Svalbard is a group of Norwegian islands in the Arctic Ocean
, halfway between Norway and the North Pole and well above the Arctic
Spitsbergen is the archipelago's largest island and has a couple of settlements of which Longyearbyen is the largest.
Most of the land is covered by snow and glaciers, only 10% has some
tundra vegetation over the permafrost.
The climate is governed by the cold arctic winds from the north, moderated by the West
Spitsbergen Current that keeps the waters mostly open.
Svalbard sits at the edge of the Arctic Sea Ice and is used to point
to the dangers of global warming, with a predicted decline or even fully demise of the local polar bear population as its posterchild.
for the pundits a survey in 2015 showed that the local bear population has surged 40% and they are in good shape.
Bad news for the ringed seals and locals that wander out in the cold.