Crew members of the KV Svalbard, a Norwegian coastguard ship, ice strengthened for working in sea ice. These three sailors were taking a moment during loading before going out to sea, surrounded by the snow-dusted mountains overlooking the port of Longyearbyen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This picture accompanies a story in the fall print issue of @foreignpolicymag out now (and on the web) called Stretched Thin on Thin Ice written by Robbie Gramer. It’s worth reading if you’re interested in the future of the changing Arctic. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This picture is from my first trip on the vessel, in the blue light of late winter 2011. Since then the crew of KV Svalbard have invited me back many times, always with a warm north Norwegian welcome. It’s been a privilege to see the Arctic through their keen eyes and appreciate the harsh landscape. Tusen takk for alle turene guys! 👍 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #arctic#svalbard#coastguard#norway🇳🇴#landscapephotography#mountains#snow
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It all started with snow ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Compressed under its own weight, buried by more snow. Winter on winter, the air is expelled, becoming denser with the years, compacted and pushed by the weight of yet more ice. Mass meets gravity, flowing to the edge of the ice sheet, breaking off the glacier edge. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Falling into the sea, exploding and breaking into more pieces, blown by the wind and carried by the currents, buoyant and washed over by the swell. Freshwater meets saltwater and saltwater wins. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It all started with snow.. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #ice#iceberg#blueice#climate#arctic#svalbard#earthsystems#glaciology
Meltwater cascading into the ocean from the surface of Austfonna ice cap. Brought to the edge by a meltwater ravine. The tiny bird (if you can see it!) looking at the colouring, is likely a kittiwake (it’s usually a kittiwake ;-) Austfonna is one of the largest ice caps (small ice sheets) in the northern hemisphere. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photographed just a few weeks ago with @martinenkell and the crew of MS Origo. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #ice#melt#meltwater#climate#climatechange#arctic#nature#landscapephotography
Sibling polar bear cubs playfighting on the ice, shortly after devouring a seal. These two were from a family of three cubs we watched with their mother. She’s done well to raise them this far, as it’s rare to see three cubs make it into their second year. Soon they’ll leave their mother -in this condition they’ll likely thrive. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Swipe across to see their location (arrowed) on the edge of the small area of sea ice which barely covered the Arctic Ocean this summer. Also note how far the edge of the sea ice (in red) has retreated from the coast of Spitsbergen, where the family would have emerged from the maternity den some 1.5 years ago. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photographed from the deck of the Origo last week with polar bear whisperer @martinenckell of @wildphototravel#Arctic#Polarbear#ice#climate#climatechange#climatechangeisreal#svalbard#wildlife#wildlifephotography
“Can I have a dog dad” “No son, we live on the third floor of an apartment” “But I love dogs” “I tell you what, let’s go and visit @jon.aars and we can play with his dog Mackie” “I love Mackie, I don’t want to go home now” “But we have to go home today son” “Pleeeease, can we get a dog dad?” #dogsofinstagram#dogs#dogstagram
Guillemots in a snowstorm, trying to get home to their kids. It’s blowing a gale and not being the most agile of birds they have to use all their flying skills not to crash into the rock. (Swipe across for a glimpse of the journey)
With their short wings designed for diving, these birds don’t look elegant in the air but they are powerful and get there in the end!
The winds were so strong when I made this picture a few weeks back, off the towering cliffs of Alkefjellet. Snow was blowing horizontally into my face and I could lean 45 degrees into the wind. My camera bag was blowing along the deck until I tied it down. All around me the birds were coping, dealing, flying home to their densely packed colony. *The Brünnich's guillemots in this colony are called the thick-billed murre in the USA
The bow of the tiny ship points towards the north pole. Walking up and down that edge of ice I felt a natural urge to head north on a pair of skis.
The picture was taken in the Nares Strait, the mountains just visible to the top left are the eastern edge of Ellesmere Island. Being there had a profound effect on me and led to many return trips since.
Made during an expedition on @greenpeace’s plucky little icebreaker called the Arctic Sunrise with a wonderful Danish ice pilot called Arne Sorenson. A man with a contagious enthusiasm for ice and conservation alike. He worked at an airport on Greenland before working as a sea captain. Surviving a stroke s few years back, I’m told that he still scans ice charts from his home in Denmark.
Polar bears are deceptively agile, though they can look slow and cumbersome because of the layer of fat and coat of fur. Watching these animals hunting or probing the ice for signs of seals, the natural agility becomes apparent.
Swipe across to see the bear putting its head under the water. Our guests asked if polar bears can smell underwater? The answer is no, but polar bears have evolved to see under the ocean surface; they possess a transparent eyelid (called a nictitating membrane) which protects the eye while allowing the animal to see clearly.