Kingdom of the polar bear – for how long?

The photographs from Svalbard transport the viewer into Arctic nature where global warming is showing more rapidly than anywhere else on the globe. In addition to nature experiences, the exhibition provides tips for mitigating your climate impact.

In June 2016, Kari Auvinen embarked on a photography trip to Svalbard and was able to capture amazing views of Arctic nature, birds and large mammals, such as polar bears and walruses. Travel to the locations was by a small ship and a rubber dinghy. Auvinen also witnessed several collapses of the glacier edge. Indeed, the sea ice extent during the summer has decreased greatly in the area, making it harder for polar bears to find food, for example.

Vanha urosjääkarhu Huippuvuorilla

In 2016, the average temperature in the Svalbard islands was close to 0 °C for the first time in 100 years of temperature measurement history. The annual average temperature of the island group has usually been around –6 °C. This means that the climate is warming rapidly in the area. The previous heat record was –1.8 °C in 2006.

The warming of the Arctic region is already visible in the nature of the north but, in the long term, it will also be seen more in the southern regions when the sea level rises due to melting ice masses. The increase in free water surface further accelerates the melting because dark water absorbs heat instead of reflecting it like pale ice does.

Global warming is directly proportional to the continuous increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Countries agreed on goals to reduce CO2 emissions in the Paris Agreement on climate action, which entered into force late last year. Many of the actions will be implemented on the municipal level. This means that, this spring, you will get a chance to influence climate change by voting. However, you can make choices that make a difference every day. The exhibition will tell you how.

In March, Nature House Villa Elfvik (Elfvikintie 4, Espoo) is open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 3 pm and on Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. In April, Villa Elfvik will move to summer time, so from 1 April it will be open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. During the Easter holidays and on May Day, it will be open from 10 am to 4 pm. Café Elfvik is open at weekends and holidays during the Nature House’s opening hours.

Information and location


Wed 2017-03-15 9:00 - Sun 2017-05-07 16:00


The Nature House Villa Elfvik

Elfvikintie 4

Contact information

+358 9 816 54400


Admission to the Nature House is free.