There have been few scientific investigations into the invertebrate fauna of bird nests in the Polar regions. Now a study done by scientists from UNIS, NINA and NPI can shed some more light on the life of insects and mites in bird nests on Svalbard.
For the first time the local climate impact of black carbon concentrations around Svalbard settlements has been investigated. Borgar Aamaas’ master thesis concludes that black carbon pollution by local sources increases snow melt in Longyearbyen and Svea. Aamaas will defend his master thesis June 15.
Longyearbyen is a peaceful place with a close to non-existent crime rate. However, for a short period in spring things change dramatically. The peaceful eider is being subjected to rather shocking thefts straight in front of its beak! The perpetrator is the gluttonous glaucous gull who does not stop at anything to steal the food out of the eider’s beak. This behaviour is now under scrutiny by UNIS ecological detectives!
The first Norwegian permafrost database is now online, where you can check the state of the permafrost in Svalbard and parts of Northern Norway at any time. This is an important part of the IPY project “Thermal State of Permafrost in Norway and Svalbard” (TSP Norway).
PhD candidate Endre Før Gjermundsen studies the extension and age of the ice sheet during the last glaciation in Northwest Spitsbergen and Atomfjellet area. His research indicates that the maximum glaciation of Svalbard might have happened earlier than currently believed.