Tents, or ‘chums’, shield herders from temperatures of -45 Celsius (-40F).

Tents, or ‘chums’, shield herders from temperatures of -45 Celsius (-40F).

A Nenets herder rounds up his reindeers. The meat is sold to sausage factories and the horns to China for use as aphrodisiacs.

A monument stands above Murmansk, the world's largest Arctic city and a vital industrial and shipping hub. The city became a strategic base during the Cold War.

Coal miner Karp Belgayev walks through the abandoned Arctic town where he is among the last ten inhabitants. Most others left after the closure of the Soviet-era coal mine. Coal dust gathered around his eyes left unwashed during years working in the Arctic cold has left permanent black rings.

Gas emitted from the mining combine in this Russian Arctic town kills almost all vegetation within a 5 km radius. The combine, built in 1937 during Stalin's reign, emits sulphur dioxide -- the cause of acid rain.

Alexander, 35, knows he looks older. The local population in crumbling Arctic cities outside Murmansk is falling sharply, replaced in part by an influx of alcoholics like Alexander in search of cheap living.

Valery Zhukov, a laid-off miner and union representative in a coal mine, is comforted by his lover Lena.

Lights shine from the last occupied flat in an apartment block. With the outside temperature sometimes reaching -40C, the remaining family is at risk of death if the heating is down for just a few hours.

Portrait of Andrei, a tank driver for an oil and gas prospecting company. Drivers typically work in the isolated Arctic tundra for the entire winter, returning to civilisation only in spring.

A LUKoil worker repairs a leaking pipe, home to some of the world's largest natural gas deposits.

A tank driver rubs himself with snow while using a sauna in the Arctic tundra. The water is heated by the diesel tank on the left.

An aerial view of the world's most northerly oil terminal off Russia’s Arctic shore. The terminal serves tankers using the Arctic route between Europe and Asia, and represents another step in Russia's push towards the North Pole as global warming opens new trading routes.