Arctic News Roundup: 15-21 March

Simulated volcanic activity at the Lava Centre in Hvolsvöllur, Iceland [Photo by Mingming Shi]

by Mingming Shi

1) The volcano at Fagradalsfjall, on the Reykjanes Peninsula (Reykjanesskagi) in Iceland, experienced its first eruption shortly before 21:30 on Friday, according to Morgunblaðið (and the English language Iceland Monitor). The eruption itself was seen as unlikely to cause risks for inhabitants, thanks to its location in a sparsely populated region. Experts were also concerned about gas being carried by the wind to the eastern part of the country. The eruption is still continuing at the time of the writing of the Roundup.

2) The Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland announced that it was seeking a new university researcher. The position would cover multidisciplinary research in the fields of international environmental law and policies, as well as human rights in the Arctic. This facility is located in Rovaniemi, in northern Finland.

3) The Guardian news service in the UK reported, noting a story by NRK, that the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, was being investigated for violating Covid-19 crowd restrictions implemented by the Norwegian government. PM Solberg conveyed an apology through her Facebook account. Local police also confirmed at the time that an investigation of this case would be conducted.

4) As the Sermitsiaq news agency in Greenland revealed, a group of international scientists estimated, based on recent research on some old discovered samples of natural materials, along with other evidence previously uncovered, that Greenland actually used to be green, specifically, covered by forest, approximately one million years ago. This story was subsequently picked up by the High North News service.

5) According to The Local NO, immigrants are more likely to suffer from loneliness than others in Norwegian society. The situation among immigration in Norway are highly related to less human interaction, lower incomes on average, limited Norwegian language skills and other factors.