Habitat Degradation is a series which comments on humans’ negative impacts on ecosystems worldwide. For each of the three habitats I depict, I chose representative species who are responding to the effects of the changes.
Habitat Degradation: Arctic Melt shows Arctic sea ice data from 1980 to present. Rapid warming in the Arctic has caused the sea ice area to decline so quickly that species cannot adjust. The Arctic fox is small and extraordinarily resilient to the most severe cold. They can withstand the frigid north and thus have this corner of the world in which to hunt. But when the temperatures mellow, competition from larger species could overcome them, as other species move further north to escape their own warming environment. I painted the Arctic foxes to look cornered and skittish. One is hunched and defensive, the other is yowling in panic. The sea ice, from which they are separated, is spaced out by large expanses of dark blue water absorbing the sun’s heat.