The winter, spring and early summer on Svalbard was a big success. The polar bears had a relatively good winter. It began like winters have the last few years, with very little sea ice. But in March the North Pole pack ice drifted south, embraced the Svalbard archipelago, and filled the fjords and surrounding oceans. This also had a cooling effect, with some new ice as a result, and it meant a temporary bandaid on an ecosystem which is about to fall apart. Because despite the good ice conditions on Svalbard, the Arctic as a whole had less ice than ever in recorded history.
We began our winter by working just the two of us, traveling by snowmobiles. A lot of time was spent on the sea ice east of Spitsbergen, where we had the privilege of working close with a polar bear mother with newborn cubs for quite some time.
Later in spring we headed out on our three week boat expedition with Paul Nicklen, Cristina Mittermeier and Sea Legacy. An honor of course, and it was great getting to know, working close with these two amazing photographers. We look forward to doing more together.
We were exceptionally lucky with weather conditions, and the expedition was a big success. Many polar bears, with some intimate and unique photos. And we were able to gather some very important material for our projects.
Some of Paul and Cristina’s material has been published and shared by National Geographic through different channels, with an audience close to 100 million people. Like this cute clip