Reports from specialists account for the situation of polar bears in the warming Arctic. Climate change is a threat to all species, but especially to them, as they find it difficult to look for food. They rely on the once thick layer of ice at the North Pole to be able to hunt and survive.
The phenomenon of snow and ice melting at the North Pole is one of the strong indicators of global warming. The process affects the environment, as well as the animals that depend on their natural habitat. Reports show that the population of polar bears is decreasing, and the main reasons are the lack of food and loss of habitat.
The diet of polar bears is based on seals. They hunt the marine animals by trapping them under ice. The bears also use ice to “sail” on it. Without it, it is impossible for them to reach food, as the large animals can’t swim properly. They can only swim on a short distance, and most certainly can’t chase agile seals under water.
A new study from scientists reveals the concerning situation of polar bears, and they estimate that it won’t change soon. According to the study, there are nineteen polar bear populations in the Arctic, and all of them are affected by global warming and the process of ice melting. The phenomenon was reported in all the areas inhabited by polar bears at the North Pole.
Scientists are concerned because the warm season (spring and summer) melts away more ice than the cold season (fall and winter) is able to recreate. They also noted that there are differences regarding the dates of the seasons. It seems that the warm season starts earlier than it used to, while the cold season begins later than expected.
The prolonged warm period has damaging effects on the environment and wildlife in the Arctic. Researcher Kristin Laidre from the UW’s Polar Science Center is one the authors of the study. She talks about the way in which the warm season affects the populations of polar bears:
“Those periods are also tied to the breeding season when bears find mates, and when females come out of their maternity dens with very small cubs and haven’t eaten for months.”
Another recent analysis showed that the Arctic sea ice reached an alarmingly low level of 1.6 million square miles. Because 2016 is one of the hottest years ever recorded, this low rate shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, polar bears, are well as other animals in the Arctic, pay the consequences.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia