Line Nagell Ylvisåker

My World is Melting
To live with climate change on Svalbard

In 2006 Line Nagell Ylvisåker started as a journalist at Svalbardposten. In Desember it was clear that it would be the warmest year in Svalbard since the temperature measurements started. A climate scientist at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute warned the archipelago would get several degrees warmer in the decades to come. Nagell Ylvisåker did not pay much notice. She drove around on scooters, became acquainted with the mountains, the midnight sun and the northern lights and gained peace and freedom through her own bear rifle.

In 2015 a snow avalanche thundered down from the mountain Sukkertoppen and hit 11 houses in the town of Longyearbyen. A two-year-old girl and a family father died. Line Nagell Ylvisåker has built a house in Longyearbyen, got two kids, calls the place for home, but suddenly she became uneasy when there was bad weather on the horizon. What was happening with her dear town?

She needs some answers, and begins to investigate her own surroundings. She talks to the meteorologist who herself was buried in the snow masses in 2015. She seeks climate scientists and a trapper with 40 wintering behind him. She is shown how the deep sea is systematically warmed up, meets three polar bears on a hike with her kids and follows the relocation of houses in Longyearbyen. It is evident that the times are changing.
This is a story about a rising unrest and about living in the midst of the hot spot of climate change.

In Ylvisåker’s book, the personal experience of the environmental changes is an excellent framework for communicating – and not least concretising – knowledge. This easy-to-read and engaging book should have great potential to create understanding for the seriousness of the situation to many.


Line Nagell Ylvisåker


Line Nagell Ylvisåker (b. 1982) is a trained journalist and worked from 2006 to 2018 at the newspaper Svalbardposten. She has received several awards for her writing from Svalbard.

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Thomas Mala
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Edited June 23, 2020 by Northern Stories