Tuesday, July 14, 2009 9:11:07 AM
About 60% of the Svalbard archipelago is covered by ice. The behavior of the Svalbard ice masses is intimately bound up with variations of the ocean-atmosphere-glaciation system and can serve as an indicator of global scale change. Recession of the majority of Svalbard glaciers seems to be the result of recent climatic warming, but reaction of particular glaciers is different. It is noteworthy that about 90% of the Svalbard glaciers are emptying into the sea. Nearly 20% of the total coast length are ice cliffs providing a source for icebergs.
It is much easier to navigate along the west coast than the east coast because a branch of the Gulf Stream is stretching out to west coast of Svalbard.
And, actually new research, which reconstructs the extent of ice in the sea between Greenland and Svalbard from the 13th century to the present indicates that there has never been so little sea ice as there is now. This means that we saw no sea ice on our way to around 80° N (Magdalenafjord: Latitude: 79° 34' 60 N, Longitude: 10° 58' 0 E), apart from extremely small lumps that had just calved off the glaciers. We did however have a clear view to glacier after glacier after glacier after ...