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In Honor Of International Polar Bear Day

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#1 petercrow1984


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Posted 06 July 2017 - 10:54 AM


A polar bear watches her cubs on the Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. The bay is famous for polar bears, but their population is in decline.



According to Steven C. Amstrup, chief scientist for Polar Bears International (PBI), rising temperatures have extended the duration of summer, melting ice in the Hudson Bay and forcing polar bears to live on shore for longer stretches of time.

"They live on the sea ice, and they catch their food from the surface of the sea ice," he said. "When they're on the shore, they lose about two pounds of body weight a day. They've adapted to being food-deprived for quite a while, but there are limits as to how far they can go."

As their habitat melts, polar bears are forced to forage elsewhere for food. In Svalbard, Norway, where melting sea ice is retreating from the archipelago's shore, hungry polar bears have gotten into trouble by wandering inland.

"Because there are more bears who are going longer without having anything to eat, often bears that are hungry and interact with humans end up getting shot," he said.

Amstrup says that the solution is to stop the rise in global temperatures.

"The threat to polar bears from global warming turns conservation as we've known it on its head," he said. "In the past, when a species is threatened, we could build a fence around it. But you can't build a fence to protect the sea ice. The only thing that will really make a difference is to stop the rise of global temperature."

Today, on International Polar Bear Day, PBI hopes to promote public awareness about the need to address the advancing detrimental effects of climate change.



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#2 John W

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 11:29 AM

Thanks for sharing. 

#3 Kerry Gordon

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 03:54 PM

Thanks for sharing Peter.  Global warming's effects are most clearly evident at the northernmost and southernmost ranges.  Other species can migrate north or south in an attempt to accommodate their shifting habitat.  That obviously isn't an option for Polar Bears - you can't go further north than the north pole.  Human impact on global climate is being felt now as the deserts expand and the polar caps melt but these are examples of the past catching up to us.  The damage we are actually doing today won't be felt for  decades.  It looks like all life on the planet is in for hard times but only we humans can do anything about it.

By the way, Peter, are you responsible for the amazing photograph?

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