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Situated north of mainland Europe, Svalbard is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole, ranging from 74° to 81° north latitude  The archipelago features an Arctic climate with many mountains and fjords, and approximately 60% of Svalbard is covered with glaciers. The islands are a breeding ground for many seabirds, and also feature polar bears, reindeer, the Arctic fox, and certain marine mammals. Ny-Alesund is the northernmost settlement in the world with a permanent civilian population.

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