2008 Photo Contest, Nature, 3rd prize

Paul Nicklen

National Geographic

01 January, 2005

Channels of melt-water funnel into a seal's breathing hole.

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. Sea ice—frozen seawater that moves with the ocean currents—provides an important habitat and resting place for many animals. A polar bear's tracks cross melting snow. Ice is the very essence of the ecosystem of the Artic. In recent years satellite pictures show a dramatic reduction in Artic ice cover, which reached a record low in 2007. Many attribute the situation to global warming.

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...

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