Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Climate change and polar bears

Diminishing sea ice marks a drastic change in polar bear habitat. Photo: New York Times

Diminishing sea ice marks a drastic change in polar bear habitat. Photo: New York Times

This week, world leaders met in New York for the U.N. Climate Summit to advance climate action. Concurrently, the New York Times and other media outlets published a series of stories and video about the impacts of a warming Arctic.

In one, reporter Jame Gorman explored a surprising discovery about polar bears and diet. Turns out, the bears get a significant number of calories from geese and goose eggs, which they hunt on land. Previously, scientists believed polar bears’ primary nutrients came from hunting seals from sea ice.

New research shows that polar bears dine on geese and goose eggs more than previously known. Photo: New York Times

New research shows that polar bears dine on geese and goose eggs more than previously known. Photo: New York Times

The Arctic Journal reports that preceding the climate summit was the World Conference on Indigeneous Peoples, and that Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary general, said the issues taken up by the thousand people attending the meeting were very much in line with efforts to address changes in the climate.

“Indigenous peoples are concerned about issues that top the global agenda. They are deeply connected to Mother Earth – whose future is at the heart of the Climate Summit opening tomorrow,” Ban said on Monday.

We support scores of scientists exploring important scientific research in the Arctic, and it’s always positive to see their work discussed and communicated in the mainstream media.