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SVALBARD

Global warming: Norway’s Svalbard records its highest-ever temperature

Norway's Arctic archipelago Svalbard on Saturday recorded its highest-ever temperature, the country's meteorological institute reported.

Global warming: Norway's Svalbard records its highest-ever temperature
Photo by Thomas Lipke on Unsplash

According to scientific study, global warming in the Arctic is happening twice as fast as for the rest of the planet.

For the second day in a row, the archipelago registered 21.2 degrees Celsius (70.2 Fahrenheit) in the afternoon, just under the 21.3 degrees recorded in 1979, meteorologist Kristen Gislefoss told AFP.

Later in the afternoon however, at around 6:00 pm local time, it recorded 21.7 degrees, setting a new all-time record.

The island group, dominated by Spitzbergen the only inhabited isle in the northern Norway archipelago, sits 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from the North Pole.

The relative heatwave, expected to last until Monday, is a huge spike of normal temperatures in July, the hottest month in the Arctic, 

The Svalbard islands would normally expect to be seeing temperatures of 5-8 degrees Celsius at this time of year.

The region has seen temperatures five degrees above normal since January, peaking at 38 degrees in Siberia in mid-July, just beyond the Arctic Circle.

Photo by Vince Gx on Unsplash

According to a recent report “The Svalbard climate in 2100,” the average temperatures for the archipelago between 2070 and 2100 will rise by 7-10 degrees, due to the levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

Changes are already visible. From 1971 to 2017 between three and five degrees of warming have been observed, with the biggest rises in the winter, according to the report.

Svalbard, known for its polar bear population, houses both a coal mine, digging out the most global warming of all energy sources, and a “doomsday' seed vault which has since 2008 collected stocks of the world's agricultural bounty in case of global catastrophe

The vault required 20 million euros ($23.3 million) worth of work after the infiltration of water due to thawing permafrost in 2016.

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MUSEUM

Norway digitally freezes national treasures and stores them in Arctic archive

Norway’s National Museum has preserved some of the country’s most treasured artefacts digitally and stored them in a former mine on Arctic archipelago Svalbard.

Norway digitally freezes national treasures and stores them in Arctic archive
Photo: Bartek Luks on Unsplash

The Arctic World Archive was originally constructed in 2017 to “protect the world’s most important cultural relics”, the National Museum said on its website.

The data preservation facility is located on the island of Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard archipelago, not far from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

The National Museum has now placed its entire collection of around 400,000 items as digital copies on plastic film rolls, which are to be stored at the Longyearbyen site.

“The dry, cold and low-oxygen air gives optimal conditions for storing digital archives and the film rolls will have a lifetime of around 1,000 years in the archive,” the museum writes. Emissions emitted by the archive are low due to its low energy consumption.

Offline storage of the archives also insures them against cyber attacks, the museum said.

In addition to all data from the National Museum collection database, high-resolution digital images of works by selected artists are included in the archive.

Works to be stored include ‘The Scream’ by Edvard Munch, ‘Winter Night in the Mountains’ by Harald Sohlberg, the Baldishol Tapestry and Queen Maud’s ball dress.

“At the National Museum we have works from antiquity until today. We work with the same perspective on the future. The collection is not only ours, but also belongs to the generations after us,” National Museum director Karin Hindsbo said via the museum’s website.

“By storing a copy of the entire collection in the Arctic World Archive, we are making sure the art will be safe for many centuries,” Hindsbo added.

In addition to the Norwegian artefacts, organisations from 15 other countries are represented in the archive, including national museums in Mexico, Brazil and India; the Vatican library, Sweden’s Moderna Museet and Unicef.

READ ALSO: Norway's Arctic 'doomsday vault' stocks up on 60,000 more food seeds

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