Polar bear sitting in tundra without snow - signs of global warming
A young polar bear is sitting in the brown arctic tundra in November. No signs of snow or ice in sight. Polar bears are coming to the waters edge in October/November near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze over so they can get out on the ice to hunt.
In 2007, when we photographed polar bears near Churchill, it took till November 5 till snow finally arrived, kind of late. We have seen many polar bears just wandering around the tundra, hungry and sleepy. As soon as it turned cooler the bears got more active and excited.
The problem of global warming is that the ice arrives later and leaves earlier. This means that the polar bears have to wait longer till they can start feeding again (after a long summer of hardly any feeding at all) and at the end of the winter the ice melts faster which means that the bears have to swim further to reach shore again as well as their hunting season is shorter and the "non eating period" is longer (till the ice arrives again).
It is a very sad story and shows clearly the impact of global warming in the Arctic and the polar bears - lets hope we find a way to keep them alive.