NatuReview 2017: Arctic Sea Ice

Several times this year I wrote about the amount of sea ice in the Arctic. In contrast most previous years, we encountered a lot of sea ice in the beginning of the season. It blocked a lot of places that we were supposed to visit and could visit easily in recent years. This was good news for the bears, who could roam around freely over all the ice and hunt for seals. For us, it was quite difficult to find these bears as they could cover a large area. In contrast to previous years, we hardly saw bears on land and nearly all bears were in very good condition.

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Polar Bear in the pack ice

 

By the end of the most of the ice had melted again and the ice edge was far north again. Also, it turned out to be a very local effect. The total amount of sea ice in the Arctic was again one of the lowest on record. But it was good news for the Spitsbergen bears and a nice challenge for us.

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Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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