Hopen is a long, narrow island that rises out of the sea about 100 km south of Edgeøya. There are large bird cliffs here. During a normal winter, when the island is surrounded by sea ice, this is an important denning area for polar bears. After 2003 there has been little ice around the island an no dens. In 2003 the island officially became a nature reserve, and thereby a protected area. It is very valuable in terms of science, as well as cultural remains. Hopen is home to an important meteorological station, which is manned all year round.


The meteorological station on the eastern side of Hopen. It has been in use since 1947 and is staffed by 4 people. The main building is in the background and to the right is Nilsebu from 1908. (Image: Tor Punsvik / The Governor of Svalbard)

Updated March 2015

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Norwegian Polar Institute
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