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Global Warming to impact Polar Bear population in Canadian Arctic Archipelago by 2100

A new study claimed that due to heavy loss of Arctic sea ice, Polar bears may face starvation and reproductive failure by 2100.

Dec 2, 2014 15:15 IST
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Global warming will impact Polar Bear population in Canadian Arctic Archipelago by 2100. This was revealed by a study titled Projected Polar Bear Sea Ice Habitat in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago published in the latest issue of Journal PLOS ONE. The lead author of the study was Stephen G. Hamilton from University of Alberta.

The study claimed that, due to heavy loss of Arctic sea ice induced by global warming, Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) may face starvation and reproductive failure by 2100.

Main Findings of the Study
• Polar bears are inextricably linked to Arctic sea ice and are sensitive to sea ice loss
• Polar bears rely on sea ice as a platform for hunting, migrating, and mating, but are forced to move to land in regions where sea ice does not seasonally persist
• Sea ice across the Arctic is declining and altering physical characteristics of marine ecosystems. Polar bears have been identified as vulnerable to changes in sea ice conditions.
• Energetics modeling and population projections indicate that continued sea ice loss with climate warming will negatively affect polar bear survival and reproduction potentially leading to population declines

Study Process
To gain insight into the conversation challenges for polar bears with respect to habitat loss, the team used sea ice projections for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 2006 – 2100 by using metrics developed from polar bear energetics modeling.

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