Bears, particularly the plentiful black bears that are the source of much human-bear conflict, can serve as a opening to larger environmental stories, such as habitat destruction and the challenges of the “wildland-urban interface.” This week’s TipSheet has some of the good news/bad news on bears, with story ideas and resources for your reporting.
Antarctica & Arctic
"Rapid warming and vanishing sea ice in the Arctic has enabled new species, from humpback whales to white-tailed deer, to spread northward. Scientists are increasingly concerned that some of these new arrivals may be bringing dangerous pathogens that could disrupt the region’s fragile ecosystems."
As part of SEJournal's new EJ InSight column, a quarterly section that will explore the range of photojournalism, videography, information graphics and data visualization for environmental journalism, read a short piece on how print environmental journalists are experimenting with photography.
"Arctic sea ice behaves a bit like a human waistline, packing on weight in the winter and slimming down in the heat of summer. But while many of us struggle to lose weight, the Arctic has been struggling to gain it."
"In just eight days in mid-February, nearly a third of the sea ice covering the Bering Sea off Alaska's west coast disappeared. That kind of ice loss and the changing climate as the planet warms is affecting the lives of the people who live along the coast."
As climate change melts Arctic permafrost, it will release toxic mercury, scientists say.
"Polar bears are struggling to find enough seals to eat, and the problem will get worse as the planet warms because their metabolisms are much faster than previously thought, researchers said Thursday."
"It’s hard to miss a musk ox: It looks like a buffalo decked out in a hairy fur coat. And yet this easy-to-spot giant, which lives on tundras from Siberia to Greenland, is still surprisingly mysterious."
"Climate scientists say the magnitude and rate of sea ice loss this century is unprecedented in 1,500 years and issue a warning on the impacts of a changing climate."
"Delegations from the United States, Russia, and China and other countries struck a deal on Thursday to refrain from commercial fishing in the high Arctic seas, one of world’s fastest-warming places, until scientists can determine what fish are there and whether they can be harvested sustainably."