Photographing the Changing Arctic

Monday, December 03, 2012

Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen discuss the changing climate of the arctic, which Nicklen has been photographing for years. The NRDC is awarding Nicklen with a first-ever BioGems Visionary Award for his Arctic photography. Nicklen, born and raised on Baffin Island, Nunavut, grew up in one of the only non-Inuit families in a tiny native settlement amid the ice fields of Northern Canada. His photography book Polar Obsession captures up-close documentation of the lives of leopard seals, whales, walruses, polar bears, bearded seals, and narwhals, and gives a vivid portrait of two extraordinary, endangered ecosystems. 

Paul Nicklen
Bowhead Whale. From Arctic Obsession, by Paul Nicklen.

A bowhead whale surfaces from a dive at the floe edge, Lancaster Sound, Canadian Arctic.

Paul NIcklen
Leopard seal. From Arctic Obsession, by Paul Nicklen.

"The huge female leopard seal who tried to feed me penguins."

Paul Nicklen
Narwhals. From Arctic Obsession, by Paul Nicklen.

Narwhals cross tusks as they jockey for a breath, Lancaster Sound, Canadian Arctic.

Paul Nicklen
A young polar bear leaps between ice floes. From Arctic Obsession, by Paul Nicklen.
Paul Nicklen
A mother bear and two-year-old cub drifting on glacier ice. From Arctic Obsession, by Paul Nicklen.
Paul Nicklen
Polar bear under water. From Arctic Obsession, by Paul Nicklen.

A large male polar bear dives under the ice and the glassy calm surface of the Arctic Ocean.


Paul Nicklen
Spirit Bear with salmon. From Arctic Obsession, by Paul Nicklen.

A five-year old male spirit bear with a pink salmon in its jaws.

Paul Nicklen
Spirit Bear. From Arctic Obsession, by Paul Nicklen.

A spirit bear (also known as Kermode bear) looks for salmon on Gribbell Island, B.C.

Paul Nicklen
Spirit bear in trees. From Arctic Obsession, by Paul Nicklen.

A young spirit bear settles into a mossy day bed at the foot of a giant western red cedar.

Paul Nicklen
A walrus guards her young pup. From Arctic Obsession, by Paul Nicklen.


Frances Beinecke, and Paul Nicklen

Comments [11]

lolly from brooklyn

The slide show link isn't working

Jul. 02 2013 01:20 PM
JTC from NYC

I may be wrong, but you only hear about melting ice, on the north pole, never the south. You hear about the breaking of the sea ice in the north, but never the south pole. It may be that the Antarctica, is a a huge land mass, that the sea ice grows out from, doubling its area. Or more probable, the Arctic is just there, beyond the tar pits. The north pole is so much closer to the big industrial centers, wile not as dirty, the acid rain, and the green house gassed move north, as the exploitation, of nature there is to rich to pass up. Antarctica is so remote, it is being held back, by treaty, until we have figured out how to exploit the southern continent, and try to avoid an international tug of war (or war), for the last gift of nature this world has left.

Dec. 06 2012 02:13 PM
oscar from ny

I never understood why humans and "earths environment" differentiate themselves, aren't we all part of the same function in the universe?...I'm sure mother earth knew what humans are capable of so i will think it can contain itself, and even suicide should be a natural process for it..

Dec. 03 2012 01:35 PM
Marilyn Stern from Manhattan

Why don't you ask Frances Beinecke why NRDC still does not oppose fracking? Why they're still pushing for better regulation? Shame on her for not knowing about the Rockaway pipeline!

Dec. 03 2012 01:33 PM

(I would gladly pay $50 for a tshirt if it meant I was covering the entire carbon footprint, as a start to solving this problem. Especially if the cost of covering climate change damage -- such as the recent storm in our area -- was covered).

Dec. 03 2012 01:29 PM

Urban populations are so removed from the consequences of global warming and other man-made incursions on wildlife. Its an intellectual concept rather than an in-your-face thing like Sandy. NRDC and similar groups need all the help and $ they can get to counter corrupt and brain-dead politicians.

Dec. 03 2012 01:27 PM

What is to keep the UN get all countries to agree to tax carbon equally (and getting consumers to pay for the entire carbon footprint) -- thereby preventing multinationals from relocating their manufacturing to countries without environmental rules, like China and India?

Dec. 03 2012 01:26 PM
Laura from New York, New York

I wonder if you can ask your guests about the summit in Qatar and the goal to have an agreement to reduce emissions in place by 2015 that will go into effect by 2020. How can our leaders be working at such a slow pace towards an agreement when destructive changes in weather patterns are taking place incredibly quickly? Isn't the next decade the most important time to take action, before we slide into irreversible patterns (if we aren't already at that point)?

Dec. 03 2012 01:18 PM
Kathy from Hudson Valley

Isn't methane a worse greenhouse gas than CO2, and the global consumption of beef another issue that needs to be addressed?

Dec. 03 2012 01:17 PM
Jeb from Williamsburg

Why do we overwhelmingly focus on engineering solutions to fight global warming? Certainly a lack of population growth control has rendered engineering as a merely partial solution. When will groups such as the NRDC address the reality that only so many people can be sustained by the earth?

Dec. 03 2012 01:17 PM
Wayne Johnson Ph.D. from Bk

Francis Beinecke is doing a terrific job trying to stop the state sponsored slaughter of wolves in the Mountain West. See if you can bring that into the discussion.

Dec. 03 2012 12:43 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.