Watch: Take a VR tour of the Arctic with an inquisitive polar bear cub

6 Jul 2016

Greenpeace has released a short VR, 360-degree video trip to the Arctic, taking in plenty of ice, a lounging seal and a cute little polar bear cub.

In a bid to raise awareness around the effects of climate change in the Arctic and promote environmental conservation, Greenpeace’s latest video is a bit of a gem.

Taking us through the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard in Norway, the video shows the ice descending into the sea and a walk through a white utopia, as well as incredible wildlife dotted throughout.

Future Human

Greenpeace Polar Bear

As with any 360º video, there is so much more to see in the video than you can really take in on first viewing, unless you have a VR headset, which makes things an awful lot easier.

Easy enough for you to sit by a seal, catching some rays, wander through a dark, icy enclosure and even bump noses with a giant female polar bear, with her cub popping along for the ride.

Polar bear greenpeace

“Few people ever get the chance to go to the Arctic, but with this technology everyone can join a trip to one of the most amazing places on the planet,” said Rasmus Törnqvist, VR producer at Greenpeace.

“We believe that the connection created by bearing witness firsthand inspires action.

“Now, with the unique opportunity to bring thousands if not millions of people to the rapidly-changing Arctic, our hope is that the public pressure to safeguard this vital, vulnerable environment increases.”

The effect of climate change has become more obvious in recent years, with a recent report from the other side of the planet in Antarctica highlighting the risk rising temperatures are having on penguin populations.

Researchers from University of Delaware claim 30pc of current Adélie colonies – those that tend to populate the entire continent – may be in decline by 2060, with 60pc in decline by 2099.

Adelie Penguin

Adélie penguin, via Shutterstock

There are, though, animals profiting from the changing environment.

According to a new report in Current Biology, for 60 years now, the oceans, rock pools and even bays of this planet have had to make room for a growing number of cephalopods. Elsewhere, the introduction of swarms of lionfish to the Mediterranean is also becoming a worry.

Polar bear cub images (one, two) via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic