the high arctic

For a few short months of the year, winter loosens its grip on the most extreme latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, and allows a stunning diversity of arctic life to flourish. Whales and seabirds travel thousands of miles to reap the high arctic’s summer feast of schooling fish and krill. Millions of tiny insects emerge from the ground as snow banks recede, and dense mats of moss-campion and arctic saxifrage blanket the rugged tundra. A staggering abundance of summer life is the norm.

 
 

"In the misty peaks far overhead, the silhouettes of several thousand black-legged kittiwake can just be made out. Dense colonies of these birds, always in the rockiest and most inaccessible areas, are like beacons to predators, and a few of us glimpse an arctic fox, sooty brown in its summer coat, skirting between boulders below. In a few weeks time, kittiwake chicks will be leaving the nests — foxes must be cunning hunters if they are to feed their dozen-or-so hungry pups! Far below the colony, the ground is lush and green, fertilized all summer long by the droppings of the birds above. Reindeer are well-camouflaged against the rocks and lichen, though we make out several before heading to the glacier. We spend the final moments of our excursion surrounded by icebergs, and enjoy the atmosphere of this incredible place."

— Journal Entry, 7.19.17 Fjortende Julibreen, Svalbard

 

Arctic travel has become more possible than ever as annual temperatures steadily rise — fjords and channels once choked with sea ice are now open throughout much of the year. These changes are felt not only by the region’s rich wildlife, but also the four million or so human inhabitants living above the Arctic Circle.


 
 

Artwork Inspired by The Arctic