Warm spring day posted in Svalbard, Norway

Longyearbyen airport. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

May 28 came with more heat than any day last year at the airport in Longyearbyen, the world’s northernmost with scheduled public flights.

“It is real summer now in Longyearbyen at Svalbard. The airport measured 12,7 degrees and that is warmer than measured any day at the airport last year,” the Norwegian Meteorological Institute said in a tweet.

Local newspaper Svalbardposten reported the temperature to reach 12,9°C the same day. That is the warmest ever measured in May. Last record, from May 1976, peaked at 10,6°C.

A satellite image from May 29, captured by one of the Sentinel-2 satellites and processed by the European Commission Directorate-General for Defense Industry and Space, shows high sediment discharge to Isfjorden outside Longyearbyen due to rapid melting of snow and ice.

Record breaking surface melting around Longyearbyen 

Monitoring made by the Department of Climatologie & Topoclimatologie at the University of Liege, can tell that the ongoing surface melting in the area around Longyearbyen is record breaking for the period and is caused by the ongoing heatwave.

The satellite images helps scientists study changes in the earth’s surface with great detail, also in Arctic areas when monitoring melting of glaciers.

The current heat at Svalbard is caused by warm winds from Scandinavia being pushed north. Also northernmost Norway has over the last few days seen temperatures above normal for late May. Tromsø had 20,5°C on Monday. 

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Canada releases plan for a 40 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2030, CBC News

Finland: The world could transition entirely to cheap, safe renewable energy before 2050: Finnish study, Yle News

Greenland: Melting of Greenland glacier generating its own heat and accelerating thaw from base, says study, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Will the green transition be the new economic motor in the Arctic?, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Sweden’s climate policies closer to reaching goals, Radio Sweden

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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