Using 360-degree cameras to document the landscape and polar bears of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, teams at Google Maps, Earth Outreach, and Polar Bears International have made it possible for us to explore life on the tundra. This is behind the scenes of the Polar Bear Capital of the World:
This quiet town, set on the shores of western Hudson Bay, is a place where polar bears and humans coexist until the sea ice forms and the polar bears can travel on to the bay to hunt seals, their main prey.
During the warmer months, the polar bears are forced ashore by melting ice. While climate change may seem like a gradual process, often difficult to discern, the impact is real and evident in the polar bear capital. In Churchill, climate change has shortened the time that the bay remains frozen, reducing the polar bears’ hunting season by approximately four weeks…
In addition to this documentation, the team aims to educate about the polar bears’ quickly-changing habitat, and to inspire our reduction of carbon emissions, the largest man-made contributor to warming the planet.
To learn more, check out these ways to reduce your carbon footprint. And then search for polar bears in Churchill.
In the archives: watch more polar bear stories, more conservation, and another video about how technology helps us understand our changing world: the Catlin Seaview Survey of the Great Barrier Reef.
For the last five years, Dr. Pim Bongaerts of University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute has been documenting the lives of corals through time-lapse photography. It all happens too slowly for the human eye, but capturing life in a coral reef over longer periods of time reveals much more about their growth, locomotion, and even their violent competition with each other. The video above is from BBC News: Underwater time-lapse shows secret life of a coral reef.
Plus some extra info from NOAA.gov:
So what exactly are corals?
Corals actually comprise an ancient and unique partnership, called symbiosis, that benefits both animal and plant life in the ocean. Corals are animals, though, because they do not make their own food, as plants do. Corals have tiny, tentacle-like arms that they use to capture their food from the water and sweep into their inscrutable mouths.
Any structure that we call a “coral” is, in fact, made up of hundreds to thousands of tiny coral creatures called polyps…
In the archives: more coral.