Svalbard

Svalbard
Flag of Svalbard
Flag
Coat of arms of Svalbard
Coat of arms
Location of Svalbard
Capital
and largest city
Longyearbyen
Official languagesNorwegian
Ethnic groups
GovernmentRegion of Norway
• Governor
Odd Olsen Ingerø (2009–)
Area
• Total
61,022 km2 (23,561 sq mi)
Population
• 2012[1] estimate
2,642
CurrencyNorwegian krone (NOK)
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST)
CEST (UTC+2)
Calling code+47
Internet TLD.no a
  1. .sj allocated but not used.[2]

Svalbard is a group of islands in the Arctic Ocean. It is the most northern part of Norway. It is about halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Spitsbergen is the largest island, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya. The islands are governed by the Governor of Svalbard. The government is located at Longyearbyen. Other settlements include research outposts, the Russian mining community of Barentsburg, the research community of Ny-Ålesund and the mining outpost of Sveagruva.

The islands were first used as a whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries. After this, they were abandoned. Coal mining started at the beginning of the 20th century, and several permanent villages were built. The Spitsbergen Treaty of 1920 states that Norway is in control of Svalbard. The 1925 Svalbard Act made Svalbard part of Norway. These treaties also set out rules that economic activities could be done freely and that no military activities can take place. There are only two mining companies, one Norwegian and one Russian. Research and tourism are important industries. There are no roads to connect the settlements. Instead, snowmobiles, aircraft and boats serve as transport. Svalbard Airport in Longyearbyen is the main airport.

In summer, the plants grow quickly during the midnight sun. Svalbard is a breeding ground for many seabirds. There are also polar bears, reindeer, and mammals that live in the sea. Seven national parks and 23 nature reserves cover two-thirds of Svalbard. This protects the fragile natural environment. Sixty percent of land is covered by glaciers, and the islands have many mountains and fjords.

Climate

Svalbard's climate is a combination of an Arctic climate (Köppen: ET) tempered by the North Atlantic Current. Nordenskiöld Land is the warmest and wettest part of the archipelago, caused by the convergence of mild and humid air from the south and cold air from the north. Average summer highs are typically 3 to 7 °C (37 to 45 °F) while average winter highs are −11 to −13 °C (12 to 9 °F).[3] Svalbard experiences midnight sun from 19 April through 23 August, polar night from 27 October through 14 February and civil polar night from 14 November through 29 January. However, due to shading from mountains, the sun is not visible in Svalbard until around 8 March.[4] Snow typically covers the town from November through March. The warmest temperature ever record in Svalbard was an extraordinary 25.0 °C (77.0 °F) in July 1977 and the coldest was a frigid −46.3 °C (−51.3 °F) in March 1986.[5]

Despite its extreme northerly location, Svalbard has recorded a temperature above freezing in all months. One example was in February 2012, when the mild temperatures had an affect on both people and wildlife. The climate is known to be warming very rapidly. Svalbard has also not recorded a temperature below freezing in July.[6]

Warm temperatures can occasionally occur in Summer. The most recent warm spell was at the end of July to the beginning of August in 2015, when the mercury hit 18.0 °C (64.4 °F).[7]

Bjornoya (Bear Island) holds the record for the lowest average annual sunshine total in Europe, at just 595 hours, sunnier than some parts of Scotland.[8] Conversely, Longyearbyen, further to the north-west, receives almost twice as much sunshine as Bjornoya.[9]

Climate data for Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 7.7
(45.9)
7.0
(44.6)
6.3
(43.3)
7.5
(45.5)
10.6
(51.1)
15.7
(60.3)
25.0
(77)
18.1
(64.6)
15.2
(59.4)
8.9
(48)
7.5
(45.5)
7.2
(45)
25.0
(77)
Average high °C (°F) -13.0
(8.6)
-13.0
(8.6)
-13.0
(8.6)
-9.0
(15.8)
-3.0
(26.6)
3.0
(37.4)
7.0
(44.6)
6.0
(42.8)
1.0
(33.8)
-4.0
(24.8)
-8.0
(17.6)
-11.0
(12.2)
-4.75
(23.45)
Daily mean °C (°F) -16.5
(2.3)
-17.0
(1.4)
-16.5
(2.3)
-12.5
(9.5)
-5.0
(23)
1.0
(33.8)
5.0
(41)
4.0
(39.2)
-1.0
(30.2)
-6.5
(20.3)
-11.0
(12.2)
-14.5
(5.9)
-7.54
(18.43)
Average low °C (°F) -20.0
(-4)
-21.0
(-5.8)
-20.0
(-4)
-16.0
(3.2)
-7.0
(19.4)
-1.0
(30.2)
3.0
(37.4)
2.0
(35.6)
-3.0
(26.6)
-9.0
(15.8)
-14.0
(6.8)
-18.0
(-0.4)
-10.33
(13.4)
Record low °C (°F) -38.8
(-37.8)
-43.7
(-46.7)
-46.3
(-51.3)
-39.1
(-38.4)
-21.7
(-7.1)
-8.4
(16.9)
0.2
(32.4)
-3.9
(25)
-12.6
(9.3)
-20.8
(-5.4)
-33.2
(-27.8)
-35.6
(-32.1)
-46.3
(-51.3)
Precipitation mm (inches) 22
(0.87)
28
(1.1)
29
(1.14)
16
(0.63)
13
(0.51)
18
(0.71)
24
(0.94)
30
(1.18)
25
(0.98)
19
(0.75)
22
(0.87)
25
(0.98)
271
(10.67)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 2 2 2 3 4 13 17 18 14 5 3 3 86
Avg. snowy days (≥ 1 cm) 21 17 19 17 16 7 1 2 11 21 22 22 176
Sunshine hours 0.0 0.0 77.5 228.0 254.2 165.0 155.0 133.3 75.0 12.4 0.0 0.0 1,100.4
Source #1: Climate and daylight in Svalbard (Longyearbyen)[3]
Source #2: (extremes only),[10] (rain days & snow only)[11] (sun only)[12]
Other Languages
Acèh: Svalbard
Afrikaans: Svalbard
አማርኛ: ስቫልባር
Ænglisc: Scearpbeorgas
العربية: سفالبارد
aragonés: Svalbard
arpetan: Svalbârd
asturianu: Svalbard
azərbaycanca: Şpitsbergen
Bân-lâm-gú: Svalbard
беларуская: Шпіцберген
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Шпіцбэрген
български: Шпицберген
bosanski: Svalbard
brezhoneg: Svalbard
català: Svalbard
Чӑвашла: Шпицберген
čeština: Špicberky
Cymraeg: Svalbard
dansk: Svalbard
davvisámegiella: Svalbárda
dolnoserbski: Svalbard
eesti: Svalbard
English: Svalbard
español: Svalbard
Esperanto: Svalbardo
euskara: Svalbard
فارسی: سوالبار
føroyskt: Svalbarð
français: Svalbard
Gaelg: Svalbard
Gàidhlig: Svalbard
galego: Svalbard
хальмг: Свалбард
հայերեն: Շպիցբերգեն
हिन्दी: स्वालबार्ड
hornjoserbsce: Svalbard
hrvatski: Svalbard
Ilokano: Svalbard
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: স্ভালবার্ড
Bahasa Indonesia: Svalbard
Interlingue: Svalbard
íslenska: Svalbarði
italiano: Isole Svalbard
עברית: סבאלברד
Basa Jawa: Svalbard
kalaallisut: Svalbard
ქართული: შპიცბერგენი
қазақша: Шпицберген
kernowek: Svalbard
Kiswahili: Svalbard
Кыргызча: Шпицберген
Latina: Svalbardum
latviešu: Svalbāra
Lëtzebuergesch: Spitzbergen (Inselgrupp)
lietuvių: Svalbardas
Limburgs: Sjpitsberge
magyar: Spitzbergák
മലയാളം: സ്വാൽബാർഡ്
Bahasa Melayu: Svalbard
Nedersaksies: Spitsbargen
нохчийн: Шпицберген
Nordfriisk: Svalbard
Norfuk / Pitkern: Swaalbard
norsk: Svalbard
norsk nynorsk: Svalbard
occitan: Svalbard
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Shpitsbergen
پنجابی: سوالبارد
Papiamentu: Svalbard
Plattdüütsch: Spitzbargen
polski: Svalbard
português: Svalbard
română: Svalbard
rumantsch: Svalbard
русский: Шпицберген
Scots: Svalbard
shqip: Svalbard
sicilianu: Svalbard
slovenčina: Svalbard
slovenščina: Spitsbergi
српски / srpski: Свалбард
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Svalbard
Basa Sunda: Svalbard
svenska: Svalbard
Tagalog: Svalbard
татарча/tatarça: Шпицберген
Türkçe: Svalbard
українська: Шпіцберген
vèneto: Svalbard
Tiếng Việt: Svalbard
West-Vlams: Spitsbergn
Winaray: Esvalbard
Yorùbá: Svalbard
粵語: 冷岸群島
Zazaki: Svalbard
Zeêuws: Spitsberhen
žemaitėška: Svalbards
中文: 斯瓦尔巴