Photo of the Week: Photo of the Year, Polar Bear
This week, our photo of the week is actually nature photo of the year. From the World Press Photo website:
1st Prize Nature Singles
Jenny E. Ross, USA.
Novaya Zemlya, Russia, 30 June
A male polar bear climbs precariously on the face of a cliff above the ocean at Ostrova Oranskie in northern Novaya Zemlya, attempting to feed on seabird eggs. This bear was marooned on land and unable to feed on seals—its normal prey—because sea ice had melted throughout the region and receded far to the north as a result of climate change.
This image illustrates the main issue facing polar bears worldwide, (and something we highlight in our upcoming film To The Arctic): disappearing sea ice is displacing polar bears, making it harder for them to find food.
Polar bears are marine mammals adapted to a life at sea. They hunt seals from the sea ice, but when it melts, which it is doing earlier every year, the bears are stranded on land, where they scramble to find other sources of food. A study in Churchill Canada revealed polar bears weigh 15 percent less than they did just 30 years ago, but researchers are making valiant efforts to save the bears.
Taken in Novaya Zemlya, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean off Russia, this photo dramatcially illustrates the extremes to which these bears are being pushed.