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).
Geological and geomorphological studies in Kaffiöyra and Hermansenöya (Oscar II Land, northwestern Spitsbergen), completed with radiocarbon datings, indicated that the Early Vistulian (Weichselian) Glaciation of presumable regional significance, occupied the whole area. Marine transgression during and after deglaciation reached at least to 65 m a.s.l. Glacioisostatic uplift and marine regression in Kaffiöyra resulted in development of older raised beaches at 52-65 m a.s.l. During the Late Vistulian, Kaffiöyra was occupied partly by outlet glaciers (Aavatsmark, Elise and Andreas), while the Dahl Glacier covered Hermansenöya. Extents of these glaciers were much greater than during the Little Ice Age. Marine transgression during deglaciation reached to 46-48 m a.s.l. at about 12-11.5 ka B.P. During glacioisostatic emergence at 11.5-9 ka B.P., ten younger raised marine beaches were formed in Kaffiöyra. Traces of a probable glacial episode at 3-2.5 ka B.P. were noted in forefields of the Aavatsmark and the Elise glaciers only. In forefields of all glaciers in Kaffiöyra there are deposits and landforms formed during glacial advances of the Little Ice Age and the following continuous retreat. The Aavatsmark Glacier was the only one to indicate surge type readvances at that time.
The paper describes climatic conditions of the north-western part of Oscar II Land (Spitsbergen) based on meteorological data from 1975 to 2000, which were taken from Ny Ĺlesund and Kaffiöyra-Heggodden stations. The changes in annual courses of main climatic elements are investigated. However, the authors focused mainly on the analysis of summer climate, because most of the field work is conducted at this time of the year. Aside from the standard climatic analysis, the influence of atmospheric circulation on selected meteorological elements was also investigated. The climate of the north-western part of Oscar II Land was compared with the climates of the remaining areas of the western coast of Spitsbergen . It was found that the climate of the studied area differs considerably from the climate of the central-inner and southern parts of the western coast of Spitsbergen (areas represented by the Svalbard Lufthavn and Hornsund stations respectively). The differences in climatic elements, however, are not stable throughout the year and in particular seasons and months can even change signs. Thus, any generalisation of results obtained based on seasonal data is inadmissible. It was also found that the wind conditions of the Kaffiöyra region are more representative of the north-western part of Oscar II Land than are the wind conditions of the Ny Ĺlesund region.