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?
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.
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.