Climate Change

On the front lines of climate change in the world's northernmost town

International director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, Kim Holmen, relaxes with a cup of tea as he travels past the Wahlenberg Glacier in Oscar II land at Spitsbergen in Svalbard, Norway, August 5, 2019. Holmen has lived in the northern Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard for three decades. He describes the changes he's seen as "profound, large and rapid." "We are losing the Svalbard we know. We are losing the Arctic as we know it because of climate change," he said. "This is a forewarning of all the hardship and problems that will spread around the planet." REUTERS/Hannah McKay      SEARCH "SVALBARD CLIMATE" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. - RC12AB368890

Since 1979, the Arctic sea ice extent has declined by nearly 12% per decade Image: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Alex Fraser
Journalist, Reuters
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Christiane Huebner plays with her dog Svea in front of her home in the town of Longyearbyen, in Svalbard, Norway, August 3, 2019. Three years ago, as winter approached, 13 meters of coastline fell away overnight, leaving Huebner's cabin perilously close to the fjord. Huebner, her family of three and their husky dogs abandoned the home.
Image: REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A sign warns of the danger from polar bears in the town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Norway, August 3, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay    SEARCH
Image: REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Miner Odd Rune Svenning, 26, changes his clothes after working inside the Gruve 7 mine, the only remaining operational coal mine on Svalbard, Norway, August 7, 2019. Svenning has worked in the mine for two years.
Image: REUTERS/Hannah McKay
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