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Svalbard Coal

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Svalbard Coal

  1. 1. Topic 5: Pollution Management Topic 6: Global Warming 5.1: Nature of Pollution 6.1.4: Feedback and Global Warming The Svalbard Coal
  2. 2. Topic 5: Pollution Management Topic 6: Global Warming 5.1: Nature of Pollution 6.1.4: Feedback and Global Warming Svalbard Svalbard is an ancient island within the Arctic circle At its Northern most point Svalbard is only 1100 km from the North Pole Norway During the last Ice Age it was connected to the mainland Finland Sweden
  3. 3. Topic 5: Pollution Management Topic 6: Global Warming 5.1: Nature of Pollution 6.1.4: Feedback and Global Warming Svalbard Following the end of the Ice Age about 10000 B.P. “Discovered” in 1596 by Dutch explorer Willem Barents Norway Used as a Whaling centre by several Nations but especially Russians over the next 200 years Finland Norwegian since 1925 Sweden
  4. 4. Topic 5: Pollution Management Topic 6: Global Warming 5.1: Nature of Pollution 6.1.4: Feedback and Global Warming Conditions on Svalbard Permanent ice covers much of Svalbard - permafrost = 450m deep Only on coastal lowlands does snow melt in the summer Short growing period from late June to early October Source: Google Maps
  5. 5. Topic 5: Pollution Management Topic 6: Global Warming 5.1: Nature of Pollution 6.1.4: Feedback and Global Warming Coal on Svalbard Coal Mines on the island for about 100 years since the early 20th Century In 2006 three operational mines - two large mines and one small mine 1994 - 500,000 tons 2004 - 2,500,000 tons Source: Wikimedia Commons
  6. 6. Topic 5: Pollution Management Topic 6: Global Warming 5.1: Nature of Pollution 6.1.4: Feedback and Global Warming Coal on Svalbard - why? As accessible coal reserves are used up less accessible ones become economically viable Energy security for Norway as North Sea gas supplies begin to run down Source: Wikimedia Commons
  7. 7. Topic 5: Pollution Management Topic 6: Global Warming 5.1: Nature of Pollution 6.1.4: Feedback and Global Warming Pathways of Svalbard mining Coal sold 1.2x106 t/yr Coal excavated Blows away Coal Dust 0.025x106 t/yr Deposited Methane locally Released (ice,soil, plants)
  8. 8. Topic 5: Pollution Management Topic 6: Global Warming 5.1: Nature of Pollution 6.1.4: Feedback and Global Warming Coal Mining and local pollution: Negative Feedback loops ? Dust in the atmosphere act as condensation nuclei More precipitation Dust particles washed out of atmosphere by extra precipitation Levels of dust in the atmosphere fall Precipitation levels fall
  9. 9. Topic 5: Pollution Management Topic 6: Global Warming 5.1: Nature of Pollution 6.1.4: Feedback and Global Warming Coal Mining and Global Warming: Positive Feedback loops ? Methane gas released during mining activity Increases global warming Higher temperature melt permafrost Methane released from now swampy land

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