Polar bear habitat
Life on sea iceSea ice is vital to polar bears. It provides a platform for them to hunt, live, breed, and in some cases, create maternal dens.
But sea ice is more than a simple platform: it is an entire ecosystem inhabited by plankton and micro-organisms, which support a rich food chain that nourishes seals, that in turn become prey for polar bears.
It is the very foundation and defining characteristic of the Arctic marine ecosystem.
Life off the sea ice
What's happening to sea ice?As the climate warms, Arctic sea ice is disappearing. Almost every summer, the amount of remaining ice gets smaller. The oldest ice has essentially disappeared.
- How climate change affects sea ice.
- Learn about the region where summer sea is projected to last the longest - the Last Ice Area
This time-lapse video from NASA shows how the extent of sea ice has changed since the 1980s.