August 3, 2014

North Star

Photograph by Cory Richards, National Geographic

A polar bear stands sentinel on Rudolf Island in Russia’s Franz Josef Land archipelago, destination of the multidisciplinary Pristine Seas Expedition in the summer of 2013. The expedition sought to uncover, among other mysteries, why the perennial ice is melting and what the ecological consequences may be.

See more pictures from the August 2014 feature story “The Meaning of North.”

Hear Cory Richards talk about pushing through personal struggles »

Get more on the Franz Josef Land expedition »

42 comments
Martin Germann
Martin Germann

great shot from a polar bear with his vanishing home

Shawna Crozier
Shawna Crozier

I feel for the polar bear. It's demise encroaches daily. I hope I never see it happen.

Beautiful photo. I wish I were there too. Thank you.

George Tarbay
George Tarbay

It's a beautiful photo yet very sad also - the vanishing ice of the polar bear's home. 

Mojtaba Najafy
Mojtaba Najafy

It depicts the tremendously dwindled arctic ground this majestic animal used to enjoy. It's really sad. It reminds me of a documentary in which the polar bear was moving with much difficulty in a slushy snow which every now and then gave in, a land that used to be all hard thick ice. SAD!

Antonio Falivene
Antonio Falivene

Beautiful photo, rift focus right exposure, all. It really gives a sense of the great north spaces. 

Madhumita Pal
Madhumita Pal

Seems like the Last Man(bear) Standing, helpless in saving its home...

Beautiful thought-provoking click...

Igor Nykyforchyn
Igor Nykyforchyn

Цієї прохолоди зараз би до нас!

Janice H.
Janice H.

Marvelous photo, beautiful!         Such a worry, what will happen to the polar bears, among other things?!  

Shane C.
Shane C.

In parts of Canada's northern regions polar bears are beginning to mate with grizzly and brown bears. This is supposedly a phenomenon that is rare but becoming more the norm due to global warming. Grizzly bears are venturing further north and polar bears further south. I would think this would create a new breed of bear?

Judy Neal
Judy Neal

There may be an ice-sheet in the background, but to me this image says so much about the plight of these magnificent animals, as well as our rapidly changing climate and habitats.

Yana Dashevski
Yana Dashevski

The point of the picture is to stress what we are doing to our planet! of course it's beatiful, human hand didn't reach the area yet...


So sad..

Des King
Des King

Professional standard surely

Armando Lopez
Armando Lopez

parece que nos dijera que va a cuidar de ese ultimo pedazo de hielo...


Bev Hennager
Bev Hennager

The ice is melting and retreating in the background.  He looks forlorn.  Very sad for him, for us, for the whole world.  

John Reyesvilla Méndez
John Reyesvilla Méndez

Que la mano del hombre no ponga su pie, porque donde el hombre pisa, la hierba no vuelve a crecer.

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

Yolanda, I agree with you.So too will lots more of God's creatures disappear off the face of  this earth, soon enough.Man and nature can sometimes be in cahoots in this awful ending. j.e.s.........

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

For me this is a very sad picture, it depicts the polar bears struggle to live in it natural habitat,ice. This magnificent beast will soon be reduced to smaller and smaller numbers, which is heart breaking.Mother nature can be good,bad, and sometimes indifferent, what she is doing here is, well......  j.e.s........... 

Yolanda Patterson
Yolanda Patterson

These bears are my favorite bear and I have longed fear that my first born grandson will never get to witness a true wild bear and that they will be only regulated in our dreams or in books. 

steven handy
steven handy

Beautiful capture,keep up all the good work my friend.

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