• Thu. Sep 23rd, 2021

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How a Norwegian island is already living our climate change future

New Scientist Default Image

A summer view over the town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard

Arterra Picture Library / Alamy

One year on, the people of Svalbard are still talking about July 2020. The biggest town of this Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic, Longyearbyen, is surrounded by snowy hills and is sub-zero for much of the year. But last July, temperatures spiked to more than 20°C for several days on end in a month that rarely sees a day above 10°C. This July, by contrast, has been slightly cooler than normal.

“There is a general feeling that things are …