Global warming threatens the majority of polar bear populations in the Arctic, as the rapid ice melting makes predators unable to live as usual. This reduces their chances of survival.
RIA Novosti, citing the results of the study published in the Nature Climate Change magazine, writes that polar bears can go without food for a long time, but the exact thresholds were unknown until recently. Now scientists have identified them for each ecoregion separately.
It turned out that by 2100, the thresholds will be exceeded for 80 percent of all polar bears. According to researchers, cubs are most at risk from prolonged starvation, and lonely adult females are least at risk. Among all 19 populations of the predators, conventionally divided into four ecoregions, polar bears living along the Arctic coast of Russia, Greenland and Alaska, where there is practically no ice in summer, are most at risk.
Nowadays, scientists seriously fear that by the end of the century, all populations of polar bears may disappear, or will remain only far in the North. However, it is also possible that the predators will adapt to permanent life on land. As an example, experts cite the cold period of the late Pleistocene, when polar bears lived throughout the ice-covered Baltic Sea, and when, after the Holocene warming, the eternal ice receded, the animals disappeared from the region.
By the way, the educational center White Bear in Norilsk is engaged in fostering respect for the largest land predator of the planet, during the pandemic period they conduct online classes.
Text: Mikhail Tuaev, Photo: open sources