29 June 2009 - 23 July 2009
The Svalbard Archipelago is one of the most pristine and spectacular landscapes in the High Arctic. Two years running, using a yacht as their base, the Frozen Planet team took advantage of the 24 hour sunlight of the Arctic summer to film the explosion of breeding birds and of course polar bears.
Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard Archipelago, Norwegian islands that sit midway between the European mainland and the North Pole. The islands are extremely mountainous, creating huge glaciers that spill into giant fjords. The extreme terrain combined with its latitude makes Svalbard an incredibly inhospitable place for humans, but a haven for Arctic wildlife. Polar bears brave temperatures of -50C during the four months of winter darkness, but during the summer the bears are joined by millions of migrants including barnacle geese, eider ducks and Arctic terns.
© Microsoft Virtual Earth, image courtesy of Navteq
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