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Award-winning documentary about rapid climate change on Svalbard

On Svalbard going climate change faster than in most other places on earth. The last 95 months have been warmer than normal, the change is fast and it does not affect the minimum conditions for wildlife.

climate change, but I knew that the chance was small that it would appear on the Norwegian tv if it was negative and gloomy, " says Asgeir Helgestad, Norwegian photographer and filmmaker.

the Guide: As you become more climate-smart

" So I thought, ”how can I make a movie that people have the desire to see, where the problem of climate change becomes too burdensome. Now you get to follow a isbjörnshona, I will be in her life in an ecosystem that is changing.

In the five seasons he followed a isbjörnshona, which he named Frost, and her cubs in their everyday life on Svalbard. Many hours of work has resulted in a beautiful and restful movie where björnfamiljen walk in a breathtakingly beautiful and sublime landscape. Mother Frost chasing and fix food for the children, the days are filled with play and love. Far from the usual image of the polar bear as a bloodthirsty beast.

Young vikaresäl. Photo: Asgeir Helgestad

– For the seal is the polar bear is a very dangerous animal and it is potentially even for me as a photographer. It is not in circumstances to their young, where she is totally outstanding. Many would wish for such a mother, " says Asgeir Helgestad.

" My film gives a different picture than in the other naturfilmer. Sometimes she has been near me for several hours, bequests and latat and played with the kids. She peeks at me but she has never been aggressive. Sometimes she kanat down a snöslänt in the vicinity of me but always had an eye and kept the distance. She is very smart.

on Norwegian tv last holiday season. Since then, it has been shown in many countries throughout the world; in Europe, Latin america and recently also China and has received several awards. In Sweden, SVT the film on Sunday, with the Swedish title: Isbjörnsmammans fight.

" I get a lot of reactions. People say that it is so beautiful but at the same time so sad and has a very important message.

Warming in Svalbard is more than twice as fast as the global average, and climate change are already marked clearly. The sea ice around the islands is becoming less and later and later, which affects the conditions for the animals that live there. Not just for the polar bear, which is dependent on ice for their hunting of seals for dinner.

Isalger. Photo: Asgeir Helgestad

– The small isalgerna which is formed under the ice when the sun shines is a prerequisite for the wildlife in Svalbard. They are eaten by other small animals such as gastropods and small crabs that are in turn eaten by larger animals. When isalgerna become fewer, it affects the whole food chain, " says Asgeir Helgestad.

In just fifteen years, the stock of Spetsbergsgrisslor halved, according to the researchers, it may be that they do not get enough fatty food in order to cope with the cold.

three years ago, in 2015, then killed two people when houses in the capital Longyearbyn was destroyed in a fire. Skredet came after a heavy snowfall, which were previously rare on Svalbard, which really is arctic desert. But now increasing precipitation and recently, it was decided that several residential buildings in the Longyearbyn must be rebuilt in order to adapt to a changing climate.

People can change the urban planning, but it is more complicated for animals that are specially adapted to life in the barren and cold landscape.

" the Future is not so bright for the polar bear, it is dependent on the ice. Polar bears can manage to go without food for a long time, but it must have periods during the year when it can get hold of food. When the ice is gone, it is not easy to be a polar bear, " says Asgeir Helgestad.

Photo: Asgeir Helgestad
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