PHOTO GALLERY: It takes a village (aka science base)

April 17, 2013

When it comes to the complexities of climate research, it DOES take a village.  By a coincidence of history and location, the former coal mining town of Ny-Ålesund provides a remote international science base for the interaction of different sciences and researchers plumbing the dynamics of climate change.

Glaciologists methodically study ice atop mountains as well as at sea, marine chemists examine carbon uptake and release in the oceans, marine biologists assay plankton, and zoologists census mammal populations such as reindeer, now suffering from starvation amid increased melt-freeze cycles that encase tundra in impenetrable layers of ice.

It does “take a village” to explore the rapidly changing Arctic ecosystem and climate, and nowhere does this apply more than here, 780 miles from the North Pole above the 78th parallel on Spitsbergen Island.


Svalbard’s Ny-Ålesund science village in spring snow and ice. © Randall Hyman

Leave a Reply