Polar Bears Appear Where They Never Were Before
The big predators have been rummaging through science camps at the top of Greenland's ice sheet far inland, where they were never expected. Is climate change driving them?
Ryan Kunz was sleeping in his tent on the ice when the polar bear wandered into camp. At 10,500 feet high, in the middle of the Greenland Ice Sheet more than 200 miles from the nearest coast, the remote U.S. scientific research station was about the last place anyone expected one of these sea ice-dwelling animals to be.
Yet here it was, lumbering around the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Summit Station, the highest-altitude, northernmost science operation in the Arctic, where key meteorology and other research is conducted. Kunz, a carpenter from Florida, was one of the half-dozen or so workers sleeping in “Tent City”—a collection of orange domes atop snow glinting in the June 24-hour sunlight. It was 5:13 a.m.