The International Arctic Atmosphere Research Station is located on Greem Bell Island in the Franz Josef Land archipelago north of central Russia. Greem Bell (named for Alexander Graham Bell) is isolated and inhospitable; it remains icelocked throughout the year, and severe weather often prevents aircraft from reaching the island.

The IAARS is currently used for pure atmospheric research. However, during the Cold War, it was a satellite tracking facility, as well as a punishment tour of duty for Soviet scientists and troops.