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Where did all the ice go?

Just returned from, yet another, summer on Svalbard. Back in the boiling heat of Oslo and looking at my pictures to figure out which one best describes Svalbard these days. It’s not a polar bear picture, but a glacier picture. Or rather the lack-of-a-glacier picture. Two years ago, I got the chance to work on a glacier that was facing rapid ice loss. Now I got the chance to revisit the place and it didn’t look too good either. Sailing the ship far into what used to be glacier just three years ago is a worrisome feeling. Especially when it would be possible to continue for several more kilometers. On the picture you can see the tiny ship in the distance already parked deep within the former glacier. Draw a roughly three kilometers long line to see how the ice on the left and on the right side were connected just three years earlier and then imagine how you can continue the journey towards the shore for another three plus kilometers. All it took were a few summers. More than often it’s crazy to see the rapid changes happing on Svalbard as climate warming progresses. Curious to see how the archipelago looks like when I return again in a couple of years.