A photographer goes to Alaska to take photographs of Polar Bears in the snow. Unfortunately, there was no snow there at all!
Photographer Patty Waymire went to Alaska’s Barter Island late September this year. She went there with a purpose, to take pictures of Polar Bears in their natural habitat. What she saw there shocked her, there was no snow at all!
“I was so surprised when I arrived, there was no snow and nor was the sea ice forming yet at all,” Waymire said.
“The locals told me that it was a very unusually warm winter and also that the snow would be really late in arriving. It is one of the warmest winters on record there,” Waymire says.
She took photographs of the Polar bears on patches of sand and dirt, or swimming in the Beaufort Sea. One specific photo, “No Snow, No Ice,” above, which shows a lonely bear looking down into the water, won a honorable mention in a National Geographic photo competition. The photo shows us the effects of global warming and climate change.
The shot struck me straight away as he seemed so contemplative. He was sitting all alone there on the shore of one of the Barter Islands,” she says. “The lack of snow and also ice was so evident that it told a story without requiring any words.”
This is really effecting the Polar bears and plenty other animals too. As the weather is much warmer and that there is no snow or ice, the Polar bears are also spending more and more time on the land. Arctic sea ice reached a record low in October this year. The extent of the ice was the lowest ever measured. Meanwhile, sea surface and air temperatures too in the Arctic were at record highs, with air temperatures much higher than normal.
These beautiful animals need our help more then ever. It is also up to us to help them survive. If this continues like this, the numbers of Polar bears may drop drastically.