Studies and stories on Arctic videos about rivers in the sky, reindeers, permafrost thaw, and more

Professor Jeff Welker knows the Arctic throughout as he has been studying its various topics for decades. In his new short, scenery Arctic Studies videos, we will learn about Svalbard reindeers eating popsicle-like grasses nowadays, the hunt of rivers in the sky, as well as permafrost thaw effects and what the future holds for the Arctic.
Houses below snow fences
Homes under snow fences on Svalbard. Image Marcel Schütz / Svalbard Photography

See all Arctic Studies videos amongst Our Research videos

On the Arctic research videos Welker explains, for example, how to study the atmospheric rivers. These ‘rivers in the sky’ accumulate water vapor over open, evaporating seas, that in turn supercharge cloud formation, and lead to excessive snow and possibly rain, depending on local and regional conditions.

Welker says: "It seems that now and more so in coming years and decades, moisture sources and transport patterns into, out of and within the Arctic are becoming increasing critical to understand, as the dry areas are becoming drier and expanding and wet areas are becoming wetter. Atmospheric rivers will bring more of the subarctic conditions into the Arctic, and the effects seem to be occurring throughout the Arctic system exemplified by the ‘Borealisation of the Arctic seas and landscapes’.”

Read more about the atmospheric rivers

Welker and colleagues’ recent research reports that the deepening Arctic snowpack has led to permafrost thaw and thus the release of ancient carbon into the modern atmosphere. “One of the other important consequences is that permafrost thaw is influencing the infrastructure that we have in the Arctic - be it a road, building, or a bridge. There are major consequences to communities, whether on Svalbard, Finland, or other Arctic regions, that really impact the industrial part of our world”, he describes in the video.

Read more about permafrost thaw

Jeff Welker and reindeers

Svalbard reindeer diet-switch has been an unexpected discovery. On the video Welker explains: “One of the things that we've observed is that these animals are capable, over just a few generations, to adapt to the major changes that are happening. Welker says that these findings on Svalbard have relevance to Lapland reindeer: "Forage biodiversity on the landscape reindeer graze, may provide a buffer to negative effects of climate change in Northern Finland".

Read more about Svalbard reindeer

The videos and images were shot in Svalbard by Marcel Schütz / Svalbard Photography

Last updated: 17.4.2024