Polar Bear and Cubs, Svalbard, Norway

Photograph by Paul Nicklen

In a far north without ice, a mother bear could be stranded a long way from good hunting, struggling to feed herself and her cubs. This snow-free scene near Kapp Fanshawe (Cape Fanshawe) offers a glimpse of what may be the Arctic's rockier future.

See more photographs from the April 2009 feature story "Northern Giant."