Sea Ice Melt Declines Polar Bear Population By More Than 30%

Posted: Dec 7 2016, 5:23am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Sea Ice Melt Declines Polar Bear Population by More Than 30%
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  • Polar Bear Population dwindling due to Sea Ice Meltdown

The polar bear population will decline by more than 30% over the next 35 years due to a meltdown of the sea ice.

Polar bear populations could get slashed by a third by the time the middle of the 21st century comes by. An assessment of polar sea ice and its effects on the polar bear numbers was made recently by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). What it found out was not good.

The polar bear is the largest bear on the face of the planet. It is a fierce predator and very massive in its size. There is currently a 70% chance that the global polar bear populations which stand at 26000 will dwindle by 30% over the next three generation or so.

The IUCN tracked endangered species and it presented this alarming data for the world at large. Polar bears are on its Red List meaning that they are very likely to go extinct unless steps are taken to rehabilitate them in accordance with their natural habitat which is the Arctic region.

35 years of data brought before us due to satellite imaging shows that the 19 different types of polar bears were engaged in a struggle for existence. They were all vulnerable to the ravages of climate change.

These polar bears were spread over four ecological zones in the Arctic. They normally depend on sea ice for their life cycles on earth. They tend to use the sea ice as floating islands from which to attack seals which form their main source of nutrition.

Most of the seals can easily leave them behind in the sea. It is only thanks to these sea ice pieces that the polar bears have any chances of catching the seals. So their chief means of food is being put out of their reach due to the melting of the sea ice chunks.

The future holds nothing but bad news for polar bears. Both sea ice and polar bears will be undergoing a decrease in numbers. While on a year to year basis, there may be surges of polar bear populations, on the whole the numbers will go down.

The reason for all this is of course climate change. The Arctic will probably see ice-free summers by the time 2030 comes along. Polar bears also face other dangers besides the sea ice meltdown.

In the 80s and 90s, their females and pups had toxic stores of PCPs in their tissues and organs. The man-made chemical had built up in their bodies by concentration.

Many of the males had been rendered sterile due to this toxic chemical build-up. Many other man-made endocrine disrupting chemicals already exist in the environment of these bears.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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