Historic temperature observations on Nordaustlandet, north-east Svalbard

Keywords: Climate change, Arctic amplification, early 20th century warming, hunters’ diaries, Henry Rudi, Oxford University Arctic Expedition 1935/36


Long-term meteorological data for the Arctic are sparse. One of the longest quasi-continuous temperature time series in the High Arctic is the extended Svalbard Airport series, providing daily temperature data from 1898 until the present. Here, I derive an adjustment to historic temperature observations on the island of Nordaustlandet, north-east Svalbard, in order to link these to the extended Svalbard Airport series. This includes the Haudegen observations at Rijpfjorden during 1944/45 and a previously unrecognized data set obtained by the Norwegian hunters and trappers Gunnar Knoph and Henry Rudi during their wintering at Rijpfjorden in 1934/35. The adjustment is based on data from an automatic weather station at Rijpfjorden during 2014–16 and verified with other independent historic temperature observations on Nordaustlandet. An analysis of the Haudegen radiosonde data indicates that the surface temperature observations at Rijpfjorden are generally well correlated with the free tropospheric temperatures at 850 hPa, but occasionally show the occurrence of boundary-layer inversions during winter, where local temperatures fall substantially below what is expected from the regression. The adjusted historic observations from Nordaustlandet can, therefore, be used to fill remaining gaps in the extended Svalbard Airport series.


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How to Cite
Sinnhuber, B.-M. (2021). Historic temperature observations on Nordaustlandet, north-east Svalbard. Polar Research, 40. https://doi.org/10.33265/polar.v40.7564
Research Articles