In the area that Hilde and Sunniva were in, it’s common to see polar bears prowling the area. A typical winter often reaches around –30° Celsius. Due to the harsh winter conditions, many polar scientists find themselves collecting field data from this area during the winter. Their mission was to collect observations of wildlife, along with the environment so that they could help scientists understand how quickly warming is changing the ecosystems in the arctic.
9 Months in the Arctic
After seeing how much climate change was affecting polar regions, Hilde and Sunniva were inspired to support climate research, which is what made them take on this nine-month adventure in the arctic.
Hilde Fålun Strøm has lived in Svalbard for 23 years and has watched as the land got greener and the glaciers began to retreat as the average temperatures rose. Sunniva Sorby, on the other hand, has worked for more than two decades as a historian and a guide in Antarctica. She’s also skied the Greenland ice cap, as well as across Antarctica to the South Pole.
It’s No Walk in the Park
Even with all the preparation that the two women had, they did find it challenging. There’s no running water so they had to thaw chunks of ice, chopped wood to keep a fire going for cooking and heating the cabin. They also always had to put on layers of clothing before venturing outside and take a gun with them to guard them against polar bears.