Polar Bears May Face Extinction Sooner Than Thought

Posted by Kyle Brookings on Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A new study indicates that polar bears may become extinct sooner than anticipated.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, United States Geological Survey and many leading polar bear biologists have expressed grave concerns about the impact of climate change, including the belief that the current warming trend imperils the survival of the polar bear.

In a study that followed nine polar bears over a three-year period, five of them died.

The cause of death was due to a loss of body mass. Indicating that they were unable to find enough food.

The lack of food is due to shrinking ice, a result of climate change.

The key danger posed by climate change is malnutrition or starvation due to habitat loss. Polar bears hunt seals from a platform of sea ice. Rising temperatures cause the sea ice to melt earlier in the year, driving the bears to shore before they have built sufficient fat reserves to survive the period of scarce food in the late summer and early fall.

In addition to creating nutritional stress, a warming climate is expected to affect various other aspects of polar bear life: Changes in sea ice affect the ability of pregnant females to build suitable maternity dens.

The Team

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