This Image Sums up the Effects of Global Warming in One Photo

This picture of a polar bear in Svalbard had many people concerned, creating a realization within many of us. We’ve known about global warming for decades, and yet nothing seems to change. No picture, movie or breaking news story seems to compel us enough into extreme action. What’s it going to take for everyone to feel that sense of urgency to really come together and create a shift on the planet?

Photographer Kerstin Langenberger loves taking pictures of polar bears and the Arctic region. What he started noticing in the past few years was packs of ice disappearing and bears starting to starve and die early.

global warmingI see the summers being so pleasant (and warm) as never before. I see the glaciers calving, retreating dozens to hundreds of meters every year. I see the pack ice disappearing in record speed.

Yes, I have seen bears in good shape – but I have also seen dead and starving polar bears. Bears walking on the shores, looking for food, bears trying to hunt reindeer, eating bird’s eggs, moss and seaweed.

And I realized that the fat bears are nearly exclusively males which stay on the pack ice all year long. The females, on the other hand, which den on land to give birth to their young, are often slim.

With the pack ice retreating further and further north every year, they tend to be stuck on land where there’s not much food. In the first year, they lose their first cub. In the second year, they lose their second (and last) cub. Only once I have seen a mother with a nearly independent cub.

Only few times I have seen beautifully fat mothers with beautifully fat young. Many times I have seen horribly thin bears, and those were exclusively females – like this one here. A mere skeleton, hurt on her front leg, possibly by a desperate attempt to hunt a walrus while she was stuck on land.”

starving polar bear

There is always a bright side, but its up to you and everyone else to bring it fruition. As we keep ignoring all our global problems, we will reach a point of no return. The direction we’re heading in is everyones decision through their action or inaction. There is nothing to fear unless we make it so. What are you choosing?

Checkout Kerstin’s page for more stories like this one.