Polar Bear Interrupts Climate Debate

arctic_polar_bernardDaniel is the San Diego Zoo’s Teen Arctic Ambassador 2009. Read his previous post, Polar Bears on the Beach?.

Today started again with a tundra wake-up call from Robert Buchanan, the president of Polar Bears International and a pretty bad singer. I was excited to have this morning’s breakfast burrito, a taste of home up here in the Arctic. Well, not exactly as good as home, because San Diego is pretty famous for its Mexican food, but it was good enough.

We went out on the Tundra Buggy where we saw the same male polar bear that we creatively named Bearnard (pictured above). We hung out with him for a while; he then fell asleep, and we decided to start doing our group presentations about stuff we learned from the book Impacts of a Warming Arctic. This book was about the conclusions of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment group, an international effort of all of the countries that have territory in the Arctic Circle.

My group’s presentation was a debate about the changes in weather around the world that are happening because the Arctic Ocean and the atmosphere in the Arctic has a strong influence on the global ocean currents and weather. I never thought about how the ocean way up here in the North could have an impact on the currents down in the Pacific Ocean where we are. It really made me start thinking about how connected we all are to the climate and the ocean and the world!

In the middle of our hot debate, the bear decided to wake up and do some walking around, so we had to call a bear break. That has not ever happened to me at Patrick Henry High School during a presentation, so that was something new!

Back at the Lodge, during dinner, somebody yelled “bear,” and we saw Bearnard walking down the road. He explored our camp, and then he promptly fell asleep in our camp. Almost ten minutes later we saw an Arctic fox come running behind the bear, and he was just running and testing the bear’s limits, while getting pretty close. This was definitely a memorable day and night!

Watch the San Diego Zoo’s polar bears daily on Polar Cam.

0 Responses to Polar Bear Interrupts Climate Debate

  1. Oh, this is even better! A visit from Bearnard and an arctic fox. Only when we see endangered species as our fellow creatures, as you now do, will we be sufficiently concerned to do something about saving them. “To you from failing hands we throw the torch…” I’m so sorry we post-WWII baby boomers have left you with this responsibility, but I’m very glad there are young people like you who recognize its importance.

  2. All right! Sounds like Bearnard is making himself right at home with you all. LOL. Thank you again for sharing your wonderful adventure and for all the work you do to help these magnificent animals.

  3. #1 Kay Davies: Excellent thought. You are very perceptive about this. Would that everyone, everywhere, would be so “on it”, as you are. Thank you. Daniel, you are one cool dude.