Black guillemot video

This is a black guillemot video.

I have been privileged to see these beautiful birds; both in summer plumage in Svalbard and in winter plumage off the North Sea coast.

Glaucous gulls video

This is a glaucous gulls video.

I was privileged to see these birds in Svalbard.

Polar bears in Svalbard report

This 2015 video is called Polar Bears / Documentary (English/HD).

From Polar Bears International:

A Challenging Ice Year in Svalbard?

Monday, February 22, 2016 – 11:29

Contributor: Andrew Derocher

The winter of 2015/16 has been a wild one for the Arctic. January was warm beyond belief across the Arctic, with sea ice tracking at record low levels. Svalbard’s polar bears, in particular, were challenged by the virtual absence of sea ice anywhere near the cluster of islands until late December.

When I worked in Svalbard with the Barents Sea Population, we were based on Hopen Island in the southeast corner of the archipelago. At times, up to 40 female polar bears denned there, but it was clear that they were sensitive to sea ice conditions. If the ice didn’t arrive at the island by the first week of December, females couldn’t reach the area in time to den and had to go elsewhere.

While Hopen Island lies at the southern range of the denning habitat in Svalbard, 2015 presented new challenges to bears throughout the Barents Sea population. Sea ice was very late arriving at Kong Karls Land, which is a major and critically important denning area for the population. Kong Karls Land is what I consider one of the three jewels of polar bear denning. Along with the Churchill denning area in Canada and Wrangel Island in Russia, these three areas have unusually high densities of denning females.

Kong Karls Land can have 80 dens a year in a rather small area. Bogen Valley on Kongsøya (Kings Island) used to be like a polar bear condominium complex: Females often denned a minute’s walk from their neighbor. Some females, probably a bit bored after months in a den, would move their cubs to other dens if the former resident had already taken her cubs out to the ice.

What happened to denning in 2015/16 in Svalbard won’t be known until the Norwegian field crew reports back. It’s a worrisome time. Sea ice didn’t arrive until December in much of the archipelago. The changes in Svalbard have come much faster than expected.

Many of the areas where I studied bears from 1996-2002 are no longer polar bear habitat: They don’t have any sea ice now. While the recent COP21 agreement in Paris is a positive step forward, the challenges for polar bears remain as they were. We all have a role to play and the Paris Agreement is a promising start, but we need additional leadership and a fast transition to a low-carbon future to address the challenges ahead.

Svalbard expedition 2015, videos

This summer 2015 video is from just before the big Dutch expedition to Svalbard. In this video, there is an interview with Piet Oosterveld. He was in Svalbard in 1968 as well, and tells about an attack by a polar bear then.

In this video, there are interviews with expedition participants.

This video is about traces of oil exploration in the 1980s, which can still be found in Svalbard.

This video shows the return of three expedition participants to Kapp Lee on Edgeøya island, where they were in 1968-1969 as well.

This video shows beautiful images by cameran Ruben Kocx in Svalbard.

This video is about research on Edgeøya island about springtails, fungi, etc.

This video shows the return of the scientists to Longyearbyen, the capital of Svalbard. They have found bones of whales, reindeer, etc.

This video is also about the return to Longyearbyen.

This video is about polar bear excrement, which will be studied.

This video shows various sides of the expedition.

This video is from Ny-Ålesund on Spitsbergen: visit by Dutch minister of foreign affairs, and a seal.

This video is about tourism in Svalbard, like the Longyearbyen camping ground.

Svalbard weather station working well

This August 2015 Dutch video is about meteorologist Peter Kuipers Munneke and others installing an unmanned weather station on a glacier in the eastern part of Spitsbergen island in the Svalbard archipelago.

Peter Kuipers Munneke told Dutch NOS TV today that the station is working well. Even though there has been a snow storm. And it is now polar night, meaning the solar panels don’t work, and batteries have to provide the energy.

A few days ago, it was 24 degrees Celsius below zero at the station.

380-million-year old tropical forest discovery in Svalbard

This video from the USA says about itself:

Devonian forest

4 November 2013

This scene is excerpted from the Colorado Geology: Devonian-Mississippian video (in progress). These trees are the Progymnosperm Archaeopteris, and the forest floor includes Racophyton. Major soils did not develop until the first trees evolved on land.

From Geology:

Lycopsid forests in the early Late Devonian paleoequatorial zone of Svalbard

Christopher M. Berry and John E.A. Marshall


The Middle to early Late Devonian transition from diminutive plants to the first forests is a key episode in terrestrialization. The two major plant groups currently recognized in such “transitional forests” are pseudosporochnaleans (small to medium trees showing some morphological similarity to living tree ferns and palms) and archaeopteridaleans (trees with woody trunks and leafy branches probably related to living conifers).

Here we report a new type of “transitional” in-situ Devonian forest based on lycopsid fossils from the Plantekløfta Formation, Munindalen, Svalbard. Previously regarded as very latest Devonian (latest Famennian, 360 Ma), their age, based on palynology, is early Frasnian (ca. 380 Ma). In-situ trees are represented by internal casts of arborescent lycopsids with cormose bases and small ribbon-like roots occurring in dense stands spaced ∼15–20 cm apart, here identified as Protolepidodendropsis pulchra Høeg. This plant also occurs as compression fossils throughout most of the late Givetian–early Frasnian Mimerdalen Subgroup.

The lycopsids grew in wet soils in a localized, rapidly subsiding, short-lived basin. Importantly, this new type of Middle to early Late Devonian forest is paleoequatorial and hence tropical. This high-tree-density tropical vegetation may have promoted rapid weathering of soils, and hence enhanced carbon dioxide drawdown, when compared with other contemporary and more high-latitude forests.