Polar Bear in Greenland
A polar bear photographed from the deck of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, in drifting and unconsolidated sea ice in Kane Basin, off Cape Clay, at a position of 79 57.359N 064 51.120W.
The bear came within 2 metres of the ship, after moving very fast across the ice towards the bow. Sensing food, it sniffed the air and stayed near the ship for nearly 10 minutes before leaving to hunt a seal in the distance. Polar bears cannot survive without sea ice, using it to raise their young, to travel and as a platform for hunting seals -their primary food source. This bear appeared to be in healthy condition, however the species is threatened with extinction because climate change is causing its sea ice habitat to melt away rapidly.
A team of scientists are on board the Arctic Sunrise during the 1st leg of the Greenpeace 3-month long Arctic impacts expedition, to document the effects of climate change on the Arctic environment ahead of the Copenhagen summit due to be held in December 2009.