Temperature and precipitation conditions in the Kaffiøyra region in the summer season (21 July-31 August) for the period from 1975-2014 are described based on data collected during 22 expeditions, in which meteorological measurements were carried out, and complete data series combining both original and reconstructed data. The latter ones were obtained using data from the Ny Ålesund meteorological station, which are strongly correlated with data from the Kaffiøyra region. Seasonal statistics presented for temperature and precipitation based on these two sets of data reveal only slight changes. Summer temperatures in the Kaffiøyra region in the studied period (1975-2014) showed statistically significant strong upward trends, while precipitation totals revealed a downward trend, but not statistically significant. In the studied area, based on 40-years of data, it was demonstrated that the near-surface lapse rates of summer air temperature are slightly lower in glaciated (0.58°C/100 m) than in non-glaciated areas (0.67°C/100 m). Anticyclonic/cyclonic circulation types significantly increase/decrease air temperature on the Waldemar Glacier, while their impact on precipitation is markedly smaller. In summer, close correlations were observed between air temperature and such glacier characteristics as the mass balance and the location of the equilibrium line, while precipitation does not have a great influence on them.
This paper provides an overview of the results of research on changes in ground temperature down to 50 cm depth, on the Kaffiøyra Plain, Spitsbergen in the summer seasons. To achieve this, measurement data were analysed from three different ecotopes (CALM Site P2A, P2B and P2C) – a beach, a moraine and tundra – collected during 22 polar expeditions between 1975 and 2014. To ensure comparability, data sets for the common period from 21 July to 31 August (referred to as the “summer season” further in the text) were analysed. The greatest influence on temperature across the investigated ground layers comes from air temperature (correlation coefficients ranging from 0.61 to 0.84). For the purpose of the analysis of the changes in ground temperature in the years 1975–2014, missing data for certain summer seasons were reconstructed on the basis of similar data from a meteorological station at Ny-Ålesund. The ground temperature at the Beach site demonstrated a statistically−significant growing trend: at depths from 1 to 10 cm the temperature increased by 0.27–0.28 ° C per decade, and from 20 to 50 cm by as much as 0.30 ° C per decade. On the Kaffiøyra Plain, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) has a greater influence on the ground an d air temperature than the Arctic Oscillation (AO).
The climatic change on King George Island (KGI) in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, in the years of 1948–2011 are presented. In the reference period, a statistically significant increase in the air temperature (0.19 ° C/10 years, 1.2 ° C in the analysed period) occurred along with a decrease in atmospheric pressure (−0.36 hPa/10 years, 2.3 hPa). In winter time, the warming up is more than twice as large as in summer. This leads to decrease in the amplitude of the annual cycle of air temperature. On KGI, there is also a warming trend of daily maximum and daily minimum air temperature. The evidently faster increase in daily minimum results in a decrease of the diurnal temperature range. The largest changes of air pressure took place in the summertime (−0.58 hPa/10 years) and winter (−0.34 hPa/10 years). The Semiannual Oscillation pattern of air pressure was disturbed. Climate changes on KGI are correlated with changing surface temperatures of the ocean and the concentration of sea ice. The precipitation on KGI is characterised by substantial variability year to year. In the analysed period, no statistically significant trend in atmospheric precipitation can be observed. The climate change on KGI results in substantial and rapid changes in the environment, which poses a great threat to the local ecosystem.
The article presents the biometeorological impact of thermal and humidity conditions on the human body in the Hornsund area in the southern Spitsbergen, Svalbard. This was determined based on diurnal air temperature range, the day-to-day variation in average diurnal air temperature and the average diurnal relative humidity. The temporal variability of thermal and humidity biometeorological stimuli in Hornsund was examined for the period 01.11.1978–31.12.2017. A lessening of biometeorological impact was found in the southern Spitsbergen region, including a statistically significant negative trend in strongly- and severely-felt stimuli (according to diurnal air temperature range), and in significant and severe stimuli (according to day-to-day variation in average diurnal air temperature). A non-significant positive trend was observed in the number of days of relative humidity with humid and very humid air. To analyse the spatial variability of the stimuli around the Hornsund fjord, data were used from seven year-round measuring stations for the period 01.07.2014–31.06.2015. The most unfavourable conditions were found on the Hans Glacier, on the summit of Fugleberget and inside the fjord. The paper presents the role of atmospheric circulation on thermal and humidity stimuli. In the Hornsund region, the highest probability of unfavourable sensible temperatures for humans occurring during the year was mostly in winter and early spring. This was related to the advection of air masses from the north-east sector, regardless of baric regime type. It was found that very humid air (> 85%) flowed over Hornsund for practically the entire year from the S–SW as part of both cyclonic and anti-cyclonic systems.
This article analyses the conditions affecting the incoming global solar radiation in Hornsund (Spitsbergen) in spring of 2015. Incoming solar radiation turned out to be average for the season under analysis, as compared with longer-term data. The clearness index (KT) was 0.46, and was mainly determined by the extent of cloudiness. As a result of differences in the length of day, sunshine duration in May was greater than in April. Incoming solar radiation to the earth's surface is also affected by the atmospheric optical properties. The average value of aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 500 nm in Hornsund in spring of 2015 was 0.087. In the analysed period, increased values of AOD at 500 nm (up to 0.143) were observed, although these are not record values. Over April and May, the greatest part of optical depth was comprised of anthropogenic aerosols (41%), followed by marine aerosols (26%), desert dust (21%) and biomass-burning aerosols (12%). This indicates the significant role of the anthropogenic factor in the climatic conditions of Spitsbergen.
This article presents the results of observations of selected fluxes of the radiation balance in north-western Spitsbergen in the years from 2010 to 2014. Measurements were taken in Ny-Ålesund and in the area of Kaffiøyra, on different surface types occurring in the Polar zone: moraine, tundra, snow and ice. Substantial differences in the radiation balance among the various types of surface were observed. The observations carried out in the summer seasons of 2010-2014 in the area of Kaffiøyra demonstrated that the considerable reflection of solar radiation on the Waldemar Glacier (albedo 55%) resulted in a smaller solar energy net income. During the polar day, a diurnal course of the components of the radiation balance was apparently related to the solar elevation angle. When the sun was low over the horizon, the radiation balance became negative, especially on the glacier. Diurnal, annual and multi-annual variations in the radiation balance have a significant influence on the functioning of the environment in polar conditions.
Meteorological and biometeorological conditions during the warm seasons (June– September) of 1979–2008 are described for the Hornsund area, Spitsbergen. The measure− ments were taken at four sites: at Hornsund, at the Hans Glacier (at its equilibrium line and in the firn section) and at the summit of Fugleberget. The variation of meteorological and biometeorological conditions was analysed in relation to altitude, distance from the sea and the ground type. In warm seasons, the air temperature at Hornsund was 2.2°C higher on aver− age than at the Hans Glacier (central section) and by 2.8°C than at the Hans Glacier (firn sec− tion) and at Fugleberget. The average wind speed recorded at Hornsund was higher (0.6ms−1) than at the Hans Glacier and lower (0.9ms−1) than at Fugleberget. Four biometeorological in− dices were used: wind chill index (WCI), predicted insulation of clothing (Iclp), cooling power (H) and subjective temperature index (STI). The strongest thermal stimuli were ob− served on the Hans Glacier and in the upper mountain areas. The study has found a consider− able degree of spatial variation between the meteorological elements investigated and the biometeorological indices in the Hornsund area. The impact of atmospheric circulation on meteorological elements and biometeorological indices is also presented. The mildest bio− meteorological conditions of the warm season found at Hornsund were associated with air masses arriving from the southwest and west.