The islands of the Svalbard archipelago offer some of the most exciting opportunities for geological studies on earth, with the Longyearbyen CO2 Lab as a flagship. This is partly because all geological periods are represented within a limited geographical area, partly because glaciers have cut through the mountains and exposed the structures, and partly because the sparse vegetation offers immediate access to the rocks.
Svalbard has also become a well-known location for studying processes related to climate change. Effects of climate change appear first and most distinctly in the Arctic, due to the feedback mechanisms of the receding sea ice cover. Svalbard has therefore become an international research base with field stations and expeditions from 20 countries operating on a regular basis. Numerous high-profile visitors arrive every year to learn about the developments and help shape legislation.