/ by Katherine Yaksich

This past summer I had the wonderful opportunity to observe and photograph polar bears in the Arctic for my first time. The mother and cub pictured here was actually my first polar bear sighting, and I remember this moment quite vividly and will probably never forget it. Seeing polar bears in the wild transformed me, and made me truly realize how fragile our environment is. I want to share some text that was posted on the @natgeo Instagram feed yesterday: “Polar bears have come to represent the Arctic ecosystem and we look to them as an indicator of the health of the polar region they roam. Due to human-caused climate change, the Arctic is currently experiencing the warmest air temperatures in four centuries, and sea ice losses in the summer of 2012 broke all previous records. Polar bears are feeling the pressure; their populations are declining in Churchill, Manitoba in direct correlation with the loss of sea ice. The sea ice freezes later each fall and melts earlier each spring which means less time for hunting on sea ice. We must act today to change our carbon-emitting habits. It is estimated that if current climate trends are correct, two-thirds of the polar bear population could disappear by 2050. All the creatures from the top of the food chain to the bottom who are specially adapted to life on ice depend on humans to act now to lessen their carbon emissions that have caused these changes. What daily decisions are you making to reduce your carbon footprint?” #thisarcticlife #saveourseaice 

This past summer I had the wonderful opportunity to observe and photograph polar bears in the Arctic for my first time. The mother and cub pictured here was actually my first polar bear sighting, and I remember this moment quite vividly and will probably never forget it. Seeing polar bears in the wild transformed me, and made me truly realize how fragile our environment is.

I want to share some text that was posted on the @natgeo Instagram feed yesterday:

“Polar bears have come to represent the Arctic ecosystem and we look to them as an indicator of the health of the polar region they roam. Due to human-caused climate change, the Arctic is currently experiencing the warmest air temperatures in four centuries, and sea ice losses in the summer of 2012 broke all previous records. Polar bears are feeling the pressure; their populations are declining in Churchill, Manitoba in direct correlation with the loss of sea ice. The sea ice freezes later each fall and melts earlier each spring which means less time for hunting on sea ice. We must act today to change our carbon-emitting habits. It is estimated that if current climate trends are correct, two-thirds of the polar bear population could disappear by 2050. All the creatures from the top of the food chain to the bottom who are specially adapted to life on ice depend on humans to act now to lessen their carbon emissions that have caused these changes. What daily decisions are you making to reduce your carbon footprint?”

#thisarcticlife #saveourseaice