At the Franco-German research base AWIPEV in Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen, scientists have been measuring weather data such as air temperature, air pressure, and humidity regularly since the year 1993. One result of this longterm observation states, that until today the annual mean temperature in Spitzbergen has risen by 1.3 °C. A warming of the Arctic, which becomes apparent especially in winter.
The main climate influence in Ny-Ålesund is the Arctic Ozean. The scientific village is located right at the shoreline of Kongsfjord at the west coast of Spitsbergen, where ocean currents carry warm water from the North Atlantic Ocean. That means, the ocean warms the climate in Spitsbergen, which is why in summer the air gets warmer than 0 °C, while in winter it rarely gets much colder than -25 °C.
In April 2013 the research base was the first meteorological facility in the world to be certified according to the standards of the Global Climate Observing System Reference Upper Air Network (GRUAN) – an international climate reference network initiated by the World Meteorological Organization and partners. "Anyone wishing to understand the climate system of our Earth needs reliable data – for example, on temperature, air pressure and air humidity. However, these measurement data are only reliable and comparable if they are collected in a uniform manner. A bathwater thermometer will, of course, provide a temperature which is distinctly less accurate than a precision thermometer. Meteorological measuring devices can also have different measurement accuracy which is why it is decisive for climate researchers that the measurements taken at the different stations throughout the world are comparable. Only in this way can scientists then derive reliable climate trends from these data”, says AWI meteorologist Dr. Marion Maturilli, head of the meteorological observatory at the Arctic research station.