Nature

Melting Sea Ice Forcing Polar Bears to Make Longer and Dangerous Swims: Study

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The effect of climate change is not only limited to Humans, Now the animals are also started facing the consequences of the climate change. As per the recent study was done by the journal Ecography, says that melting sea ice caused by global warming is causing polar bears to make dangerous swims for food.

Researchers seem worried about the climate effects and it was predicted by the U. S Geological Survey that nearly two third of the polar bear’s population will be disappeared by 2050.The reason is very plain and simple increasing the temperature of the planet earth due to global warming which is causing melting of ice. It is becoming very difficult for the large mammals to survive in such situation.

A scientist at the University of Alberta used GPS collars and tracked 100 bears off the coast of Alaska and Canada. Usually, polar bears are good swimmers and they are making 115 swims which are little longer than 31 miles. Due to longer swims, polar bears feel exhausted. Also, it can expose their cubs to hypothermia.

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Sea ice is very useful for polar bears as they use it for both resting and hunting for food. If all these ice melts, they have to travel much more to find their meals. As per The Christian Science Monitor report, a female polar bear had to swim for straight nine days to get the large slab of ice. Now, this is disappointing.

Andrew Derocher, a researcher at the University of Alberta told The Washington Post said ‘Ice is changing so quickly that we’re finding the bears are getting caught in places where they’re finally coming to the realization, I just stay here’. He also said that ‘These kinds of long distance swims are not what they evolved to undergo’.

There are many steps taken by U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s Polar Bear Recovery plan which has taken all the steps to protect 187,000 square miles Alaska’s northern coast. These steps can help but if the ice will keep on declining at the same rate then I think these steps will go in vain.

Time will come which will force polar bears to hunt on land during the summer season. The adverse effect is that it will take them away from their homes. Recently, we have seen the population of polar bears near Hudson Bay and it will more common over a period of time.

Another researcher Derocher added,” None of this is what I would call a smoking gun as to what is happening with polar bear abundance, but the signs are all pointing in the same direction. He also added that they are seeing bears with a low-fat body and fewer cubs. There is also change in their hunting behavior that has been addressed.

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