Magazine article Geographical

Arctic Year. (Letters from High Latitudes)

Magazine article Geographical

Arctic Year. (Letters from High Latitudes)

Article excerpt

While temperatures of -19 [degrees] C mean it is still cold, the return of 24-hour daylight has made life much easier. The 24 young explorers, here until mid July, are not the only new arrivals here on Svalbard. The first snow buntings, Svalbard's only songbird, are now back from mainland Norway, as are some little auks and kittiwakes.

We are currently working hard to dismantle our winter base camp and move it north across Templefjord to a location suitable for the research projects we're undertaking on alluvial fans and, later on in the summer, pink footed and barnacle geese. Following the variable temperatures during the winter, the digging has proven to be hard work, with several layers of ice needing to be carefully chipped through to flee the tents. We have so far hauled over 1,000 bags of food, using a combination of snowscooters, human and dog power.

The issue of snowscooters in this northern wilderness is top of the agenda when the environment minister comes to visit this spring. …

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