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Polar opposite: how climate change is altering the Arctic?

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Researchers crossing a fjord in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard The Arctic is warming faster than any other place on the planet, while its wildlife is being slowly poisoned by industrial toxins brought by the wind and sea currents. In Svalbard, next to the North Pole, scientists from Europe and around the world are studying these problems. Ocean travelled to the Norwegian archipelago to meet them and find out more. Here in Svalbard, we are just 1300 kilometres away from the North Pole, but it doesn’t feel that cold at all — in fact, Longyearbyen, the place behind me, is the fastest warming town on Earth. The temperatures here have risen by 4 degrees Celsius over the last 50 years. Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean is increasingly feeling the heat of climate change. Temperatures here are rising dangerously fast, altering the land, sea and air.

With less than 2,500 permanent residents, Longyearbyen is a popular tourist destination and an important centre for Arctic research.

Founded as a mining town in the early 1900s, it still has a mine and a coal-fired power station – the last in Norway.

But that page in Svalbard’s history is about to turn. With climate change endangering fauna and putting […]

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