of people due to environmental impacts.

Fin whale carcass the bears have been feeding on for the past year.

Via Iceland to Svalbard by buen viaje on Flickr.


The Blomstrandbreen glacier, located in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, has retreated nearly two kilometers since 1928, the year the black and white photos were taken.

The rate of glacial retreat has accelerated to 35 metres (114 feet) per year since 1960, and even faster in the last decade.

Black and white photos courtesy the Norwegian Polar Institute, color photos Christian Aslund for Greenpeace.



And, there’s a video… 

The bigger the earthquake, the louder it rings. And the magnitude 9.0 quake that struck just off the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011 was very big, indeed.

Scientific instruments like seismometers are sensitive enough to pick up seismic waves from distant earthquakes, even on their second or third trip around the planet. (Satellites have even detected the accompanying atmospheric waves.) It doesn’t always take super-precise measurements to know something is happening, however. A groundwater monitoring well in Virginia made the passage of seismic waves from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake quite clear in the form of a rapid two foot rise in water level.

While the tsunami that accompanied the earthquake in Japan was devastating, waves of a very different sort were spawned far away—in the fjords of Norway. A number of witnesses noticed the strange waves, occurring as they did on a calm morning when the fjord waters were otherwise smooth. As some managed to capture on video

Free documentary: Salmon Confidential.


In Norway, culture of whaling can’t compete with modern alternatives. @whales_org @oceanwire

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Note the slabs of meat. Also, Tim Zimmermann is a hard core, outdoors/environmental dude. He runs a solid tumblr - follow if you can!

A primer on ocean acidification. What it is. How it works. And its impacts on the ocean. From the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme.

AMAP is one of five Working Groups of the Arctic Council.

The primary function of AMAP is to advise the governments of the eight Arctic countries (Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States) on matters relating to threats to the Arctic region from pollution, and associated issues.


Great map from The Economist showing which European countries are pursuing shale gas fracking and which have banned it.

The Economist is also hosting a live debate on the topic of shale gas this week. Check it out here.

No drilling permits required in Norway? Hard to believe.

In a confusing Press Release, the United Nations urges countries to protect AND develop the Arctic as glaciers and ice melt. On the one hand, the PR urges stronger legal and environmental regulations. On the other, it urges northern countries to cooperate as they exploit the Arctic’s vast resources of oil, gas, minerals, and fish: “the Arctic Council …is formed by Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US has a crucial role to play in ensuring any resource exploitation is done responsibly.”

Confused? Yeah, me too…

Via United Nations

Piles of beluga whale bones from past hunts. Svalbard, Norway. Via


Bones of Past Hunts

Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic

Heaps of beluga whale bones on a Svalbard beach bear witness to a whaling heyday long past. The small, social white whales commonly swim in Arctic and subarctic waters where they are still targeted by indigenous people and some larger fishing operationsbut in Svalbard they are protected.

Extensive beluga hunting began here in the 18th century and continued unabated until Norway protected belugas here in 1961. In the past four decades the Svalbard population has been bouncing back.

Though many species are slow to reproduce, whale populations around the world have shown an ability to rebound when humans give them protected spaces in which to breed and live.

I’m so surprised by the depth of research and overall usefulness of the How Stuff Works website. This post on the North Pole covers how to prepare for an Arctic Expedition. It included this nice nugget:

From the 15th through the 20th century, the Doctrine of Discovery was recognized by European and American explorers as the go-to guideline for ownership of territory. The doctrine uses a basic “first-come, first-served” rule — a region belongs to whatever country got there first. Remember how the United States “won” the race to the moon in 1969 by planting a flag on the lunar surface?

Today, the United Nations has taken control of the issue. According to the U.N. Convention on the Laws of the Sea, claims to the North Pole are based on a country’s continental shelf (undersea extensions of land).

In 2007, Russian mini-submarines — on a mission to explore natural gas and oil deposits under the North Pole — planted Russian flags below the Arctic ice. The Canadians were not pleased, mostly because they claim that the North Pole is theirs. So do Denmark (via Greenland), Norway and the United States.

Via How Things Work (really great read)


World’s First Electric Car Ferry Recharges in 10 Minutes |

The world’s first battery electric car ferry is under development in Norway. It’s capable of carrying 120 cars and 360 passengers, and it can fully recharge in just 10 minutes.

Called ZeroCat, the 260-foot ferry will enter passenger service in 2015 on a route between Lavik and Oppedal. The ferry’s electric powertrain was designed by Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand with battery technology from Siemens, and it will be run by ferry operator Norled.

Instead of a 2,000-hp diesel engine — which powers the current ferry and sucks up over 264,000 gallons of fuel each year — ZeroCat features an 800 kW battery that weighs 11 tons and drives two screws. Though the battery is quite heavy, the ship only weighs half as much as a conventional catamaran ferry, thanks to twin hulls made of aluminum. Those hulls are a slim design, which further increases efficiency, with Siemens estimating the ferry will need only 400 kW to cruise at 10 knots.

Can’t wait to ride in it. I should be in Norway early fall…

Update: Sharp eyed tumblr ricanontherun noticed the ship is flying under what seems to be the Puerto Rico state flag. Norled is a subsidiary of a larger transportation company called DSD, based in Norway. The flag is the same, but has a slightly italicized effect, slanting the star and stripes. As far as I can tell, DSD has been flying the flag since 1903. Unclear the legal issues. It’s possible DSD registers in PR. Anyone?


Austfonna is an ice cap located on Nordaustlandet in the Svalbard archipelago in Norway photo by Mike Reyfman