Heartbreaking Photo of Polar Bear and Icebreaking Expedition Ship

“The survival of polar bears as a species is difficult to envisage under conditions of zero summer sea-ice cover.”

That grim prognosis is from the 2004 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, by leading scientists from the eight Arctic nations, including ours. It’s highly likely the Arctic will be virtually ice free in the summer within about two decades, if not one (see “Arctic sea ice volume: The death spiral continues”).

Rear Admiral David Titley, the Oceanographer of the Navy, testified last year that “the volume of ice as of last September has never been lower” in the last several thousand years.” Titley, who is also the Director of Navy’s Task Force Climate Change, told the Chief of Naval Operations that “we expect to see four weeks of basically ice free conditions in the mid to late 2030s.”

So the polar bear is in a losing battle. Humanity, sadly, isn’t in any battle at all to stop its own self-inflicted devastation. When will we wake up to the challenge?


Do not go gently into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

This is a NatGeo photo (12/10) via Grist (12/11)