From Iceland — RVK Newscast 158: Lightning and Kennel Cough

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Welcome to a particularly blustery episode of RVK Newscast! Today we bring you to the town of Garðabær, a municipality within the Capital Region of Iceland for a wintery walk-and-talk. Join Reykjavík Grapevine’s editor-in-chief, Valur Grettison, along with his trusty Chief Morale Officer, Pollý, for an update on the latest in Icelandic news: Covid, lightning storms and data mining.

The ‘fourth wave’ of Covid-19 in Iceland continues to be a problem, with unprecedented numbers of Icelanders both infected and in quarantine. The government has been focussing on vaccinating children aged 5-12 this week, and the rules have also been changed to allow those who have had the booster dose to avoid full quarantine if they come into contact with a positive case. Read all of our reporting on the coronavirus pandemic here.

It has been reported that 2021 saw a huge increase in the number of lightning strikes across the Arctic region. This has been noticeable in Iceland, which normally experiences lightning only very occasionally. The increase is due to global warming, as conditions in Iceland and other northern regions become warmer and more humid. Read more here.

A decision taken by Landsvirkjun, The National Power Company of Iceland, to limit electricity to industry is causing issues for cryptocurrency mining businesses in Iceland. Iceland’s natural resources – low temperatures that reduce the need for expensive cooling systems, and an abundance of cheap, renewable energy – have made it an ideal location for data centres and cryptocurrency mining, and this industry has been booming in recent years. As well us these companies, corporations such as fishmeal factories and aluminium smelters have also been impacted by the recent cut.

Finally, Reykjavík has been hit with another bug recently – kennel cough. Most dogs infected recover naturally without any intervention, but on occasion it can be more serious. Our own dear Pollý had a brush with the disease, but has happily recovered without any issues. More information available here.

In addition to being your favourite YouTube channel, The Reykjavík Grapevine is a monthly English-language magazine packed with Icelandic news, culture and travel. And you can have the e-version of the magazine emailed to you as soon as it’s published! Simply join either the ‘Secret Handshake’ or ‘Elbow Five’ level of our High Five Club. .

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The newscast is made possible with the help of our friends at Einstök Beer.

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