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Latest Svalbard Stories

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2007-12-17 15:35:00

Washington, DC -- Organic compounds contain carbon and hydrogen and form the building blocks of all life on Earth. By analyzing organic material and minerals in the Martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001, scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory have shown for the first time that building blocks of life formed on Mars early in its history. Previously, scientists have thought that organic material in ALH 84001 was brought to Mars by meteorite impacts or more speculatively...

2007-12-04 12:27:11

OSLO, Norway (AP) - Remains of a bus-sized prehistoric "monster" reptile found on a remote Arctic island may be a new species never before recorded by science, researchers said Tuesday. Initial excavation of a site on the Svalbard islands in August yielded the remains, teeth, skull fragments and vertebrae of a reptile estimated to measure nearly 40 feet long, said Joern Harald Hurum of the University of Oslo. "It seems the monster is a new species," he told The Associated Press. The reptile...

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2007-11-16 18:49:49

OSLO, Norway -- Refrigeration units on Friday begin cooling a new doomsday vault dug into an already frigid Arctic mountainside to protect the world's seeds in case of a global catastrophe. Norway blasted the Svalbard Global Seed Vault deep into the permafrost of a remote Arctic archipelago to protect as many as 4.5 million of the world's agricultural seeds from climate change, plant epidemics, natural disasters or war. It is due to open Feb. 26. The Svalbard Archipelago, 300 miles north of...

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2006-08-31 12:45:00

Imagine a shift in the Earth so profound that it could force our entire planet to spin on its side after a few million years, tilting it so far that Alaska would sit at the equator. Princeton scientists have now provided the first compelling evidence that this kind of major shift may have happened in our world's distant past. By analyzing the magnetic composition of ancient sediments found in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, Princeton University's Adam Maloof has lent credence...

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2006-08-14 09:45:00

High in the Arctic, just below Earth's north polar ice cap, a collaboration of nearly two dozen biologists, geologists, and engineers have embarked on an expedition to Mars. The scientists and researchers are spending two and a half weeks at the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean north of Norway. The goal of this annual expedition, called the Arctic Mars Analogue Svalbard Expedition (AMASE), is to characterize the geology, geophysical features, biosignatures, and possible life forms of...

2006-07-06 08:05:00

By James Kilner LONGYEARBYEN, Norway -- Thais may not have a distinguished polar history but they are among the biggest ethnic groups in Norway's snowy Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. This group of islands roughly the size of Ireland and about 600 miles from the North Pole is the only place in Western Europe where migrants from developing countries do not need a visa or permit to work and live. "If you're able to find a job you have the right according to the treaty to come here," Norway's...

2006-07-01 20:05:28

By James Kilner BARENTSBURG, Norway (Reuters) - A Russian flag flutters over the concrete buildings hugging the side of a fjord on a remote Norwegian island deep inside the Arctic Circle. A stone bust of Lenin dominates the town square and vodka bottles line the bar's shelves. This is Barentsburg, a Russian coal-mining town of 500 people in the Svalbard archipelago, about the size of Ireland and 1,000 km (620 miles) from the North Pole. But it is a coal-mining town that has never...

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2006-06-19 18:35:00

When scientists examined a meteorite from Mars under a microscope, they discovered tiny mineral spheres that, some argued, were produced by living organisms. Now, researchers working in the high Arctic have found similar mineral features, produced not by microbes, but by a volcano. The city of Hammerfest lies at the northern tip of Norway, well above the Arctic Circle. If you board a ship heading north from there, just before you reach the polar ice cap you run into a group of islands known...

2006-06-19 06:00:00

By James Kilner LONGYEARBYEN, Norway -- Work began in the Arctic on Monday on building a global bank of crop seeds that scientists hope will prevent the extinction of unique species such as those lost in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The underground vault on a remote island will hold about 1.5 billion seeds and 3 million varieties in a reinforced concrete tunnel drilled 70 meters (230 feet) into a mountain, guarded by two steel doors and controlled remotely from Sweden. "This seed bank is of...

2006-05-30 10:52:37

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent OSLO (Reuters) - A frozen "Noah's Ark" to safeguard the world's crop seeds from cataclysms will be built on a remote Arctic island off Norway, the Norwegian government said on Tuesday. Construction of the Global Seed Vault, in a mountainside on the island of Svalbard 1,000 km (600 miles) from the North Pole, would start in June with completion due in September 2007. "Norway will by this contribute to the global system for ensuring the...


Word of the Day
baudekin
  • A rich embroidered or brocaded silk fabric woven originally with a warp of gold thread.
'Baudekin' seems to be an alternative form of 'baldachin,' from the Italian 'Baldacco,' Baghdad, the city where the material was made.
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