The Tarfala research station is located at the foot of Kebnekaise, just over 1,135 metres above sea level. Every year, researchers and students come to study climate change, geology and the flora and fauna of the Swedish mountains. Meet some of them in this movie from Makers Only.

The Tarfala research station is located in the rugged and rocky Tarfala valley on the eastern side of Kebnekaise, at more than 1,100 metres above sea level. The station is owned and run by Stockholm University and is open from early March to early May and between the end of June and mid-September. During this period, students from a number of universities come to learn more about the geology, the flora and fauna of the Swedish mountains. Research is also carried out in several fields such as geology, hydrology, zoology, botany and ecology. The main research field, however, is glaciology, a term which refers to the study of the structure of glaciers and how they change over time.

Fifty years of glacier measurement

In the Tarfala Valley there are four glaciers, of which Storglaciären (the great glacier) is the most famous and one of the most studied glaciers in the world. In the winter of 1946, the first measurements of the glacier were made, and since then, scientists have measured both the amount of snow gathered at Storglaciären in winter and how much snow and ice melt in the summer. This series of measurements is the world's most extensive and provides an important basis for international scientific studies of glaciers and climate.

Global warming causes glaciers around the world to melt. The long measurement series from Tarfala is therefore extra valuable for studying glacial melting and as a basis for predictions of what climate change can have for Arctic environments. Climate change also affects the supply of food for the reindeer and, consequently, for the treatment industry. For a number of years, Tarfala Research Station is conducting a research project on climate change and the run-up business together with a Sami town.

Highest wind speed in Sweden

At the station in Tarfala, the highest wind speed in Sweden has been measured. On December 20, 1992, a wind speed of 81 m/s (157 kn, 290 km/h, 180 mph) was measured.

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