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Bad News Bears

by StacyKim ~ October 23rd, 2013

I am very sorry to report that we have been forced to cancel our travels to Antarctica.  The shutdown of the US government, created by a subset of the Republican Congressmen, continues to have negative consequences.

We won't be able to do our work this year, due to the government shutdown.

When the government shut down, the Antarctic support contractor had about 2 weeks worth of money left to continue paying their employees.  These are all the folks that we may not think about every day, but that are critical for us to live our lives.  The people who build and maintain the roads and the runways (in Antarctica, they are made of ice or volcanic dirt).  The mechanics who make sure the crazy track vehicles are running, and the fuelies who make sure we have gas for everything from generators to give us power, to helicopters to fly to remote sites.  The people who make sure we have food and water and heat, the very basics of living.  So instead of continuing to ramp up for the summer season, the short time that we can work in Antarctica, people were being sent home and the station was being shut down just when it was supposed to be starting up.  Even though the government is now back in operation, those three weeks of lost time cannot be made up, and our research will not happen this year.

Just a few of the heroic support personnel in Antarctica.

The impacts of this will ripple forward in time and outward in the world.  Future projects will be further delayed as work postponed this year pushes them out of next years slots.  Graduate students and early career scientists and engineers are finding their educational and professional plans seriously upset, and their competitiveness compromised.  Technicians are going on unemployment, are losing their health insurance, and are finding themselves homeless, having let rentals go since they were supposed to be in Antarctica for the next 3 months. International collaborations have collapsed, as other countries cannot delay their programs to compensate for the US inability to make progress. None of this is good for the US economy.

A very sad polar bear S

Who caused this?  A few of our Congressmen, people we voted into office, clearly do not believe in the democratic process or majority rule that guide our country.  When faced with a law that they do not like, even though the majority of us want it, they refused to use the long-established procedures of US democracy, and like schoolyard bullies, tried to change the rules to suit themselves.  Acting as terrorists, they held our country hostage to their illegal and selfish demands.  The crisis has passed for now, but it is important that when you turn 18, you use your voting ability to choose and support politicians who value democracy, work to build the economic strength of the US, and maintain international respect for America as a leader.

The lights of our planet at night - we hope the US will keep shining and not fade away.

Though we are vastly disappointed at the cancellation of our work this year, we hope that you will return next year (as we will) and follow our adventure through.

The Antarctic Treaty

by StacyKim ~ October 19th, 2013

Howdy, this is Polar Bear B.

I’m here to explain a little bit about why we study in Antarctica. One of the reasons is that Antarctica is the only place on earth that has been set aside by for pure scientific research. Antarctica is the only significant piece of land on Earth not governed by a country or person. This is rather astonishing, considering that Antarctica is whole continent and comprises 8.9% of the world’s land area, larger than either Australia or Europe. In light of the recent posturing and development by countries bordering the fast-melting Arctic, how is Antarctica’s independence maintained?

The answer is a unique piece of international law called the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. This treaty was enacted after the significant research activities in Antarctica during the International Geophysical year of 1957, and was originally signed by twelve countries including the United States. Since then, for most intents and purposes the treaty has remained unchanged, and it has been ratified by 34 more countries (and by proxy ~80% of the world’s population).

The Treaty itself declares that Antarctica may only be used for peaceful purposes, bans nuclear activities, and sets aside the continent and islands south of 60º S latitude for scientific study. Perhaps most remarkably, the treaty mandates that countries must actually cooperate, by sharing scientific resources and data. In these regards the Antarctic Treaty has been a resounding success, with dozens of major multi-national research projects operating each year. Science programs in Antarctica have allowed major advances in our understanding of ecological systems, climate and space science. We have learned that ocean and ice around Antarctica largely modulate the earth’s climate, and research is currently exploring the impacts of climate change in fastest-warming part of our planet – the Antarctic Peninsula.

The geopolitics behind the original Antarctic treaty can be explained fairly simply as both a response to the nuclear age and the relative inaccessibility of both the continent and surrounding ocean. The management of Antarctica provided a bright spot of internal diplomacy during an age of nuclear tests and the cold war. As the highest, driest, coldest, and windiest place on earth, Antarctica would not have been considered a prize to fight over, and since then Antarctica has largely been left untouched excepting limited projects authorized under the treaty that exist solely to facilitate science.

The ecosystem of the Ross Sea, Antarctica may be one of the last pristine, fully enriched marine ecosystems in the world; this is because there has never been commercial whaling, sealing, or significant fishing until just a few years ago. The Antarctic Treaty is in part responsible for creating this pristine place, where commercial and military exploitation has been largely prevented for the last 54 years. Getting back to the SCINI-Penguin project, it is the pristine condition of this ecosystem and our desire to understand how the food chain in an undisturbed marine ecosystem functions that drives us to study the primary elements of the food chain from the largest to the smallest parts including the whales, seals, penguins, fishes, krill, and even tiny algae.

The other reason the Ross Sea, Antarctica is pristine is because it is really, really hard to get to. The Ross Sea is covered by ice for most of the year, and only a few of the largest icebreakers in the world can navigate the freezing waters. However, the same technologies that allow us to study parts of the marine ecosystem (namely satellites and sonars) have also allowed some fishing vessels to navigate and fish in the Ross Sea.

These boats catch what you may have heard marketed as ‘Chilean Sea Bass’. What you may not have heard is that the real name of the Chilean Sea Bass is the Antarctic Toothfish (scientific name Dissostichus mawsoni), a large, extremely slow-growing fish. In the 7 years or so that fishing began, the catches of toothfish have dwindled and become smaller, indicating that this once impressive predator may already disappearing onto dinner plates, like so many other great fish. FYI, polar bears NEVER eat Chilean Sea Bass.

Polar Bear B, what in the world do toothfish have to do with the Antarctic Treaty, you may be asking? Well, the toothfish fishery and preservation of the Ross Sea ecosystem are currently putting the Antarctic Treaty and other agreements concerning Antarctic to the test. Scientists and many governments around the world want to ban fishing from the Ross Sea so that we may continue to learn by studying it. The Antarctic Treaty mandates that activities should be scientific in nature, but it does not ban fishing technically. Some countries and companies want to keep fishing, but does this put them at odds with the Antarctic Treaty? We may be at a crossroads over the start of the development of the Antarctic. It will be interesting to see how things work out!

To have a place as amazing as Antarctica that is dedicated to science, learning how the world works, and education makes us polar bears extremely happy! There is nothing we love more that learning new things about out world, teaching them to others, and using our knowledge to help shape the world to come.

The full text of the Antarctic Treaty can be found here: http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/about_antarctica/geopolitical/treaty/update_1959.php

To learn more about efforts to protect the Ross Sea, see: http://www.lastocean.org/

To learn about how satellites allow us to see and navigate through sea ice, see: http://www.nsidc.org/

Sea Ice: Melting in the North, Freezing in the South

by Laughlin Barker ~ October 15th, 2013

This is L Bear calling all available bears – Who can tell me why ice is decreasing in the Arctic, but increasing in the Antarctic?

As the other bears have mentioned, the ice in the Arctic is melting, and with it the habitat we need to survive is disappearing. Scientists attribute this melting largely to global warming (also referred to as climate change); if the planet heats up, one would expect ice to melt. The odd thing however is that sea ice appears to be increasing in Antarctica! If the planet is warming, how can ice be melting in one place, and increasing in another? Let’s look to science for some answers!

Let’s first look at some images of the Arctic (our traditional home), and the Antarctic (our soon-to-be home!).

Source: NSIDC

Sea ice extent in the Arctic as of September 2013. The colored outline shows the average extent since 1979. Looking at the images, it’s clear that ice in the Arctic is melting. Source: NSIDC

Source: NSIDC

An image generated from satellite images of Antarctica. The outline shows the average extent of the ice since 1979. The white areas show the extent of sea ice for Sep. 2013. It’s slight, but significant: the sea ice extent is greater now than the average since 1979. Source: NSIDC

Looking at the picture of the Arctic, it’s clear that current sea ice extent is significantly smaller than the average since 1979. For the Antarctic, it’s a close call – so let’s check some hard data.

How is sea ice is measured anyway? After all this is the basis for all measurements of decreasing and increasing ice in the Arctic and Antarctic. Well, we can measure these large areas thanks to satellites orbiting the earth. Polar orbiting satellites image the icy poles on a regular basis and beam down data that scientists on the ground analyze. Using computer algorithms, both the total area of sea ice is calculated, as well as sea ice extent, the total area where sea ice concentrations are at least 15%. Scientists have been collecting this data for years, thus it’s possible to compare this years ice, to that from years past.

Source: IRAC-JAXA

This graph shows sea ice extent averages in the Arctic over the last 30 years (dotted lines), data from this year (red line), and data from years with the lowest amounts of sea ice on record. Source: IRAC-JAXA

The above graph shows two things very clearly: First, ice in the Arctic is decreasing, and second, that years with the least amount of ice have been recently. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, but it’s important to establish. Two factors are the principle causes of the melting ice:
-Warmer temperatures in the Arctic
-Soot and other pollutants (created by burning of coal, wood, charcoal etc.) that increase the amount of energy the ice absorbs from the Sun.

Source: NSIDC

This graph shows a 29-year average of sea ice extent over Antarctica (dark grey line), and sea ice extents from 2012, and 2013 (dotted gray and blue respectively). Notice there’s more sea ice now, than the last 30 year average. Source: NSIDC

So what about the Antarctic? It would seem logical that the ice be melting there too, right? Well, sea ice extent is actually INCREASING in Antarctica, and this has been confounding scientists! Until recently:

Results from a recent study show that the growth in Antarctic sea ice could be largely attributed to increasing winds. The polar vortex that swirls around the South Pole has not only gotten stronger since the 1970′s but is reaching farther than it has historically.

The cause of the stronger winds is not yet clear, though at the top of the list are: global warming, the depleted (but recovering) ozone hole, and natural variability. So strange as it may sound, it is possible that global warming is responsible for the melting we observe in the Arctic, and the freezing in the Antarctic.

Flora and Fauna

by StacyKim ~ October 11th, 2013

Polar Bear S here!

We’ve learned from Polar Bear P how the seasons are switched in the Northern and Southern hemispheres due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis away from the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the sun. And Polar Bear M showed us how the rotation of the Earth around its axis results in the sun “rising” at different absolute times around the planet, which we compensate for by dividing the planet up into 24 slices, like an orange, and making the relative times shift by 1 hour in each “slice” or zone – but in the polar regions the sun can be up (or down) for 24 hours at a time. Polar Bear D taught us that the Arctic is a sea surrounded by continents, while the Antarctic is a continent surrounded by seas.

What I’ve learned about this week is similarities – and differences – in the marine flora and fauna in the Arctic and Antarctic. You’d think that since both places are cold, things would be the same – but in some ways they are very different. I’ll start at the bottom of the food web, with the algae that take energy from the sun and photosynthesize to build complex molecules and grow. In both the Arctic and the Antarctic, the algae are mostly tiny and move around to where the light is – microscopic phytoplankton are abundant. These organisms are primary producers in the food web – they produce all of the new living material or biomass in the ecosystem.

These Antarctic phytoplankton are smaller than 100 µm.

Next up the food web are filter feeders strain the microscopic phytoplankton out of the water; these are animals like krill. Krill are the herbivores in this system, and they can form swarms of tens of thousands of animals.

This Antarctic crystal krill is about 3 cm long.

Krill are eaten by many animals, including fishes, birds, and whales. Fishes and birds pick the krill out individually, while whales take advantage of the krill swarming behavior, and the size difference between krill and whales, to filter huge numbers of krill out of the water.

This Antarctic silver fish is approximately 30 cm long,

and this Minke whale is approximately 10 m long – over 30 times larger!

Here’s where it starts to get really interesting, and become more of a food web than a food chain. Birds can feed on both krill and fish. And seals feed on the fishes.

Adelie penguins switch between feeding on krill and eating fish, depending on which is more abundant.

Weddell seals feed on fish.

At the top of the food web are killer whales. They can feed on fish, on penguins, on seals, or on other whales.

This is a type C killer whale – the kind that feeds on fish.

So far, the food webs in the Antarctic and Arctic are fairly similar in the generalities. What about differences? There are two I’ve learned about so far. First is that the overall amount of light (added up over a year) reaching the seafloor is much higher in the Arctic than in the Antarctic. So in the Arctic, large seaweeds like kelp can grow attached to the seafloor. In the Antarctic, the sea ice is so thick and lasts so long that only smaller algae (like phytoplankton) can grow. For me, as a polar bear, more sea ice is better – easier for me to hunt seals! I think I will like Antarctica.

This Arctic kelp is larger than 1 m, or 10,000 times the size of the phytoplankton, even though both are primary producers.

Now, about those seals – in the Antarctic, the seals and other marine animals are not afraid of anything on land! This is because there are no terrestrial predators in the Antarctic, a very different situation from the Arctic where aside from polar bears like myself, there are grizzly bears, foxes, wolves, eagles, and humans, all of whom would like to eat a nice juicy pup or chick if they could. So, hard as it is to believe, I have been told I can walk right up to a Weddell seal or an Adelie penguin and it will not run away. But, if I swim up to them, they are wary just as animals are in the Arctic, because there are marine predators (like those killer whales). Fascinating. I am looking forward to such easy pickings!

A type B, or seal-eating, killer whale scoping out its prey.

Signing off for now –
Polar Bear S

Two seas or not two seas?

by Dorota Szuta ~ October 8th, 2013

Hey everyone, Polar Bear D here.

20131008_210109

We’ve already covered some ways that the northern Arctic is different from the southern Antarctic (opposite summers & time zones), but there’s one difference we haven’t talked about yet that I think is a REALLY BIG deal. Our home, the Arctic, is a polar ocean almost completely surrounded by landmasses. Under all that ice is an ocean! Remember how it’s getting hard for us to feed because the Arctic sea ice is melting faster and to a greater degree in the summer? Well, that’s mostly why we decided to give Antarctica a shot. See the Antarctic is a big landmass (a whole continent really) surrounded by an ocean. So under the ice in the Antarctic is land! Stable ground! That means that it can’t all melt away in the summer because there’s land under all that ice. But let’s explore the differences between the land and the ice in the two regions to get a better idea of what we’re getting ourselves into.

arctic

 

The Arctic Ocean is a semi-enclosed ocean, surrounded by Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Norway, Svalbard and Russia. Usually when people talk about “the Arctic,” they mean everything that lies inside the Arctic Circle, which is an imaginary  line that goes around the top of the earth. So with this definition, the northern part of Alaska and Canada are actually part of the Arctic.  Did you know that the Svalbard Islands are in the Arctic? Did you even know there there was a place called Svalbard?! Here’s a picture of my cousin playing in Svalbard.

svalbard-01-615

Anyway, as you can see in the map, all of the land here in the Arctic is really spread out. All the land masses are too far away from each other for us to swim across if there weren’t ice floes to stop and hang out on. It was never a problem until recently. (One time my friend tried but it was just too far.   http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/07/110720-polar-bears-global-warming-sea-ice-science-environment/ )

So, Antarctica it is!

 

Let’s talk about Antarctica. It’s the earth’s southernmost continent surrounded by the Southern Ocean. It’s the coldest, driest, and windiest continent with the highest elevation, and is covered by a really thick ice shelf! Honestly it sounds kind of rough, but I hear there are plenty of animals that live there. Let’s look at the map.

antar

 

 

 

Unlike the Arctic which is surrounded by different landmasses, there isn’t much other land around Antarctica. Sometimes people fly in from South America, which is the closest, but we’ll actually be getting there from New Zealand. (I’m so glad we don’t have to swim there!)

 

Do you know what Antarctica means, anyway? In Greek it means “opposite to the Arctic.” So remember: The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land. The Antarctic is land surrounded by an ocean. Okay, that’s it for me.  Bye!

both

P.S. Here’s a satellite image of both places, side by side (The Arctic on the left, Antarctica on the right). For some reason, the ice cover in the Antarctic doesn’t seem to be shrinking every year like the ice cap in the Arctic. Do you have any ideas why that is? I hope one of my friends will explain why that is soon.

 

Antarctic Time

by MartyHynes ~ October 3rd, 2013

In the Earth’s yearly journey about the sun comes the changing of the seasons, and with each season the amount of light changes each passing day. Here in the northern latitudes the long days of summer are past, each new day brings longer nights. The seasons come and go because the Earth rotates around its axis with a tilt approximately 23.4 degrees relative to the sun. The tilt varies slightly year to year so you may see a slightly different value on different maps, usually between 23.3 and 23.5 degrees. Even though our northern days are getting shorter, nature remains in balance with the days getting longer in the southern latitudes. I think that is pretty cool! This year when it’s getting dark in the north I’ll head south to the sunshine in Antarctica, to a place called McMurdo Station on Ross Island, about 2400 miles south of New Zealand. When I’m traveling from the far north to the south I’ll cross imaginary circles known as the Arctic and Antarctic circles.

The Arctic and Antarctic circles

These circles are at 66.6 degrees north and 66.6 degrees south latitude = (90 degrees at equator – 23.4 degrees of earth tilt). The circles are boundaries defined by sunlight and darkness; at 66.6 degrees sunlight shines for a full 24 hours one day of the year and the sun sets for a full 24 hours one day of the year. The further north or south one goes the longer the sunshine or darkness respectively. McMurdo Station is located at 78 degrees south latitude, the ocean there is the most southerly in the world and it has very long summer days. This year the sun will rise above the horizon on October 22nd and not set again until February 20th, a very long day!

Earth lighting for Antarctica in the Austral (southern) summer

With all that daylight, time can get a bit confusing; thank goodness we have clocks. The world has different time zones based on where they are in relation to the starting point of Greenwich, England (why there is a long story), this is called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or nowadays called UTC (for Coordinated Universal Time, don’t ask why it is not in the correct order). Here’s a example. If it’s midnight in Greenwich the time in Los Angeles, CA is minus 8 UTC or 4pm. The world rotates from east to west completing a revolution in 24 hours, hence there are 24 hours in a day and 24 time zones.

World time zones

It’s not quite that simple in Antarctica. Many countries have bases and choose time according to what best suits them. At McMurdo the clock is set to coincide with New Zealand (NZ) time. This is done because support for McMurdo Station comes from Christchurch, NZ. The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, where all the time zones converge, also uses NZ time to keep it in sync with McMurdo. McMurdo and South Pole Stations are both U.S. bases operated under the auspices of the National Science Foundation (NSF). A time zone map looks like a piece of modern art.

Antarctica time zones

For reference New Zealand UTC is usually +12 but now that it is on daylight savings time it is +13.

Now to really confuse everyone, if I make a phone call from McMurdo Station at 4pm Tuesday (+13 UTC) to Los Angeles (-8 UTC), it is a 21 hour difference. The clock time in Los Angeles would be 7pm on Monday and the person would get mad at me for interrupting Monday night football!

The Earth, the Sun, and Climate

by Philip Chung ~ October 2nd, 2013

Hi! This is Polar Bear P again. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that Polar Bear S travelled from the Arctic to California to better prepare for the trip. We have a lot to learn and prepare for, so four more of us joined her at the same lab. Here, we have access to all sorts of knowledge!

First, a picture of our new (temporary) home:

sunny_moss_landing

Wow, there’s not a lot of ice, is there? And it’s so warm! This is certainly different from our home. Can you imagine, polar bears on a warm beach?

But this got me thinking: why is it warmer in California than the the Arctic, anyways?

Any ideas? How can we find out?

Well, it’s a good thing we’re at a research station! We took a look online, and here’s what we found from our research.

First, have a look at this diagram of the sun’s rays hitting the earth.

oblique_rays

The top three rays (labled “a”) show some of the sun’s rays hitting near the Arctic. The bottom three rays (labled “b”) show some rays hitting near the equator, which is closer to where we are right now. We have 3 rays on top and 3 rays on bottom, so the same amount of light energy is coming from the sun in both sections.

But something’s different here. Notice that for “a”, the rays are shining on a big oval (labelled “large area”). On the other hand, for “b”, the suns rays are hitting a much smaller circle (labelled “small area”). Is this related to why the equator is warmer than the poles?

You bet it is! Think about it. Which would feel warmer: if you had a heater in a tiny little tent, or if you had the same heater in a big mansion? Of course the heater is more effective in the tent, since the mansion is too big to heat! It’s kind of the same way as in the picture. The rays on top are heating a bigger area, so it’s not as good at it!

The same thing happens near the Antarctic, too. So that’s one reason why it’s so cold at the poles and warm at the equator — because the equator receives more direct sunlight (with the sun’s rays hitting straight on), while the the poles receive more oblique sunlight (with the sun’s rays hitting at a sharp angle).

One more thing we found from our research online: it turns out, that when we go to Antarctica on 31 October, it will be summer there! In fact, it will be summer in the whole southern hemisphere!

This one is a little harder to explain. I’ll give the following photo as a hint:

tilted_earth

In a nutshell, the earth spins on its axis, at the rate of one revolution per day. The axis is the black pole sticking through the earth in the picture. It’s just an imaginary line. But if you really stuck a pole through the earth like that, and spun it around, that’s kind of the motion the earth is making.

Because the axis is tilted, one half of it (called a “hemisphere”) is receiving more direct sunlight. The other hemisphere is receiving more oblique sunlight. And, as we know, direct sunlight will heat the earth more, so that half is summer! In the picture above, the southern hemisphere (below the dotted white line) is receiving more direct sunlight, and it’s summer there! On the other hand, the northern hemisphere (above the dotted white line) is receiving more oblique sunlight, so it’s winter there.

(Then in 6 months, the earth goes to the other side of the sun, so the part that was getting more direct sunlight is now getting less, and the part that was getting less is now getting more. And summer and winter switch. Are you confused yet?)

I know it’s hard to picture in your head, so see this SUPER helpful (and entertaining) video. It can explain things better than I ever could through pictures and text!

Polar Bear P

P.S. And that’s not the only reason why it’s summer in the south when it’s winter in the north. You’ll have to wait until later this week to find out more!

Polar Bear S

by StacyKim ~ September 28th, 2013

Hi!

PolarBearS

I’m Polar Bear S, and it was my idea to try leaving the Arctic and emigrate to Antarctica. You see, we’ve been getting hungrier and hungrier the last few years. Usually, we go out on the sea ice and lie in wait for seals. Ringed seals are our “bread and butter” since they are common and, compared to us, small enough to catch easily. But it’s been getting warmer and warmer every year and now the sea ice melts early in the summer. It’s much harder or impossible for us to catch food from shore; we need the sea ice as a platform so we can walk out to where the seals are! During recent summers, we can hardly get enough food to keep ourselves and our cubs alive (see the picture of a starving polar bear in this link), and not nearly enough food to build up the thick fat stores we need to see us through the winter (see this picture of a fat and healthy polar bear). Faced with this challenge to survival, and hearing from some of our local birds, the Arctic Terns, how they migrate all the way from the Arctic to the Antarctic, I thought we could too give this a try.

Ringed Seal, photo by C. Lydersen and K. M. Kovacs/Norwegian Polar Institute
Arctic Tern, photo by Arthur Morris/Birds as Art

In preparation for our journey, we’ve been doing a bit of background research. We’ve found that it is easier to look up things from universities and science institutions in the “lower 48” than from the coastline of the Arctic. So we bears are at various locations, making preparations for our big trip South, and over the next few weeks you’ll learn more about each of the bears, where they are now, and what we are learning about the differences between the Arctic, our normal home, and the Antarctic.

MLML

For example, I am now in Moss Landing, California, a tiny fishing and research town in the middle of Monterey Bay. At Moss Landing Marine Laboratories there is a group of researchers heading to Antarctica to study food webs. I am interested in food webs too; mostly, how to be at the top of one! I plan to contact these folks and see if they can help us in our journey South. Keep checking back to follow our progress!
Signing off -
Polar Bear S

Introductions and Trip Overview

by Philip Chung ~ September 23rd, 2013

Hi! My name is Polar Bear P, and I’m writing our first update! I’m part of a group of polar bears living in the Arctic (for now). We haven’t met yet, so let’s start by introducing the bears on the team.

marty_bear

This is Polar Bear M. As you can see, he is a very happy and cheerful bear.

laughlin_bear

Here is Polar Bear L. It looks like he knows how to eat like an animal!

dorota_bear

Here is Polar Bear D. She is chilling with another bear. I’m not referring to the creature in the lower left — that’s a dog!

philip_bear

And here we have Polar Bear P. That’s me!

group_shot

And finally a group shot. This picture includes Polar Bear S in the center.

As you can see, we are not a normal group of bears! In fact, we are so not-normal, or abnormal, that we have decided to do what no other polar bears have done before:

We have decided that we are sick of the melting sea ice around our home in the Arctic. So we are moving to the Antarctic, where we heard that the ice is expanding!

travel_route

Here is a picture of our route. You can read more about the reasons for our travel here.

 

group_shot_boxes

Looking at the group shot again — do you see all those big boxes in the background? I drew some arrows in, in case you can’t find them.

Well, it turns out that we are such an abnormal group of bears that we have a lot of stuff to take with us! Definitely more than the “bare” necessities for most!

Well, everything is packed up, so you’ll have to wait until November to find out what’s in those boxes. We hired a shipping company, and the boxes are on their way to Antarctica as we speak.

Onwards to more exciting adventures!

bear_fight  

Additional Information