Friday, July 17, 2015

Polar Bears Fail to Adapt to Warmer Arctic

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are almost certainly doomed to starve to death as the Arctic continues to warm up.  A study carried out a great expense followed collared polar bears in the Beaufort Sea.  Scientists found that bears do not hibernate during summer season when seals are scarce due to melting sea ice.  They simply slow down and starve.  The prolonged fasting takes a significant physiological toll on the bears.  They also found that polar bears have an amazing ability to swim vast distances in very cold Arctic water.  To avoid unsustainable body heat loss, bears allow their extremities to cool off substantially while protecting their vital organs.  One female that was tracked survived a nine day, 400 mile swim from shore to ice.  She lost 22% of her body mass as well as her cub.  The scientists say that their study results are indisputable, based on actual telemetry from the animals and points toward the species eventual decline.