Written by Amos Nachoum
The arctic is a place of great mystery, and even more so these days, when it’s never been warmer up there. Yes, that’s right. While a lot of the US is seeing snow, ice and excessive cold, the place that we think of as being the coldest on the planet is going through a warm season. Scientists are reporting the arctic just had the least amount of sea ice on record in January. Air temperature is way above normal, too, even as “down south” people are shoveling their cars out of the snow.
A warmer Arctic
The experts are trying to understand if these two things are related. It’s well established that a warmer arctic is a fact – and it’s been going on like that steadily in recent years, but scientists don’t know yet if some of that arctic air moving south is a trend or a blip. Just another mystery of the arctic, I think.
Here’s another arctic mystery for you: Polar bears might be facing their own population crisis. Why? Polar bears rely on sea ice when they hunt. They use it to get to the seals – their main food. Researchers have discovered that as the arctic becomes warmer, sea levels have dropped and there are fewer newborn polar bear cubs. Pregnant polar bear mothers go into hiding in a winter den and fast during part of their eight-month term. If they haven’t eaten enough before they do, they might not be able to sustain themselves. Scientists believe that having less food makes it less likely for a mother polar bear to give birth to a surviving cub. So there’s a relationship between the polar bear mom’s ability to survive and warmer weather. Since things seem to be changing in the wilds of the arctic, it seems like there’s no time like the present to have a look around there yourself.
Experience the High Arctic of Canada
I’d like you to experience some of the mystery, in mid-April. Will you join me? I’m leading an expedition to the high arctic of Canada, where we’ll see polar bear families emerging after months in their snow dens. We’ll see polar bear cubs learning to walk and play and track them when they head out to the edge of an ice floe to hunt for seals.
The days up there are 18 hours long – perfect for wildlife photography. Put your camera to your eye and you’ll capture spectacular images of baby polar bears and their mothers, the Aurora Borealis, endless white landscapes, seals and whales. We’ll have an opportunity explore Inuit camp life, too. There are only two spaces left on this trip, so I’d ask that if you would like to join us, please book today.