When Siku the polar bear cub was introduced to the public late last year, he quickly became an Internet sensation, with his own Web and Facebook pages. But with fame often comes responsibility, and officials at Denmark's Scandinavian Wildlife Park said Siku would have an important burden to shoulder.
"Siku is going to be an ambassador for polar bears, for global warming," park director Frank Vigh-Larsen said in December.
Siku's official first day on the job was Monday, International Polar Bear Day.
Beginning Monday, the wildlife park, in cooperation with Polar Bears International and explore.org, a philanthropic media organization, will show a daily live look-in at Siku from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET at explore.org/siku and polarbearcam.com. You can also follow along again on Tuesday at CNN.com/live.
“We’re launching the Siku Cam on International Polar Bear Day, which is a day of action on climate change,” Robert Buchanan, president and CEO of Polar Bears International, said in a press release. “Our goal with the Siku Cam is for people to fall in love with this little cub and become inspired to reduce their carbon footprint to help save arctic sea ice.”
Siku is named after the environment of the polar bear, with siku being the most common word for sea ice in the Inuit language across the Arctic. The bears hunt on the sea ice, and as it disappears, so do opportunities for the bears to eat, the polar bear conservationists say.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center reports that the Arctic ice cover is near record lows, with the January 2012 Arctic ice cover the fourth lowest ever recorded.
"Based on the satellite record, before 2005 average January ice extent had never been lower than 14 million square kilometers (5.41 million square miles). January ice extent has now fallen below that mark six out of the last seven years," the NSIDC website says.
Many scientists blame global warming, fueled by carbon dioxide emissions, for the decline in sea ice. Polar Bears International says two-thirds of the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the wild could disappear by the middle of this century if carbon dioxide emissions are not cut.
“Our goal with the Siku Cam is to create awareness and inspire change,” Vigh-Larsen said in a press release. “And we are resolute that his image may only be used to advance those ends.”
Siku's secret to saving ice may be melting hearts. Check out these pictures and try not to smile.
See polar bears in the Canadian wild.
@bombo i will respond to you because you have a brain. My uncle was an ocean biologist for nasa, his research is CONCLUSIVE,,, with the help of many other proffessionals. And that is you are right, the earth goes thru cycles just like a woman, but the earth is few and far between in our time but in earths time its short in between. These cycles are normal. Thats why theres so much emphasis on controling what we introduce to the ozone, and everything else rellevent ( foot print) so it is called, but in reallity we are damaging our earth so some damage can be seen by the eye. And others are only witnessed periodically. But the "footprint" isso minut that its hardly contributing to any major change the earth is just cycling like i said. But there is visible damage
come on now! a volcano emits enuff crap to equalas much crap as crap. yet we are still here the mother earth has been trying to kill itself for years weve been fine til you showed up now go away
I'm not going to say that we aren't doing damage. But I will say that much of what is going on is out of our control. Cutting carbon emissions, increasing efficiency for all industrial processes, using less of non-renewable resources and eventually getting off them entirely – these are all good ideas. But the Earth will change whether we do these things or not, and we need to learn to adapt. So far, we've done a lousy job of adaptation, and if anything causes collapse of civilization it will be our failure to adapt.
Are humans the cause?
Are we speeding up the process and making it worse?
You don't have to do a lot to help. Even just buying less would help.
And btw, humans are adapting, though it's hard to notice. Weather dictates outings, so it has effect on human behavior if the weather is warmer a larger portion of the year. Change of behavior in response to the environment... That's a kind of adaption.
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