The Wider Image: A climate-change frontier in the world's northernmost town
Interim Vicar, Ivar Smedsrod changes the hymn board ahead of a mass at the Svalbard Church in the town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Norway, August 4, 2019. The pastor has only been here for the summer, but in that short time he has already learned of people's fears about the effects of a rapidly changing climate. One such effect is a thawing of the permafrost beneath his feet at the graveyard, which he calls "a place of memories, a place of remembrance." "As the permafrost thaws, things that are in the ground tend to be pulled up," Smedsroed said. "That is happening more or less all of the time, so we might see that the graves literally come up, the coffins." REUTERS/Hannah McKay SEARCH "SVALBARD CLIMATE" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.