Narrator: During International Polar Year, all eyes turned to the Arctic – and how marine mammals will adapt to change… David Barber (Canada Research Chair, University of Manitoba): It’s very complex the way these marine mammals respond to things, and they’re all related to how the sea ice environment changes. We’ve been losing about 70,000 square kilometers of that ice, on average, each year for the last 30 years. Steve Ferguson (Arctic Whales and Seals, Fisheries and Oceans Canada): The summer sea ice is disappearing so we’re getting really long periods of open water, and we’re trying to understand how it’s going to reshape the whole ecosystem and how animals have to adapt. Narrator: Researchers are studying how life in the arctic might respond to the changing ice. Lily Peacock (Polar Bear Biologist – Government of Nunavut): The sea ice is polar bear habitat.
If we can study how polar bears use and navigate the different kinds of ice now, we can predict how they’ll use the different configurations of ice in the future. Inuk Hunter: Without ice, I don’t think life would continue as it does today. Narrator: During International Polar Year, Canadian scientists increased our knowledge of this important issue..