These astonishing facts about the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard will wow your friends and family. Svalbard, located between 74° and 82° north latitude, is the definition of distant. Svalbard is at the top of many people's bucket lists since it is home to the world's northernmost... well, pretty much everything. It is a mountainous territory with vast valleys and high peaks. Svalbard is also one of the least populated places on Earth, with only 49 permanent residents.
The islands were discovered by Norwegian explorer Jonas Sjongsen in 1586 and were named after him. They have been under Norwegian control since 1920. Before that time, they were part of the kingdom of Sweden from 1645 until 1814 when Norway was created.
Since World War II, thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in southern Canada and the United States because of hurricanes and other violent storms. They have gone to Svalbard to protect their investments and work for seasonal companies that operate around the clock during the summer months when gold is mined using modern equipment.
Almost 10% of Svalbard is protected as national parks or wildlife reserves. Mountains, glaciers, fjords, and tundra cover nearly half of the island. The rest is made up of farms and settlements.
The average temperature in January is -10 degrees Celsius and in July it is 20 degrees Celsius.
Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago (Old Norse: "Cold Coast") in the Arctic Ocean, just north of the Arctic Circle. The islands are located around 580 miles (930 kilometers) north of Tromso, Norway, between longitude 10 deg and 35 deg E and latitude 74 deg and 81 deg N. Svalbard is mainly composed of mountains and glaciers, with only small areas of flat land.
The island group belongs to Norway. It is administered as part of the Barents Region under a governor appointed by the government in Oslo. Around 14,000 people live on Svalbard, mostly scientists from around the world who come to study the effects of global warming in this unique environment. The population is made up primarily of Europeans (Norwegians make up half of it) and Americans.
Svalbard is known for its coal deposits, which supply energy to most of Norway's homes. There is also oil under the sea off the coast of Svalbard. But due to the limited amount of oil and the fact that it is difficult and expensive to extract, these resources are not expected to last forever.
Because of the importance of scientific research to humanity's understanding of climate change and other topics, many countries have research stations on Svalbard. Russia has two such stations: one at Spitsbergen (formerly called Zemlya Georga) and another at Novosibirskoye (formerly called Severny).
Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago of islands in the Arctic Ocean north of mainland Norway, approximately 650 miles (1,050 kilometers) from the North Pole. With a population of roughly 2,200 people, it is the world's northernmost year-round community. It is also one of the largest, located on Spitsbergen, which is divided into three regions: Nord-Spitsbergen, East-Spitsbergen, and West-Spitsbergen.
No, the North Pole is located in the Arctic Ocean, on 90°W longitude. However, Svalbard is located at 78°N, so they are not exactly close to each other on the map.
The term "the North Pole" often refers to an area of ice about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) wide around the pole itself. However, this is an Antarctic reference, as Svalbard is part of Norway. The North Pole can also refer to the location of Earth's axis of rotation, which is almost directly over the geographic North Pole. But since the rotation of Earth is not constant, this position varies over time.
Earth's axis of rotation has been slowly moving toward the south for millions of years due to tectonic activity and other factors. At some point in the future, it is believed that this movement will be great enough to cause the North Pole to become submerged under water.
Jan Mayen and Svalbard. Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean under full Norwegian sovereignty, but subject to the Svalbard Treaty's exceptional status. Jan Mayen is a remote Arctic Ocean island with no permanent inhabitants that is administered by the County Governor of Nordland. It has been reported that the governor of Svalbard is also responsible for Jan Mayen.
Since 2008, Harald V has been the governor of Svalbard. He is also the King's Commissioner and Head of Government for the Kingdom of Norway. The commissioner role makes him the highest-ranking official on Svalbard. Before he became governor, Harald V was prime minister of Norway for four months in 1990 after the death of Olav deg Porteous. He is married and has two children.
Jan Peter Skarvøy is the county governor of Nordland who is also appointed as the governor of Svalbard. He is responsible for executing government policy on Svalbard and for administering public affairs while Harald V is away or detained. He has been county governor since 2005. Before that, from 1991 to 2004, he served as mayor of Longyearbyen. He is married and has one child.
Svalbard has been leased to Norway by Russia since 1920. However, Russia retains control of airspace above Svalbard and can prevent any Norwegian aircraft from flying there if there are security concerns.
Polar bears, Svalbard reindeer, and Arctic foxes live in the harsh landscape of Svalbard's glaciers and tundra. Winter delivers the Northern Lights, and summer offers the "midnight sun," which is sunlight 24 hours a day. The island's proximity to the North Pole brings warm temperatures throughout the year.
The main city on Svalbard is Longyearbyen. It was built for the Norwegian military after they claimed the territory in 1920. Today, it is a mining town with about 2,500 people. There are also several smaller settlements on the island.
The environment of Svalbard has shaped humans into what they are today. Polar explorers such as Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen were some of the first people to study climate change in action. They learned that changes to the polar ice cap were happening more quickly than anyone expected, and this knowledge led to their efforts to reach the South Pole first!
Today, Svalbard is part of Norway, but it used to be part of Russia. During World War II, when Norway was occupied by Nazi Germany, Svalbard was found by the United States under a treaty with Norway. It is now considered part of Norway again. However, Russia still claims ownership of the island because it entered the war later than Norway and Germany had hoped it would join them.
Svalbard is an arctic desert, and Longyearbyen marks the end of civilisation and humanity's last frontier. Nature rules with astounding severity beyond the town's bounds, and the freezing mountains and fjords are home to roughly 3,000 polar bears grazing on fattened seals.
Longyearbyen is only accessible by plane or boat, so when you visit this remote part of Norway you're really escaping to a whole other world away from the crowds and stress of modern life.
This unique environment has provided sanctuary for species that would otherwise be lost forever. Polar bears have made Longyearbyen their permanent home, and without human intervention they would likely disappear within decades or centuries due to encroaching development in the area. Instead, these bears have learned to rely on humans for survival, which means they will never attack a person unless they feel threatened or compelled to do so for food or a mate.
The people who live here get most of their water from snow and ice, so when there's no winter weather everything is fine but when it does rain, which is rarely, it can cause some problems. Flooding is usually only a concern during spring thaw when the snow starts to melt, and electric power outages occur frequently due to local conditions affecting the availability of wind power.