The walrus – a one-of-its-kind polar record holder. Part three of the Arctic Champions League

As aptly pointed out by the Polish Nobel prize-winning poet Wisława Szymborska, humanity has adopted a number of aesthetic and moral resolutions with regard to nature. And while those of a moral kind are slowly being retracted, the aesthetic ones prove a lot harder to eliminate. The comment was made…

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The magnificent nine. An overview of the Earth’s famous and not-so-famous poles

Even a child knows that poles are the points at the Earth’s very top and very bottom. The thing is, though, that the Earth is spherical and spheres, by definition, do not have tops or bottoms. Besides, a closer inspection makes it quite clear that there are no fewer than…

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Pocket-sized polar survivor, or a few words about the snow bunting. Part two of the Arctic Champions League

With the end of March upon us, spring is already in full swing. Unless, that is, you happen to be in Svalbard, which is still white, empty and downright wintry. The islands will finally come to life when the peace and quiet of polar winter gives way to the commotion…

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Small great moss campion. Part one of the Arctic Champions League

It’s no mean feat to survive in the Arctic. There are some, however, who have brought the skill to perfection. In the course of evolution, northern species have developed a whole range of ingenious mechanisms and abilities, which help them thrive despite the cold and the dark. The adaptational virtuosity…

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Does size matter? Or mega-problems with macro- and microplastics

They’re everywhere. From carpets beneath our feet, through contact lenses in our eyes, to planes above our heads. Synthetic materials, although synthetic, have become perfectly natural, and the growing piles of plastic waste are just another element of our world. But discarded plastic accumulates not only in areas with thousands…

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Knocking on (drift)wood, or a few facts about trapper cabins in Svalbard

Trapper cabins have been an integral part of Svalbard’s scenery for more than two hundred years. Over time, they’ve changed hands and character, undergone alterations and renovations, while those which were already beyond repair became a source of material for the construction of new cabins, thus going through partial reincarnation.…

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Nothing more than mountains and pointed peaks, or how Svalbard was discovered and what came out of it

The archipelago was probably known of already by the Vikings. Brief mentions of “cold shores” in the area, which is now instantly associated with Svalbard, appeared for the first time in 12th-century Nordic sagas. The thing is, though, that no evidence has ever been found to confirm that the Vikings…

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The Magnificent Four, or project team version 2.0

In mid-February, a remarkable meeting – or, more specifically, two remarkable meetings! – took place among the peace and quiet of Kampinos National Park, providing us with an opportunity to meet the ten candidates whose applications appealed to us the most. It is hardly surprising that our base was an…

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