Royal visit to Antarctica
February 2015 marks the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Norwegian research station Troll
HRH King Harald V, Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Sundtoft, and Minister of Justice Anders Anundsen are attending the 10th anniversary event at Troll station in Antarctica.
When HRH Queen Sonja opened the upgraded station a decade ago, the main focus was on how the station would contribute to increased knowledge about climate.
King Harald and the two ministers will begin the 10th anniversary with a thorough introduction to Norwegian research activities in Antarctica and climate and environmental challenges faced on this continent.
The area is protected under legislation. The Antarctic Treaty and Environmental Protocol designate Antarctica as an area devoted to peace and science. Parties involved there have committed themselves to only using Antarctica for peaceful purposes, and to protect the environment and ecosystems in the treaty area.
“Good knowledge and international cooperation are the keys to preserving the unique environment and fulfilling the objectives of the Antarctic Treaty,” says Minister Sundtoft.
Norway, together with 49 other countries, signed the treaty. It was on the basis of this recognition that the decision was made to develop the Troll Station and the Troll Airfield with its airstrip.
The Troll Research Station located at Jutulsessen—a nunatak in the Gjelsvikfjellene mountain range—has many functions. It is a measuring facility for radiation, including UV rays, as well as a field station for glaciological, biological, and physical field programs.
Troll is in operation all year. Some 1,000 researchers per year use the station. The facility and the airstrip have become a hub for international research collaboration taking place in large parts of Queen Maud Land.
The airstrip is operational in the Antarctic summer season between October and February. It is reserved for scientific activity and cannot be used by commercial operators.
Troll was first opened in 1990, but re-opened again in 2005 following a complete upgrade.
“I’m proud that we can assert that the focus on the Troll station has been successful a decade after the opening. Our research contributes important new knowledge to the management of this continent. Moreover, our climate research is a very important contribution to greater understanding of and knowledge about the key role the Antarctic and Arctic have in the global climate system,” declared Sundtoft.
This article was originally published on The Foreigner. To subscribe to The Foreigner, visit theforeigner.no.
It also appeared in the Feb. 20, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.