Photographs showing the real time and present of the Arctic Circle

Historical photographs were taken in 1928 from Svalbard between Norway and the Arctic. The new photo was taken in 2002.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the Arctic Circle has warmed almost twice as fast as the entire globe in the last two decades. This is known as Arctic amplification.

“Arctic amplification is not the only evidence of rapid Arctic climate change. Arctic sea ice is shrinking, especially during the summer. Arctic land snowfall is especially in the spring. Decreased, glaciers in Alaska, Greenland and northern Canada are receding. In addition, the Arctic frozen soil, known as permanent frozen soil, is warming and thawing in many areas, “NSIDC reported.

Photomemes aimed at showing what the Arctic looked like 100 years ago have been in circulation online for years. Below is a screenshot of the meme.

RI.B, a VERIFY audience member, asked if the photo in the meme was real.


Are the photos seen in the memes showing a 100-year comparison of the Arctic Circle real?

Source of information


Yes, the photo is real, but it doesn’t show a 100-year comparison. The original photo was taken in 1928 from Svalbard between Norway and the Arctic. Recent photos were taken by a Swedish photographer in 2002.

What we found

Using RevEye, a reverse image search tool, VERIFY tracked photos up to a 2017 article in National Geographic.

This article was a profile of how Greenpeace photographer Christian Asland was able to use archived photographs of the Arctic Circle to show the impact of climate change on the region.

However, the photo does not show a 100-year comparison. Photos were taken at 74 year intervals. Åslund posted on Instagram that historic photographs were taken during the 1928 summer season.

In an email to VERIFY, Åslund said, “The Svalbard photo series was actually from 2002, but now it has its own wings on the internet.”

He said the black-and-white images were courtesy of the Norwegian Polar Research Institute from a photo archive in Tromso, Norway.

“I took a color image during the summer 2002 season, which was a collaboration between Greenpeace and them, showing the effects of climate change, or global warming at the time,” he said. .. “Old black and white archive images are also of summer. You can see it in the fjord and you can see that they are not frozen, it will usually be during the winter. In the winter. Is also a snowy peak, but because the glacier itself is glacier ice, it doesn’t melt much in some seasons, but because of the warm climate. “

The Norwegian Polar Research Institute’s online archive contains more than 52,000 photographs of the Svalbard Islands. More than 1,100 of them date from 1928, and some feature men with similar hats and rowing boats (see examples here and here).

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Photographs showing the real time and present of the Arctic Circle

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