The condition of drift ice between Iceland and Greenland is being closely monitored this year to estimate the risk of polar bears drifting on ice floes and swimming to Iceland, as was the case twice last June.
Drift ice in Greenland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Judging by the current position of drift ice and the current wind direction, it is considered unlikely that Greenlandic polar bears will pay Iceland a visit again this year, Morgunbladid reports.
According to information from the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the eastern winds that have been dominant recently, keep the pack ice close to Greenland’s eastern shore.
However, if the wind turns to the west, drift ice could move closer to Iceland and then there is a slight possibility that polar bears might drift with it.
The employees of the Center for Natural Research of Northwest Iceland in Saudárkrókur, close to where the bears swam ashore last summer, pay close attention to weather forecasts this year and are in constant communication with drift ice experts.
Travelers have been very interested in seeing the polar bears with their own eyes and now the Center for Natural Research in Saudárkrókur has hired a new staff member to welcome curious visitors next summer.
Click here to read about another recent polar bear story.