Only 1300km from the North Pole, at 78 degrees north, is the worlds’ northernmost town with a permanent population located: Longyearbyen. You cannot give birth here (too remote and risky) or die here (the permafrost will push your body back up). Longyearbyen is known as a mining town, and it was from here that I joined a sailing expedition on the Rembrandt van Rijn. The Rembrandt van Rijn is a three mast sailing ship, originally used as a haring logger. The ship is not an ice breaker but due to the rather small size of the ship (18 passenger cabins) we had access to remote and rather untouched locations. Here we took daily hikes along melting glaciers and Arctic wildlife and experienced true arctic silence.
Due to this trip I got a first-hand taste of the effects of rapid climate change. I read that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet and this is causing glaciers and fjord ice to melt rapidly.