arctic polar circle

Polar bears face an ironic dilemma. They are surrounded by water they cannot use; ice and snow are too cold and seawater is too salty. They produce all the water they need from the metabolism of fat. Interestingly, adult polar bears consume only fat from the seals they catch. By not consuming protein (and merely recycling their own proteins into new ones), they have no need to urinate or defecate and go for months without doing so, thus saving previous body water. 


Ice Fjord 2 by Atmospherics
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Today, Wednesday the 21st of December, is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. When viewed from northern latitudes, the Sun will make its lowest arc through the sky along the southern horizon. The day of the winter Solstice has the shortest length of time between sunrise and sunset and hence the fewest hours of daylight.

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Photograph by Paul Souders

Canada—Two miles off the western coast of the Hudson Bay and just south of the Arctic Circle, a polar bear comes in for a close-up. As the winter pack ice melts in summer months, the world’s largest bears—a vulnerable species—must swim for shore.

“A den of polar bears curiously approach the bow section of the US Navy (USN) Los Angeles Class: Attack Submarine USS HONOLULU (SSN 718) after the ship surfaced in the Arctic Circle, 280-miles from the North Pole. SSN 718 is collecting scientific data and water samples for US and Canadian Universities as part of an agreement with the Arctic Submarine Laboratory (ASL) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), 10/1/2003”

From the series: Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files, 1982 - 2007

February 27 is International Polar Bear Day.  More polar bear facts from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service →

Emaciated Female Polar Bear Raises Climate Change Alarms

In a Facebook post, wildlife photographer Kerstin Langenberger recently aired her concerns about the growing number of gaunt polar bears she’s seen in the Arctic archipelago. Her photo of an emaciated female polar bear stunningly exemplifies the perilous dietary plight facing mothers and cubs, in particular.



gnomerino prompted: Klaine keeping warm on a very cold day

“Would you still love me if I was a polar bear?”

Blaine burrows deeper into the nest of blankets on the bed and pulls his giggling fiance closer.

“A polar bear?” Kurt asks.

Blaine nods. “It’s freezing. Polar bears are fat and furry and not even slightly bothered by sub-zero wind chills and mounds of snow. I want to be a polar bear.”

Kurt laughs again and kisses the tip of Blaine’s nose. “Am I a polar bear too, then? Because I think human me loving polar bear you might be a bit of a stretch. Also, it would involve me continuing to endure the cold.”

“Yes. We would be the most fabulous polar bear couple in the whole Arctic Circle.”

“Do polar bears mate for life?”

The question brings the images of polar bear Kurt and Blaine frolicking in the snow and affectionately nuzzling noses to an abrupt end in Blaine’s mind. He reaches out to brush human Kurt’s hair off his forehead and draw him into a sweet kiss. “We could be penguins instead.”

Kurt smiles and laces their fingers together. “You’d be a very dapper penguin.”

“And we could still sing our heart song to show how much we love each other.”

“But how will we pick just one song?”

“Kurt, I think the choice is obvious.”


Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and-

“Penguins don’t fly, honey.”

“Fine. I think you’re pretty with that tuxedo on. You think I’m-

"No, Blaine.”

“Well do you have any brilliant ideas, then?”

"We’re penguins. I feel like there’s really only one option here.”

“And that is?”

Kurt shoots him a flirty smirk and leans in to sing quietly in his ear. “I ought to say no no no, sir.

Blaine laughs as he wraps an arm around Kurt’s waist so they’re pressed together from chest to knee.”Mind if I move in closer?

The next lines are whisper-sung through teasing almost-kisses, Kurt keeping their lips a breath apart but never quite touching, until Blaine is left pouting on the final ”Baby don’t hold out.

Kurt kisses him then, slow and delicious, warming them both from the inside out until they break apart and sing the final line in perfect harmony. ”Oh but it’s cold outside.