Photo: Anna-Karin Landin

Abisko Scientific Research Station

An important part of our infrastructure, here researchers can work in a subarctic environment with varied nature – in both topography and geology, as well as in climate.

Climate research in Abisko attracts scientists from all over the world

At the research station, several unique long-term experiments are conducted, attracting scientists from all over the world. Every year the research station receives around 200 scientists who study the birch woods, mires, mountain heaths, alpine and glaciated areas, lakes, and rivers. Through experiments, the scientists improve their understanding of how increased carbon dioxide levels, UVB radiation, ground and air temperature, and snow depth affect the ecosystems and the processes within these systems.

Within the different research projects, all aspects of life in the local environment are considered, from microbes to tourists, in a time frame from hundreds of millions of years back in time, to different future scenarios.

The research station is located in a subarctic climate about 200 km north of the Arctic Circle at Abisko National Park in Kiruna municipality, northwestern Lapland.

Available for scientists, students and conference participants

At the research station scientists, students and conference participants have access to laboratories, greenhouses, experimental gardens, meeting rooms, lecture halls, workshops, kitchens and living facilities. As a scientist, you have access to five field huts near the station.

Photo: Anna-Karin Landin

Data gathering and environment monitoring

The station’s long-term records extend back to 1913 and include several different environmental variables, for example climate, snow depth, as well as the ice thickness and ice duration on Torneträsk. In addition, environment monitoring is performed in the areas of hydrology, water chemistry, flora and fauna, as well as phenology, geomagnetism, and atmospheric carbon isotope composition.

In June 2021, our meteorological station with its over one hundred year-long time series of data was recognized as a Centennial Observing Station by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Doing research work at the station

If you want to carry out research, arrange a course or hold a conference at Abisko Scientific Research Station, you must fill out the application form at INTERACT GIS. Apply 31 March at the latest, if you want to visit the station during the current season.

History of the research station

In 1902, a small house was bought in Katterjokk, around 35 km west of Abisko, to be used as a research station. When the station was destroyed by fire in 1910 an improved research facility was built in Abisko, where the meteorological and natural science research could commence in 1913.

The new research station consisted of a wooden building that was used until 1970. In the first period of the research station until the end of the Second World War, the research was conducted under relatively primitive conditions. Over the years the station has been expanded to receive more scientists and the equipment has been successively modernised.

From the very beginning, atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, winds, and precipitation has been monitored at the station and today there are unique collections of environmental data from more than 100 years of observations. There is also extensive documentation of the research in the form of scientific publications.

Abisko Scientific Research Station

Brochure about the Secretariat’s research station in Abisko.

Abisko Scientific Research Station (pdf 2.7 MB, opens in new window)

Field Course Handbook, 2020

The Field Course Handbook is developed and written by staff at the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat in co-operation with experts in the field. Published 2020. ISBN paperback, 978-91-519-5130-0. ISBN pdf online version, 978-91-519-5131-7.

Field Course Handbook 2020 (pdf, 7 MB, opens in new window)