Ny-Alesund, the world's northernmost settlement, lies 750 miles from the North Pole on a Norwegian archipelago called Svalbard. Like other towns on the coal-rich island chain, it is coming to terms with the country's shift away from fossil fuels. Ny-Alesund was built a century ago around one mine, but in the winter of 1962, a dramatic explosion killed 21 workers and the mine was shuttered. Since then, the town, which is oft-visited by polar bears and the northern lights, has relied partly on tourism to prop up its economy. Scientists have also shown increasing interest in Ny-Alesund because its position in the arctic allows them to study early signs of climate change. Since 1992, 11 nations have built research stations there.