For two days we are already in the Arctic. Yesterday we left Longyearbyen, pretty much the last outpost of the civilized world.
Hardly aboard, we left the Issefjord and headed the Sound between Prins Karls Foreland and the main island. The Quest is rolling a little, the swell comes from the south and we head to the west. The light is magical; the sun is already hanging low over the horizon. The game of the clouds, the composition of landscape and weather are the overture the appropriate final chord.
We're off to see polar bears and climate change in order to see over his shoulder. Nowhere else the consequences of global warming are as tangible as up here. What are the glaciers declined? How react flora and fauna? On top of that, we want to investigate the ice and to accompany us to the head of the research group of sea ice at the Max Planck-Institut for Meteorology, Dr. Dirk Notz. "The warming is not just a piece of ice disappears. We are losing entire landscapes. And thus habitats, impressive, unique moods of light and structures, "says Dirk Notz.
Our first stop is NYALESUND.
This settlement is legendary, not only that numerous polar expeditions are launched from here, but the place is also a paradise for scientists from many countries; Only ten nations entertain here research institutions for biology, astronomy, geology, and of course to climate research.
Especially in this field, the Franco-German station is on the way. Among other particles are measured in the air. How much mercury is in the atmosphere? Is radioactivity released into the environment? Based on the knowledge of the global wind conditions can be deduced quite exactly where the dirt comes.
In the afternoon we drove to the Kongsbreen, a glacier with a one kilometer long front. The Quest headed to the ice edge. The ship pushed against the ice, the water changed from dark blue in the delicate brown a thin lattes. Chunks of ice passed us. Up to 40 meter wall of ice in elevation. The light conjures impressive moods onto the ice. It shimmers and opens a universe of blue and white.
Using old photos and descriptions but we also saw how much this glacier has lost alone in the past decade. Norbert Rosing, the well-known wildlife photographer who works in the Arctic for decades, says: "It's scary when people perception sufficient to see these massive changes."
We are excited about what still awaits us all.
Photos: Peter Laufmann
More blog posts to readers travel in Spitsbergen 2013:
From melting glaciers and energy saving polar bears
By changing in climate and thrilling ice
The drill of Bottrop