Bears on the Edge

Recent research on their behaviour and habitat reveal that Polar bears face extinction from climate change at a pace much more rapid than previously imagined. Polar bears depend largely on seals for food and the seals depend upon the sea ice upon which to mate and rest.

Global warming is melting the ice, displacing the seals, and forcing the bears to travel farther and deplete more energy in order to find prey. A three-year study conducted by the US Geological Survey and U.C. Santa Cruz, found that Arctic bears are now forced to search for food 1.6 times more than normal, leaving them exhausted by the shortage of calories.

In spite of the sophisticated technology that allows us to track the bears, measure their whereabouts and assess their energy, without the political will and solidarity to act decisively on global climate solutions, the long-term survival of these magnificent creatures looks ever more unlikely.