Jan Mayen

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Jan Mayen
JanMayen.jpg
NASA satellite image of Jan Mayen, Beerenberg covered with snow
Jan Mayen in Nordland, Norway and Europe.png
Geography
Location Arctic Ocean
Coordinates 70°59′N8°32′W / 70.983°N 8.533°W / 70.983; -8.533 Coordinates: 70°59′N8°32′W / 70.983°N 8.533°W / 70.983; -8.533
Area377 km2 (146 sq mi)
Coastline124,100 m (407200 ft)
Highest elevation2,277 m (7470 ft)
Highest point Beerenberg
Administration
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway
Unincorportated area Jan Mayen
Largest settlement Olonkinbyen (pop. 35)
Demographics
Population0 (up to 35 non-permanent residents)
Additional information
Time zone
  Summer (DST)
Postal code 8099
ISO 3166 code SJ

Jan Mayen (Urban East Norwegian:  [jɑn ˈmɑ̀ɪən] ) [1] is a Norwegian volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean with no permanent population. It is 55 km (34 mi) long (southwest-northeast) and 373 km2 (144 sq mi) in area, partly covered by glaciers (an area of 114.2 km2 (44.1 sq mi) around the Beerenberg volcano). It has two parts: larger northeast Nord-Jan and smaller Sør-Jan, linked by a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) wide isthmus. It lies 600 km (370 mi) northeast of Iceland (495 km [305 mi] NE of Kolbeinsey), 500 km (310 mi) east of central Greenland, and 1,000 km (620 mi) west of the North Cape, Norway. The island is mountainous, the highest summit being the Beerenberg volcano in the north. The isthmus is the location of the two largest lakes of the island, Sørlaguna (South Lagoon) and Nordlaguna (North Lagoon). A third lake is called Ullerenglaguna (Ullereng Lagoon). Jan Mayen was formed by the Jan Mayen hotspot.

Contents

Although administered separately, in the ISO 3166-1 standard, Jan Mayen and Svalbard are collectively designated as Svalbard and Jan Mayen , with the two-letter country code "SJ".

Natural resources

Karman vortex street created by Beerenberg volcano in the westerly winds. Jan Mayen Von Karman Vortex street Apr 5 2012.jpg
Kármán vortex street created by Beerenberg volcano in the westerly winds.

Jan Mayen Island has one exploitable natural resource, gravel, from the site at Trongskaret. Other than this, economic activity is limited to providing services for employees of Norway's radio communications and meteorological stations located on the island. Jan Mayen has one unpaved airstrip, Jan Mayensfield, which is about 1,585 m (5,200 ft) long. The 124.1 km (77.1 mi) coast has no ports or harbours, only offshore anchorages.

There are important fishing resources, and the existence of Jan Mayen establishes a large exclusive economic zone around it. A dispute between Norway and Denmark regarding the fishing exclusion zone between Jan Mayen and Greenland was settled in 1988 granting Denmark the greater area of sovereignty. Geologists suspect significant deposits of petroleum and natural gas lie below Jan Mayen's surrounding seafloors. [2]

Status

The snow-covered Beerenberg volcano beyond the coastal hills Beerenberg JanMayen.JPG
The snow-covered Beerenberg volcano beyond the coastal hills

Jan Mayen Island is an integral part of the Kingdom of Norway. Since 1995, Jan Mayen has been administered by the County Governor (fylkesmann) of the northern Norwegian county of Nordland, to which it is closest. However, some authority over Jan Mayen has been assigned to the station commander of the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation, a branch of the Norwegian Armed Forces.

Society

Demography

Olonkinbyen in August Jan mayen-station hg.jpg
Olonkinbyen in August

The only inhabitants on the island are personnel working for the Norwegian Armed Forces and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Eighteen people spend the winter on the island, but the population may roughly double (35) during the summer, when heavy maintenance is performed. Personnel serve either six months or one year and are exchanged twice a year in April and October. The support crew, including mechanics, cooks, and a nurse, are among the military personnel. The military personnel operated a Loran-C base until it closed at the end of 2015. [3] [4] Both the LORAN transmitter and the meteorological station are located a few kilometres away from the settlement Olonkinbyen (Olonkin Town), where all personnel live.

Transport

Transport to the island is provided by C-130 Hercules military transport planes operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force that land at Jan Mayensfield's gravel runway. The planes fly in from Bodø Main Air Station eight times a year. Since the airport does not have any instrument landing capabilities, good visibility is required, and it is not uncommon for the planes to have to return to Bodø, two hours away, without landing. For heavy goods, freight ships visit during the summer, but since there are no harbours, the ships must anchor.

Communication

The island has no indigenous population but is assigned the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code SJ (together with Svalbard). It uses the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) .no (.sj is allocated but not used) [5] and data code JN. Jan Mayen has telephone and internet connection over satellite, using Norwegian telephone numbers (country code 47). Its amateur radio call sign prefix is JX. It has a postal code, NO-8099 JAN MAYEN, but delivery time varies, especially during the winter.

History

In the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery (c. 1590s-1720s), Dutch navigators were the first non-natives to undisputedly explore and map many largely unknown isolated areas of the world, including Jan Mayen and the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Arctic.svg
In the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery (c. 1590s–1720s), Dutch navigators were the first non-natives to undisputedly explore and map many largely unknown isolated areas of the world, including Jan Mayen and the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

Unverified "discoveries" of a terra nullius

A beach on Jan Mayen Jan mayen egg-oeja hg.jpg
A beach on Jan Mayen

Between the fifth and ninth centuries (400–900 AD), numerous communities of monks originating in Ireland (Papar) navigated throughout the north Atlantic in leather boats, exploring and sometimes settling in distant islands where their monastic communities could be separated from close contact with others. Strong indicators exist of their presence in the Faroe Islands and Iceland before the arrival of the Vikings, and medieval Gaelic chronicles such as the famous Voyage of Saint Brendan the Abbot testify to the extensive interest in exploration at the time. A modern-day trans-Atlantic journey proved the ability of the early navigators to reach all lands of the north Atlantic even further from Ireland than Jan Mayen – and, given favorable winds, at a speed roughly equal to that of modern yachts. [6] Though quite feasible, there is nevertheless no direct physical trace of medieval landings or settlement on Jan Mayen.

The land named Svalbarð ("cold coast") by the Vikings in the early medieval book Landnámabók may have been Jan Mayen (instead of Spitsbergen, renamed Svalbard by the Norwegians in modern times); the distance from Iceland to Svalbarð mentioned in this book is two days' sailing (with favorable winds), consistent with the approximate 550 km (340 mi) to Jan Mayen and not with the minimum 1,550 km (960 mi) to Spitsbergen. [7] However much Jan Mayen may have been known in Europe at that time, it was subsequently forgotten for some centuries.

In the 17th century, many claims of the island's rediscovery were made, spurred by the rivalry on the Arctic whaling grounds, and the island received many names. According to Thomas Edge, an early 17th-century whaling captain who was often inaccurate, "William [ sic ] Hudson" discovered the island in 1608 and named it "Hudson's Touches" (or "Tutches"). However, the well-known explorer Henry Hudson could only have come by on his voyage in 1607 (if he had made an illogical detour) and he made no mention of it in his journal. [7]

According to William Scoresby (1820: p. 154), referring to the mistaken belief that the Dutch had discovered the island in 1611, Hull whalers discovered the island "about the same time" and named it "Trinity Island". Muller (1874: pp. 190–191) took this to mean they had come upon Jan Mayen in 1611 or 1612, which was repeated by many subsequent authors. There were, in fact, no Hull whalers in either of these years, the first Hull whaling expedition having been sent to the island only in 1616 (see below). As with the previous claim made by Edge, there is no cartographical or written proof for this supposed discovery. [8]

During the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery (c. 1590s–1720s)

First verified discoveries: mapping and naming

A map of Jan Mayen during the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery (c. 1590s-1720s). This is a typical map created by Dutch cartographers from the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography. C.G. Zorgdragers Bloeyende opkomst der aloude en hedendaagsche Groenlandsche visschery - no-nb digibok 2014010724007-V5.jpg
A map of Jan Mayen during the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery (c. 1590s–1720s). This is a typical map created by Dutch cartographers from the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography.

The first verified discoveries of Jan Mayen, by three separate expeditions, occurred in the summer of 1614, probably within one month of each other. The Dutchman Fopp Gerritsz, whilst in command of a whaling expedition sent out by the Englishman John Clarke, of Dunkirk, claimed (in 1631) to have discovered the island on 28 June and named it "Isabella". [8] [9] [10] In January the Noordsche Compagnie (Northern Company), modelled on the Dutch East India Company, had been established to support Dutch whaling in the Arctic. Two of its ships, financed by merchants from Amsterdam and Enkhuizen, reached Jan Mayen in July 1614. The captains of these ships—Jan Jacobszoon May van Schellinkhout (after whom the island was ultimately named) on the Gouden Cath (Golden Cat), and Jacob de Gouwenaer on the Orangienboom (Orange Tree)—named it Mr. Joris Eylant after the Dutch cartographer Joris Carolus who was on board and mapped the island. The captains acknowledged that a third Dutch ship, the Cleyn Swaentgen (Little Swan) captained by Jan Jansz Kerckhoff and financed by Noordsche Compagnie shareholders from Delft, had already been at the island when they arrived. They had assumed the latter, who named the island Maurits Eylandt (or Mauritius) after Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, would report their discovery to the States General. However, the Delft merchants had decided to keep the discovery secret and returned in 1615 to hunt for their own profit. The ensuing dispute was only settled in 1617, though both companies were allowed to whale at Jan Mayen in the meantime. [8]

In 1615, the English whaler Robert Fotherby went ashore. Apparently thinking he had made a new discovery, he named the island "Sir Thomas Smith's Island" and the volcano "Mount Hakluyt". [7] [11] On a map of c. 1634, Jean Vrolicq renamed the island Île de Richelieu. [12]

Jan Mayen first appeared on Willem Jansz Blaeu's 1620 edition map of Europe, originally published by Cornelis Doedz in 1606. Blaeu, who lived in Amsterdam, named it "Jan Mayen" after captain Jan Jacobszoon May van Schellinkhout of the Amsterdam-financed Gouden Cath. Blaeu made the first detailed map of the island in his famous "Zeespiegel" atlas of 1623, establishing its current name. [8]

Dutch whaling base

Road along the west coast, about 500 metres (1,600 ft) off the station. Jan mayen coast hg.jpg
Road along the west coast, about 500 metres (1,600 ft) off the station.

From 1615 to 1638, Jan Mayen was used as a whaling base by the Dutch Noordsche Compagnie, which had been given a monopoly on whaling in the Arctic regions by the States General in 1614. Only two ships, one from the Noordsche Compagnie, and the other from the Delft merchants, were off Jan Mayen in 1615. The following year a score of vessels were sent to the island. The Noordsche Compagnie sent eight ships escorted by three warships under Jan Jacobsz. Schrobop; while the Delft merchants sent up five ships under Adriaen Dircksz. Leversteyn, son of one of the above merchants. [13] There were also two ships from Dunkirk sent by John Clarke, as well as a ship each from London and Hull.

Heertje Jansz, master of the Hope, of Enkhuizen, wrote a day-by-day account of the season. The ships took two weeks to reach Jan Mayen, arriving early in June. On 15 June they met the two English ships, which Schrobop allowed to remain, on condition they gave half their catch to the Dutch. [14] The ships from Dunkirk were given the same conditions. By late July the first ship had left with a full cargo of whale oil; the rest left early in August, several filled with oil. [15]

That year 200 men were seasonally living and working on the island at six temporary whaling stations (spread along the northwest coast). During the first decade of whaling, more than ten ships visited Jan Mayen each year, while in the second period (1624 and later) five to ten ships were sent. With the exception of a few ships from Dunkirk, which came to the island in 1617 and were either driven away or forced to give a third of their catch to the Dutch, [14] only the Dutch and merchants from Hull [16] sent up ships to Jan Mayen from 1616 onward. In 1624 ten wooden houses were built in South Bay. About this time the Dutch appear to have abandoned the temporary stations consisting of tents of sail and crude furnaces, replacing them with two semi-permanent stations with wooden storehouses and dwellings and large brick furnaces, one in the above-mentioned South Bay and the other in the North Bay. In 1628 two forts were built to protect the stations. [8] Among the sailors active at Jan Mayen was the later admiral Michiel Adriaensz de Ruyter. In 1633, at the age of 26, he was for the first time listed as an officer aboard de Groene Leeuw (The Green Lion). He again went to Jan Mayen in 1635, aboard the same ship.

Old cross on the grave of seven Dutchmen, reading "Here rest brave Dutch men" Altes Grabkreuz fur einen tapferen Hollander.png
Old cross on the grave of seven Dutchmen, reading "Here rest brave Dutch men"

In 1632 the Noordsche Compagnie expelled the Danish-employed Basque whalers from Spitsbergen. In revenge, the latter sailed to Jan Mayen, where the Dutch had left for the winter, to plunder the Dutch equipment and burn down the settlements and factories. Captain Outger Jacobsz of Grootebroek was asked to stay the next winter (1633/34) on Jan Mayen with six shipmates to defend the island. While a group with the same task survived the winter on Spitsbergen, all seven on Jan Mayen died of scurvy or trichinosis (from eating raw polar bear meat) combined with the harsh conditions.

During the first phase of whaling the hauls were generally good, some exceptional. For example, Mathijs Jansz. Hoepstock caught 44 whales in Hoepstockbukta in 1619, which produced 2,300 casks of whale oil. During the second phase the hauls were much lower. While 1631 turned out to be a very good season, the following year, due to the weather and ice, only eight whales were caught. In 1633 eleven ships managed to catch just 47 whales; while a meager 42 were caught by the same number in 1635. [8] The bowhead whale was locally hunted to near-extinction around 1640 (approximately 1000 had been killed and processed on the island), [8] at which time Jan Mayen was abandoned and stayed uninhabited for two and a half centuries.

19th and 20th centuries

Map of settlements on Jan Mayen Jan Mayen-Stations-en1 1.svg
Map of settlements on Jan Mayen

During the International Polar Year 18821883 the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition stayed one year at Jan Mayen. The expedition performed extensive mapping of the area, their maps being of such quality that they were used until the 1950s. The Austrian polar station on Jan Mayen Island was built and equipped in 1882 fully at Count Wilczek's own expense.

Polar bears appear on Jan Mayen, [17] although in diminished numbers compared with earlier times. Between 1900 and 1920, there were a number of Norwegian trappers spending winters on Jan Mayen, hunting Arctic foxes in addition to some polar bears. But the exploitation soon made the profits decline, and the hunting ended. Polar bears in this region of the Arctic are genetically distinguishable from those living elsewhere. [18]

The League of Nations gave Norway jurisdiction over the island, and in 1921 Norway opened the first meteorological station. [19] The Norwegian Meteorological Institute annexed the middle part of the island for Norway in 1922 and the whole island in 1926 when Hallvard Devold was head of the weather observations base on the island. On 27 February 1930, the island was made de jure a part of the Kingdom of Norway.

During World War II, continental Norway was invaded and occupied by Germany in spring 1940. The four-man team on Jan Mayen stayed at their posts and in an act of defiance began sending their weather reports to the United Kingdom instead of Norway. The British codenamed Jan Mayen 'Island X' and attempted to reinforce it with troops to counteract any German attack. The Norwegian patrol boat HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen ran aground on Nansenflua, one of the islands' many uncharted lava reefs and the 68-man crew abandoned ship and joined the Norwegian team on shore. The British expedition commander, prompted by the loss of the gunboat, decided to abandon Jan Mayen until the following spring and radioed for a rescue ship. Within a few days a ship arrived and evacuated the four Norwegians and their would-be reinforcements, after demolishing the weather station to prevent it from falling into German hands. The Germans attempted to land a weather team on the island on 16 November 1940; the German naval trawler carrying the team crashed on the rocks just off Jan Mayen after a patrolling British destroyer had picked them up on radar. The detection was not by chance, as the German plan had been compromised from the beginning with British wireless interceptors of the Radio Security Service following the communications of the Abwehr (the German Intelligence service) concerning the operation, and the destroyer had been waiting. Most of the crew struggled ashore and were taken prisoner by a landing party from the destroyer. [19] [20]

Traditional signpost with directions to civilization on Jan Mayen station Jan mayen sign hg.jpg
Traditional signpost with directions to civilization on Jan Mayen station

The Allies returned to the island on 10 March 1941, when the Norwegian ship Veslekari, escorted by the patrol boat Honningsvaag, dropped 12 Norwegian weathermen on the island. The team's radio transmissions soon betrayed its presence to the Axis, and German planes from Norway began to bomb and strafe Jan Mayen whenever weather permitted, but did little damage. Soon supplies and reinforcements arrived, and even some anti-aircraft guns, giving the island a garrison of a few dozen weathermen and soldiers. By 1941, Germany had given up hope of evicting the Allies from the island and the constant air raids stopped.

On 7 August 1942, a German Focke-Wulf Fw 200 "Condor", probably on a mission to bomb the station, crashed into the nearby mountainside of Danielssenkrateret in fog, killing its crew of nine. [21] In 1950, the wreck of another German plane with four crew members was discovered on the southwest side of the island. [22] In 1943, the Americans established a radio locating station named Atlantic City in the north to try to locate German radio bases in Greenland.

After the war, the meteorological station was located at Atlantic City, but moved in 1949 to a new location. Radio Jan Mayen also served as an important radio station for ship traffic in the Arctic Ocean. In 1959 NATO started building the LORAN-C network in sites on the Atlantic Ocean; one of the transmitters was to be on Jan Mayen. By 1961 the new military installations, including a new airfield, were operational.

For some time scientists doubted that the Beerenberg volcano would become active, but in 1970 it erupted for about three weeks, adding another 3 km2 (1.2 sq mi) of land mass to the island. It also erupted in 1973 and 1985. During an eruption, the sea temperature around the island may increase from just above freezing to about 30 °C (86 °F).

Historic stations and huts on the island are Hoyberg, Vera, Olsbu, Puppebu (cabin), Gamlemetten or Gamlestasjonen (the old weather station), Jan Mayen Radio, Helenehytta, Margarethhytta, and Ulla (a cabin at the foot of the Beerenberg).

Environment

Nature reserve

A regulation dating from 2010 renders the island a nature reserve under Norwegian jurisdiction. [23] The aim of this regulation is to ensure the preservation of a pristine Arctic island and the marine life nearby, including the ocean floor. Landings at Jan Mayen can be done by boat. However, this is permitted only at a small part of the island, named Båtvika (Boat Bay). As there is no commercial airline operating at the island, one cannot get there by plane except by chartering one. Permission for landings by a charter plane has to be obtained in advance. Permission to stay on the island has to be obtained in advance, and is generally limited to a few days (or even hours). Putting up a tent or setting up camp is prohibited. There is a separate regulation for the stay of foreigners. [24]

Northwest coast of Jan Mayen.png
Panoramic photo of the northwest coast of Jan Mayen

Geography and geology

Soviet topographic map R-29-IX-X-XI 200-K 1967 Jan Mayen.jpg
Soviet topographic map

Jan Mayen consists of two geographically distinct parts. Nord-Jan has a round shape and is dominated by the 2,277 m (7,470 ft) high Beerenberg volcano with its large ice cap (114.2 km2 or 44 sq mi), which can be divided into twenty individual outlet glaciers. The largest of those is Sørbreen, with an area of 15 km2 (5.8 sq mi) and a length of 8.7 km (5.41 mi). South-Jan is narrow, comparatively flat and unglaciated. Its highest elevation is Rudolftoppen at 769 m (2,523 ft). The station and living quarters are located on South-Jan. The island lies at the northern end of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent. The microcontinent was originally part of the Greenland Plate, but now forms part of the Eurasian Plate.

Important Bird Area

The island was identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it is a breeding site for large numbers of seabirds, supporting populations of northern fulmars (78,000–160,000 pairs), little auks (10,000–100,000 pairs), thick-billed guillemot (74,000–147,000 pairs) and black guillemots (100–1,000 pairs). [25]

Climate

Jan Mayen has a hyperoceanic polar climate with a Köppen classification of ET. The Gulf Stream's powerful influence makes seasonal temperature variations extremely small considering the latitude of the island, with ranges from around 6 °C (43 °F) in August to −4 °C (25 °F) in March, but also makes the island extremely cloudy with little sunshine even during the continuous polar day. The deep snow cover prevents any permafrost from developing. As a result of warming, the 1991-2020 temperature normal shows a mean annual temperature 1.9 °C (3.4 °F) warmer than during 1961-1990, pushing the annual temperature above freezing.

Climate data for Jan Mayen 1991-2020 (10 m, extremes 1921-2020)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)9.5
(49.1)
10
(50)
8
(46)
10.3
(50.5)
14.4
(57.9)
18.1
(64.6)
18
(64)
17
(63)
14.2
(57.6)
15
(59)
10
(50)
12.3
(54.1)
18.1
(64.6)
Average high °C (°F)−0.7
(30.7)
−1.2
(29.8)
−1.6
(29.1)
−0.2
(31.6)
2.1
(35.8)
5.1
(41.2)
7.5
(45.5)
7.9
(46.2)
6
(43)
3
(37)
0.9
(33.6)
−0.4
(31.3)
2.4
(36.2)
Daily mean °C (°F)−2.9
(26.8)
−3.4
(25.9)
−3.7
(25.3)
−2.1
(28.2)
0.4
(32.7)
3.1
(37.6)
5.7
(42.3)
6.3
(43.3)
4.5
(40.1)
1.3
(34.3)
−1
(30)
−2.5
(27.5)
0.5
(32.8)
Average low °C (°F)−5.2
(22.6)
−5.5
(22.1)
−5.8
(21.6)
−3.9
(25.0)
−1
(30)
1.6
(34.9)
4.3
(39.7)
5.1
(41.2)
3.2
(37.8)
−0.3
(31.5)
−2.9
(26.8)
−4.6
(23.7)
−1.2
(29.7)
Record low °C (°F)−26.9
(−16.4)
−28.4
(−19.1)
−26.8
(−16.2)
−21.4
(−6.5)
−12
(10)
−5.1
(22.8)
−3.2
(26.2)
−2.3
(27.9)
−5.2
(22.6)
−18
(0)
−19.5
(−3.1)
−24.2
(−11.6)
−28.4
(−19.1)
Average precipitation mm (inches)61
(2.4)
52
(2.0)
53
(2.1)
39
(1.5)
35
(1.4)
23
(0.9)
36
(1.4)
57
(2.2)
78
(3.1)
72
(2.8)
69
(2.7)
68
(2.7)
643
(25.2)
Source 1: Norwegian Meteorological Institute [26]
Source 2: Meteostat [27]


Climate data for Jan Mayen (1961-1990, extremes 1921-2010)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)9.5
(49.1)
10.0
(50.0)
8.0
(46.4)
10.3
(50.5)
11.3
(52.3)
18.1
(64.6)
15.0
(59.0)
15.7
(60.3)
13.4
(56.1)
15.0
(59.0)
10.0
(50.0)
12.3
(54.1)
18.1
(64.6)
Average high °C (°F)−3.0
(26.6)
−3.3
(26.1)
−3.5
(25.7)
−1.4
(29.5)
1.2
(34.2)
4.1
(39.4)
6.4
(43.5)
6.9
(44.4)
4.5
(40.1)
1.9
(35.4)
−1.0
(30.2)
−2.7
(27.1)
0.8
(33.4)
Daily mean °C (°F)−5.7
(21.7)
−6.1
(21.0)
−6.1
(21.0)
−3.9
(25.0)
−0.7
(30.7)
2.0
(35.6)
4.2
(39.6)
4.9
(40.8)
2.8
(37.0)
0.1
(32.2)
−3.3
(26.1)
−5.2
(22.6)
−1.4
(29.5)
Average low °C (°F)−8.4
(16.9)
−9.0
(15.8)
−8.5
(16.7)
−6.0
(21.2)
−2.2
(28.0)
0.5
(32.9)
2.7
(36.9)
3.5
(38.3)
1.3
(34.3)
−1.7
(28.9)
−5.4
(22.3)
−7.7
(18.1)
−3.4
(25.9)
Record low °C (°F)−26.9
(−16.4)
−28.4
(−19.1)
−26.8
(−16.2)
−21.4
(−6.5)
−12.0
(10.4)
−5.1
(22.8)
−3.2
(26.2)
−2.3
(27.9)
−5.2
(22.6)
−18.0
(−0.4)
−19.5
(−3.1)
−24.2
(−11.6)
−28.4
(−19.1)
Average precipitation mm (inches)56
(2.2)
53
(2.1)
55
(2.2)
40
(1.6)
40
(1.6)
37
(1.5)
47
(1.9)
61
(2.4)
82
(3.2)
82
(3.2)
65
(2.6)
65
(2.6)
683
(27.1)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)12.611.112.19.17.67.69.211.113.314.612.913.0134.2
Average relative humidity (%)83838483858789878383818284
Mean monthly sunshine hours 0286212014915012493603100817
Source 1: Norwegian Meteorological Institute [28]
Source 2: The Weather Network (humidity), [29] World Climate data (sunshine hours) [30]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Svalbard, also known as Spitsbergen, or Spitzbergen, is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. North of mainland Europe, it is about midway between the northern coast of Norway and the North Pole. The islands of the group range from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude. The largest island is Spitsbergen, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya. The largest settlement is Longyearbyen.

Geography of Svalbard

Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean roughly centered on 78° north latitude and 20° east longitude. The archipelago is the northernmost part of the Kingdom of Norway. The three main islands in the group consist of Spitsbergen, Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya. There are also a number of smaller islands, such as Barents Island (Barentsøya), Kvitøya, Prins Karls Forland, Kongsøya, Bear Island, Svenskøya, Wilhelm Island and other smaller islands or skerries.

Spitsbergen Largest island of the Svalbard archipelago in northern Norway

Spitsbergen is the largest and only permanently populated island of the Svalbard archipelago in northern Norway.

Beerenberg Volcano on Jan Mayen island

Beerenberg is a stratovolcano dominating the northeastern end of the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen. It is 2,277 m (7,470 ft) high and is the world's northernmost subaerial active volcano. The volcano is topped by a mostly ice-filled crater about 1 km (0.6 mi) wide, with numerous peaks along its rim including the highest summit, Haakon VII Toppen, on its western side.

Bear Island (Norway) Southernmost island of Svalbard, Norway

Bear Island is the southernmost island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago. The island is located in the western part of the Barents Sea, approximately halfway between Spitsbergen and the North Cape.

Svalbard and Jan Mayen Two parts of Norway under separate jurisdictions

Svalbard and Jan Mayen is a statistical designation defined by ISO 3166-1 for a collective grouping of two remote jurisdictions of Norway: Svalbard and Jan Mayen. While the two are combined for the purposes of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) category, they are not administratively related. This has further resulted in the country code top-level domain .sj being issued for Svalbard and Jan Mayen, and ISO 3166-2:SJ. The United Nations Statistics Division also uses this code, but has named it the Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands.

Smeerenburg Place in Svalbard, Norway

Smeerenburg was a whaling settlement on Amsterdam Island in northwest Svalbard. It was founded by the Danish and Dutch in 1619 as one of Europe's northernmost outposts. With the local bowhead whale population soon decimated and whaling developed into a pelagic industry, Smeerenburg was abandoned about 1660.

The polar archipelago of Svalbard was first discovered by Willem Barentsz in 1596, although there is disputed evidence of use by Pomors or Norsemen. Whaling for bowhead whales started in 1611, dominated by English and Dutch companies, though other countries participated. At that time there was no agreement about sovereignty. Whaling stations, the largest being Smeerenburg, were built during the 17th century, but gradually whaling decreased. Hunting was carried out from the 17th century by Pomors, but from the 19th century it became more dominated by Norwegians.

Norwegian Polar Institute Norwegian government agency

The Norwegian Polar Institute is Norway's central governmental institution for scientific research, mapping and environmental monitoring in the Arctic and the Antarctic. The NPI is a directorate under Norway's Ministry of Climate and Environment. The institute advises Norwegian authorities on matters concerning polar environmental management and is the official environmental management body for Norwegian activities in Antarctica.

Greenland Sea Body of water

The Greenland Sea is a body of water that borders Greenland to the west, the Svalbard archipelago to the east, Fram Strait and the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Norwegian Sea and Iceland to the south. The Greenland Sea is often defined as part of the Arctic Ocean, sometimes as part of the Atlantic Ocean. However, definitions of the Arctic Ocean and its seas tend to be imprecise or arbitrary. In general usage the term "Arctic Ocean" would exclude the Greenland Sea. In oceanographic studies the Greenland Sea is considered part of the Nordic Seas, along with the Norwegian Sea. The Nordic Seas are the main connection between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans and, as such, could be of great significance in a possible shutdown of thermohaline circulation. In oceanography the Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas are often referred to collectively as the "Arctic Mediterranean Sea", a marginal sea of the Atlantic.

Danes Island

Danes Island is an island in Norway's Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. It lies just off the northwest coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the archipelago, near to Magdalenefjorden. Just to the north lies Amsterdam Island. Like many of Svalbard's islands, Danes Island is uninhabited. The island has an area of 40.6 km2 (15.7 sq mi).

Jan Jacobszoon May van Schellinkhout was a Dutch seafarer and explorer.

Ytre Norskøya

Ytre Norskøya is an island on the northwest coast of Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard archipelago.

Jean Vrolicq was a mariner from St-Jean-de-Luz in the first half of the 17th century. He served in the Danish, Dutch, and French whaling industries from 1619 to 1636, and later became a privateer.

Operation Fritham

Operation Fritham was an Allied military operation during the Second World War to secure the coal mines on Spitsbergen, the main island of the Svalbard Archipelago, 650 mi (1,050 km) from the North Pole and about the same distance from Norway. The operation was intended to deny the islands to Nazi Germany.

Maria Muschbukta

Maria Muschbukta is an open bay between Fulgeberget and Kvalrossen, on the western coast of the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen. It is named after the shipowner Maria Musch. She was a member of the Kleine Noordse Compagnie, which sent a ship to Jan Mayen in 1616 as part of early Dutch whaling. This ship was the first to use the bay to hunt whales. The name is shown on Joan Blaeu's 1662 map of the island.

Joris Carolus was a Dutch cartographer and explorer who was employed by the Noordsche Compagnie and the Dutch East India Company.

Noordsche Compagnie Dutch whaling cartel of the 17th century

The Noordsche Compagnie was a Dutch cartel in the whaling trade, founded by several cities in the Netherlands in 1614 and operating until 1642. Soon after its founding, it became entangled in territorial conflicts with England, Denmark, France, and other groups within the Netherlands.

Virgohamna is a small bay on the northern coast of Danes Island, an island off the northwestern coast of Spitsbergen. Spitsbergen and Danes Island are islands of the Svalbard archipelago. The bay is named after SS Virgo, the vessel of Swedish engineer and explorer Salomon August Andrée's 1896 expedition. Virgohamna is located across a small strait from Smeerenburg, a historical whaling station on Amsterdam Island about 2 km to the north.

References

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Bibliography