As November’s dark days and chill creeps into the air, there is at least one creature that celebrates the coming winter. For the polar bears on Hudson Bay, this is a time to watch and move onto sea ice after the long summer.
These spectacular beasts are regulars in Churchill—many as The Guardian reports are known to locals by name. They return to the mainland every summer and spend the warm months eating very little while they wait for the ice to return. Polar bears require sea ice to reach their preferred seal prey, and the longer they have to wait, the more ragged they become.
Unfortunately, climate change is stretching the summer months, which forces the bears to come ashore earlier each spring and wait longer each fall before venturing out on the ice. The webcams are reminders of not only how impressive these bears are, but also of how climate change threatens their survival as a species.
We don’t have to view the polar bears fate passively, however. This week is Polar Bears International’s Polar Bear Week (November 4-10) and the group is offering guidelines to help you reduce your individual and community-level impact to global warming, from shopping consciously to contacting elected officials to express your concerns about the future.
You can also do your part for science by taking snapshots of the bears using Explore.org’s multiple cameras. Researchers can use these images to monitor the bears’ size and health.