Transformation of the Natural Environment in Western Sørkapp Land (Spitsbergen) Since the 1980s
Western Sørkapp Land is a very remote and diverse region that is representative of the European Arctic. This book describes the transformation of the environment and landscape of Western Sørkapp Land based on research data collected by Jagiellonian University scientific expeditions in the period 1980-1986 and 2008. Western Sørkapp Land has been experiencing dramatic natural changes such as glacial recession, the emergence of new landforms, and quaternary deposits as well as changes in the water drainage and network due to global warming. The establishment of South Spitsbergen National Park has led to a regeneration of the local reindeer herd and consequently the overgrazing of the local tundra resulting in altered plant communities. The potential future transformations of Western Sørkapp Land are outlined in the book.