Arctic Sea Ice Day

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, causing the sea ice to melt.

Polar bears rely on sea ice to hunt, breed, and sometimes den. We created Arctic Sea Ice Day, July 15th, to draw attention to the meltdown taking place in the Arctic, why it matters, and how we can reverse this trend. 

But it's not just about polar bears.

Sea ice serves as the earth’s air conditioner, helping to keep our planet cool. It’s also the basis of the Arctic marine food web and is used by Northern communities for transportation and access to food.

The key to saving sea ice and getting the climate system back to functioning the way it should is to move away from using fossil fuels for energy altogether.

In the meantime we can also take steps to use much less of the kinds of energy that add heat-trapping gases to our atmosphere.

The covid-19 crisis has shown us how important it is to care for one another to protect all of us and just how vital it is that our governments are prepared to act quickly to protect us even when the threat seems invisible or distant.

Communities and governments are hard at work to recover and redesign our economies. Let’s use what we've learned to move forward with bold, coordinated action to handle the other major threats that are intertwined with economic and social issueslike sea ice loss due to climate change.

This is an opportunity to carefully consider what we bring forward—building a future that’s good for polar bears and people too.

Here's how you can help:

1. Learn more about your local and regional renewable energy options and programs.
Are there any solar or wind energy options available to you? Does your local energy company offer sustainable energy incentives? Are there any local programs aimed at reducing emissions? Google knows!

2. Support state/province/country-wide renewable energy programs.
Vote for representatives who commit to investing in programs that make renewable energy affordable and accessible across communities. Let these leaders know that you want efficiency standards and renewable energy sources for constructing, heating, cooling, and lighting the places where we all work and live.

3. Share facts about Arctic sea ice.

  • Read (and share) our blog post 9 Facts About Arctic Sea Ice. You'll learn surprising facts about sea ice, including the role it plays in our global climate.
  • Brush up on the State of the Arctic in 2020 through this blog post by climate scientist Zack Labe.
  • Discover the four major sea ice ecoregions. These regions are defined by how the sea ice forms and changes in different parts of the Arctic throughout the year and how polar bears in different area respond to these changes. Although every ecoregion differs, what we learn about climate change impacts in well-monitored areas can be applied across the Arctic to help conserve other populations.

4. Learn from experts.
Join us for two special live chats on Arctic Sea Ice Day, bring your questions and be sure to check out the incredible underwater live beluga cam! 

Wednesday, July 15th, 11:00am Central
Live Chat: Celebrating Arctic Sea Ice Day! — watch here
Panelists: Dr. Zack Labe (Colorado State University), Dr. Thea Bechshoft (Polar Bears International)
Join experts to learn all about Arctic sea ice and why it is important for polar bears and people around the world! 
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Wednesday, July 15th, 4:00pm Central
Live Chat: Why Beluga Whales Need Sea Ice — watch here
Panelists: Kieran McIver, Dave Alcorn 
Why would a whale, a mammal that needs access to the surface of the ocean to breathe, live where the ocean is covered in sea ice most of the year? Learn about why belugas need sea ice and join us to celebrate the launch of the Beluga Cam! 
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Now is the time to rethink our use of fossil fuels.

This means putting people's well-being first and setting policies based on science and a healthy environment. 

Shifting to renewable energy will not only help save sea ice and polar bears, it will complement our hard work to recover by bringing economic benefits, creating jobs, and protecting us all from harm.

On Arctic Sea Ice Day and every day, let's celebrate the beauty, wealth, and promise of this frozen ocean ecosystem.

glaciers floating ont he ocean
© Daniel J. Cox/