2020 Photo Contest, Environment, 1st Prize

Polar Bear and her Cub


Esther Horvath

for The New York Times

10 October, 2019

A polar bear and her cub come close to equipment placed by scientists from Polarstern, a ship that is part of a scientific expedition investigating the consequences of Arctic climate change, in the central Arctic Ocean.

The Arctic harbors some of the fastest-retreating sea ice on the planet and has twice the average global heating rate. This will strongly affect the global climate in terms of increasing temperatures and sea-level rise, yet Arctic climate system processes are poorly represented in climate models. This is because until now scientific missions have not been able to penetrate the region during the six-month long night of the Arctic winter. The Polarstern is the central ship of an expedition run by the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC), especially designed to withstand extremely low temperatures and break through thicker ice, enabling around 100 researchers and crew to work all year round. MOSAiC data on the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, ecosystem and biogeochemistry will be fed into global climate models.


About the photographer

Esther Horvath

Esther Horvath is a documentary photographer, Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers, member of The Photo Society and a science photographer for Alfred ...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Nikon D800

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