Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa

The Very End of the World

The most northerly archipelago of the world.

An Austrian discovery.

Franz Josef Land is at the very end of the world :

just 900 km off the North Pole, completely ice covered islands with vivid sea fauna and roaming Polar Bears.

Late August 2012 the arctic polar sea ice was at its lowest record ever since NASA observations started and the archipelago was totally sea ice free. The Arctic Ocean sea ice cover had dropped by 50% compared to 1979. This allowed to reach 83 degree north with the ice class A vessel Ortelius in search of compact ice floes and polar bears which has never happened before!

Even worse is that the Arctic sea ice volume has dropped by 80%. A fundamental change is going on.

Watch the daily updated Norwegian sea ice report of the northern hemisphere and read my essay about Franz Josef Land in the Austrian online newspaper "der Standard".

I have published the fine art photo book FROZEN LATITUDES which dedicates Franz Josef Land a full chapter. Read more details on the book's Website.

Chasing Ice North of Franz Josef Land

Expedition Artifacts

Artifacts from the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition by Julius Payer and Carl Weyprecht at the National Nature Museum and the Academy of Sciences, Vienna.

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