King of Arctic
I barely slept a wink last night but watching the King of Arctic action was breath taking. I spotted this full grown adult male, estimating about 400 kg. The weather was cold but the wind chill was howling at 100 miles / hour made it unbearable. I guess the temperature was about -40 Centigrade, -40 Fahrenheit. The wind was biting; climate change threatens polar bears, it prowls the Globe's frozen north, a massive white bruin that fears no predator. The polar bear is both a totemic symbol of Canada and an important part of the Arctic ecosystem. Just as the ice is shrinking in Hudson Bay, so are its polar bears. Climate change has shortened the season for winter ice, a crucial period for the bears to feast on seals and build up their fat reserves. And so, over the 18 years that wildlife biologist has been studying them, the polar bears have become skinnier and their offspring fewer.
The Arctic tundra is a vast reservoir of oil and uranium. Due to this, many countries are exploring oil in these regions which can severely damage the delicate balance of the tundra ecosystem.
Another threat is that about one third of the world's soil bound carbon is found in these regions. So when the permafrost melts in summers, this carbon gets released into the atmosphere, thus adding to the 'Greenhouse Effect'. Since carbon is a greenhouse gas, this adds to the threat of global warming, which again forms a vicious cycle by causing more of the permafrost to melt each year.
The situation for the polar bear was, however, much worse in Norway. The ice around Svalbard had melted, stranding the bear ashore on the islands as featured in BBC wildlife 2012. Nonetheless; here is non-better. All the ice around Churchill Hudson Bay had melted, much earlier than in previous years. The picture depicts an environment that is disappearing faster than most of us realize and appreciate. The scary future most polar bears are facing, with ever-thinner ice or no ice at all, stranding the bear on the icy tundra with little food source under harsh winter condition.