2008 Photo Contest, Nature, 3rd prize

Paul Nicklen

National Geographic

01 January, 2005

A bull walrus squats on a shelf of multi-year ice (ice which has survived at least two summers' melt) off Baffin Island. In recent years satellite pictures have shown a dramatic reduction in Arctic ice cover. In 2007, sea ice reached a record low, a situation which many attribute to global warming. Ice is the very essence of this ecosystem. Sea ice—frozen seawater that moves with the ocean currents—provides an important habitat and resting place for a variety of animals.

About the photographer

Paul Nicklen

As a young boy, Paul Nicklen, a Canadian-born polar specialist and marine biologist, moved to Baffin Island and spent his childhood among the Inuit people. From them he learned t...

This image is collected in