The melting sea ice in the Antarctic and the rising sea temperatures have dramatically affected even the smallest of sea creatures. Environmental conservation has always been important to me as climate change is affecting everything around us.
The Baby Seal I have painted as the third in a series of thirteen titled: Sir David Attenborough: Pieces of the Puzzle, is a Harp Seal. There are many different types of seals around the world, all with unique characteristics. The harp seal females give birth to their pups, called white coats, on the ice. Before they grow large enough to spend most of their time in the water during their first six weeks of life, the pups use the ice as platforms for nursing and resting.
As the ice melts more quickly, pups are forced into the water before they are ready to fend for themselves. These young pups are especially at risk for hypothermia, starvation, and being crushed by moving ice in the Arctic. Harp seals are a prime example of why sea ice matters. In 2011, storms and lack of ice-cover due to a warmer winter climate resulted in hundreds of seal pups washing up on Prince Edward Island’s shore.
Recent predictions suggest that warming seawater and air will melt 20 per cent or more of the Arctic’s ice cover in the next 40 years. To help reduce the rate of climate change, all it would take is for each person to implement small changes to their daily life to reduce their carbon footprint.