Arctic challengers return

RSA's Arctic Challenge competition winners have returned from their once in a lifetime trip to the Arctic, where they spent time with leading WWF scientists learning about the impacts of climate change.

The three winning teams from Oman, India and the UK travelled to Churchill in Canada's far north to see first-hand, the impacts of climate change on this delicate ecosystem. They saw how the loss of sea ice is affecting the region's most famous residents: polar bears. The region has one of the best studied polar bear populations in the world. In the last two decades, polar bear numbers have declined by 22% directly related to the loss of sea ice.

For Chennai-based Prashant Singh, the leader of the Indian team, the trip was a life-changing experience: "The melting ice due to global warming, the plight of polar bears and other wildlife have left a deep impression on me. We seldom think how the long-term consequences of our everyday actions can affect other corners of the world."

Some of the changes that are taking place in the Arctic will impact not only polar bears, but communities globally through rising sea levels and changing weather patterns. Together, the winning teams will take this message back to their friends and colleagues, and talk about how what is happening in Churchill will impact everyone.

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