Environmental chemist Dorte Herzke has an urgent mission. If she always seems to be locked away in the lab it’s because that’s where the magic happens, where she and her team are trying to figure out how to save the world.
Climate warming is rapidly altering the physical marine environment in fjords on the west coast of Svalbard towards a more temperate state. Reductions in sea ice cover and increased ocean temperatures are evident, resulting in changes of ice-associated and pelagic ecosystems.
A valuable development in international oceans governance is the growing importance of regional cooperation. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, there are currently about 60 international organizations that deal with in regional oceans governance. The increase in the number of these organizations is partly driven by the regional nature of many of the challenges confronting us in the oceans, as is the case is for the Arctic. Another important driver is the provisions on regional cooperation in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement.
Orrefjell mountain, in Salangen valley, Northern Norway, has one of Norway’s largest uranium deposits. The area is used for recreation and as pastureland for rough grazing animals, and the catchment area to the south is settled, with farms and houses. What does it mean to live on a mountain of uranium?
You may know that the carbon dioxide we humans release is changing the climate. Fewer are aware that it is also changing the chemistry of seawater. About a third of the CO2 we emit is taken up by the oceans, where it lowers the water’s pH. That has consequences for marine ecosystems.
A tiny sleeping beauty from the ocean depths is the key player in the spring bloom – the most fascinating processes in Arctic waters. Rising ocean temperatures may put this ecosystem clockwork at risk.
Pest insect outbreaks in the subarctic birch forest of northern Norway are among the most abrupt and large-scale ecosystem disturbances attributed to recent climate change in Europe. But such outbreaks have occurred regularly as far back as historical records go. What is new and why are moth outbreaks a cause of concern?
The Soviet research vessel "Sevastopol" arrived in Bergen on 16 February 1958. On board were eight scholars who were to resume the marine research cooperation that Norway and Russia had established before the Russian Revolution of 1917. Half a year later, Norwegian oceanographers returned the favour by visiting Murmansk.
Svalbard’s polar bears, which belong to the Barents Sea population, were hunted intensively up to protection in 1973. After that, the population recovered significantly. But in more recent years, sea ice loss in this area has been more severe than in any other polar bear habitat. How are they doing now?
Designing management strategies for ice-covered Arctic waters under variable environmental conditions is challenging, and becomes even more so when decision-making also involves consideration of variable environmental values. New methods are needed for integrated management of a dynamic marine Arctic.
Wildlife may partly buffer changing environmental conditions by adjusting their behaviour. Over thousands of years in a hostile environment, the wild Svalbard reindeer have developed strategies to cope with severe winter feeding conditions. How are they responding to increasingly rainy and icy winters?
The Arctic ocean is warmest when the air in the Arctic gets colder. This is when the sea ice north of Svalbard decreases. Researchers found changes in the physical marine environment that was so great that the ecosystems north of Svalbard had changed.
After the discovery that pesticides and industrial chemicals can spread to every corner of the world and harm wildlife, many were banned. For some, environmental levels fell quickly. But effects depend not just on levels, but also on interactions with other stressors. We need to understand these links.