Ny-Ålesund Region

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Lying some 107 kilometres to the northwest of Longyearbyen, the small settlement of Ny-Ålesund is a dedicated hub for research in the region, comprising 13 international stations made up of scientists from a host of nations including Norway, the UK, China, South Korea, Japan, India, Germany and France. Sitting at approximately 79˚N on the southern shore of Kongsfjorden, Ny-Ålesund is surrounded by mountains, glaciers and numerous nature reserves, making it a natural focus for intensive process-driven and long-term monitoring research projects on Arctic flora and fauna, high-latitude glaciers and permafrost, and global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Although the population falls to around 35 scientists over the winter period when temperatures typically plunge to -14C, the settlement can ‘swell’ to more than 130 individuals during the summer months and the heady temperatures of +5˚C. The relatively high temperatures for this latitude is largely thanks to the remnants of the North Atlantic Drift, an extension of the tropical Gulf Stream, flowing along the western coast of Svalbard, bringing warm waters north.


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