Arctic Expedition - Day 14 - Teachers at the North Pole
|Polar bears are enjoying the "abundance" of Arctic sea ice this year|
Towards the end of July 2013, "Arctic sea ice actually expanded by 20,000 square kilometers," according to Jason Samenow of the Washington Post.
This is not to say Arctic sea ice is healthy as it has ever been; quite the opposite. In a NOAA report, 2012 was one of the warmest since climate records have been kept. The Arctic, according to the report, is warming faster than other places on Earth.
This year's better-than-expected sea ice seems to be really welcome news to polar bears, however.
During this cruise, I have personally made visual contact with five polar bears. While others on the cruise--mainly Martin Reedy, Arctic wildlife observer for U.S. Fish and Wildlife, whose job is to count these beautiful creatures--have probably seen double what I have.
Polar bears are lovely; polar bears can and will kill a human. We should protect polar bears and their natural habitat; however, we should not ever believe, because they are cute and cuddly-looking, they wouldn't tear your face off.
With the above disclaimer out of the way, please enjoy the video I made about a polar bear, who I named Jasper. Jasper was very curious, most likely due to our Mexican taco Tuesday, that he came very close to our ship. A polar bear's sense of smell is outrageously sensitive.