Heading North

Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Male at sunset

I leave tomorrow for three weeks in Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic, serving as lecturer aboard the National Geographic Explorer.  Word has it that they have been seeing large numbers of polar bears on the ice this year, despite the dramatic reduction of icepack throughout the Arctic ecosystem. It will be great to see bears again, and to better understand how they are adapting to changing conditions.

I will try and post pictures and comments from the field, but - surprise, surprise -  internet access is apparently pretty challenging at 80 degrees north. (Maybe that's a good thing...)  In any case, I will certainly post whenever I can, or else I will save my comments until I reach more hospitable latitudes.

Waterfalls from Austfonna Icecap, Svalbard

For those of you roasting in the brutal summer heat : I wish I could bring you home a massive chunk of ice... Stay safe.

3 Comments

    Hi Kevin,

    I wish you have a great trip to Svalbard. I considered traveling myself but could not travel because it was too expensive. Perhaps next year… This is a trip I would love to experience as I live in the tropics (Caribbean) and snow and bears are beyond my wildest imagination… I would love to experience this trips before I leave this life.

    Please, do post your photos, so that I can live by approximation your first hand experience.

    Wish you photographic luck.

    Haydee Yordan

    Haydee,

    Thanks for your comments. I’ve just posted a picture from a day or two ago – the first time in a week we’ve had internet access this far north. Svalbard is really on the front lines of climate change : I can see a dramatic difference from year to year. Having said that, snow is falling today, and it feels very much like winter is approaching again. The polar bears will be happy if it is; they can only feed on seals out on the pack ice which, for now, is far to the north.

    I’ll take a look at your link when I get home later this month, if that’s OK. But thanks for staying in touch.

    Kevin

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