A female polar bear gracefully crosses a large crack in a floating slab of ice on the frozen ocean.
The difference in reflectivity between areas of bright white of the ice and the deep black sections of open ocean are vitally important to the climate system.
Ice can reflect light and heat from back out into space, moderating the climate of the entire planet, but the more area that is dark ocean, the more heat is absorbed and the faster the warming occurs.
The struggle of polar bears and sea ice may feel like a distant, separate and invisible from our daily lives, but the earth is an intertwined system. The impacts of what happens in the Arctic matter around the globe just as our footprints around the globe will dictate the future of the Arctic.
Svalbard and Jan Mayen