Polar bears 'working out of meals'

Polar bears filmed themselves while hunting seals on sea ice, revealing why they are so at risk from global warming

Polar bears filmed themselves while hunting seals on sea ice, revealing why they are so at risk from global warming

Scientists were given an insight into the bears' weight problems by fitting nine females with satellite collars fixed with video cameras over the past three springs in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay. Without examining the bear in the video-thought to have died-it's impossible to know for sure what ailed that individual, but now scientists have published new findings that shed more light on the risk to the species overall.

Climate change is preventing polar bears from catching enough prey to meet their needs, with melting ice forcing them to expend excessive amounts of energy to track down seals, a study has found.

"You're talking a pretty wonderful amount of mass to lose", said U.S. Geological Survey wildlife biologist Anthony Pagano, lead author of a new study in Thursday's journal Science. For more than a decade, San Diego Zoo Global's researchers and its US and Canadian partners have focused on contributing to science-based conservation strategies, to preserve and understand wild populations of polar bears.

This is a polar bear still-hunting at a seal hole on the sea ice of the southern Beaufort Sea. Then the bear bites it on the neck and drags it onto the ice. Because of climate change, the ice is shrinking and thinning more and earlier, he said.

Arctic sea ice in December was at its second-lowest level since 1979, according to the National Snow & Ice Data Center.

Two years into the 10-year, five-nation Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears, action is slow, says the World Wildlife Fund in a "scorecard" that measures progress on carrying out promises made in 2015. They attached Global Positioning System collars equipped with video cameras and released them back to the wild for 11 days to study how they forage. They analyzed their blood and urine. It is more than the previously estimated level of calories that these predators needed to stay healthy.

Four other bears lost up to 10 percent of their body mass over the same period, the result of not catching seals. This bear even leapt into the sea in a failed attempt to catch a seal swimming by.

All over the Arctic, scientists have seen evidence of weakened polar bears, Pagano said. The species is categorized as "vulnerable". The average polar bear studied weighed about 386 pounds (175 kilograms).

The extent of Arctic sea-ice, as measured at its minimum in September, is decreasing at a rate of about 14% per decade, which is likely reducing polar bears' access to seals.

Kim Kardashian West has responded to claims of cultural appropriation
For a start, "Superman" got involved to make sure Kim was "PG-13" and others quickly hopped on the trend to help cover up Kim. Kim Kardashian has shown her fiery side this week as she hit back at a load of haters on Instagram .

The research could help explain some of the population declines scientists have observed in the Beaufort Sea region over the last decade or so.

"We were surprised to see such big changes in body masses, at a time when they should be putting on bulk to sustain them during the year".

Previous studies estimate the mortality of male polar bears would increase from 6 per cent to 48 per cent if fasting periods increased from 120 days to 180 days.

But certainly, vanishing sea ice makes the predators' hunt for seals more hard.

"Pretty much every component they've found was largely confirmatory in nature", Derocher said.

Five of the bears were recorded losing weight during the study. As it recedes, it gets farther away from the continental shelf, shallow waters that produce prey for the bears. "If they were successful they did quite well".

Every year in the Beaufort Sea, the sea ice begins to retreat north in July.

The findings have scientists anxious about whether polar bears will be able to catch enough prey to meet their unexpectedly high energy needs and sustain their population. There, Arctic warming causes sea ice to break up earlier in the summer and return later in the fall, which forces the bears to spend more time on land.

Recommended News

  • Warning for Assad after latest attack

    Warning for Assad after latest attack

    The group claimed that volunteer Bilal Bayram was among the victims who was "suffocated by the chlorine gas attack". Mattis, speaking with reporters, said the Syrian government had repeatedly used chlorine as a weapon.
    Assange: After 'Butcher' of Libyan Women, Clinton 'Covers Up Sexual Impropriety'

    Assange: After 'Butcher' of Libyan Women, Clinton 'Covers Up Sexual Impropriety'

    She made the choice to ignore the advice of her campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, who took that recommendation to Clinton. Solis Doyle said she was "disappointed" by Clinton's tweet and that wished "she had said it was the wrong call".

    Ireland to hold abortion referendum

    The group heard harrowing testimony from scores of Irish women and received more than 13,000 individual submissions . Terminations are now only allowed in Ireland when the life of the mother is at risk.
  • YouTube TV now available natively on Apple TV

    YouTube TV now available natively on Apple TV

    Users who do have enough bandwidth available to them can also stream videos, just like one would with the regular YouTube app. To users in those places, the app looks like a ideal way to watch and share videos from YouTube without burning their data.
    Trump's Lawyers Arguing Mueller Has Not Met Threshold to Interview the President

    Trump's Lawyers Arguing Mueller Has Not Met Threshold to Interview the President

    But McCarthy said he sees no need to enact a law to prevent Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. On NBC's Meet the Press , he said, "I don't think there's a need for legislation right now to protect Mueller".
    Knicks and Joakim Noah looking to part ways

    Knicks and Joakim Noah looking to part ways

    The officially stated reason for Noah's absence from the Knicks' last two games was "personal reasons". The hurdle: Noah isn't keen on giving back money to the Knicks in potential buyout discussions.
  • Love breaks hand in Cavaliers' 125-114 loss to Detroit

    Love breaks hand in Cavaliers' 125-114 loss to Detroit

    Andre Drummond held out Ben Simmons to be named as John Wall's replacement for the All-Star game in Los Angeles game next month. With nine field goals, James (10,924) passed Dirk Nowitzki (10,917) and moved into eighth place on the NBA's all-time list.
    Nicotine in e-cigarettes might cause cancers, mouse study suggests

    Nicotine in e-cigarettes might cause cancers, mouse study suggests

    A study in mice, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , is sure to provide fodder for both sides. DNA-repair activity and the fix proteins XPC and OGG1/2 were reduced in the lung tissue of mice.
    'Irresponsible' Facebook urged to scrap Messenger Kids

    'Irresponsible' Facebook urged to scrap Messenger Kids

    When they open up the app, kids see a list of approved contacts they can call for a one-on-one or group video chat. FACEBOOK has been slammed by child-health experts over its new Messenger app designed for children.
  • The Nintendo Switch Has Now Surpassed The Wii U's Lifetime Sales

    The Nintendo Switch Has Now Surpassed The Wii U's Lifetime Sales

    According to the latest numbers shared by Nintendo, Super Mario Odessey sales now stand at 9.07 million units worldwide. It also raised its operating profit outlook to $1.5 billion from $1.1 billion for the fiscal year ending March.
    3 dead, 2 injured after helicopter crashes into house in Newport Beach

    3 dead, 2 injured after helicopter crashes into house in Newport Beach

    THREE people have been killed and two injured after a helicopter crashed into a house in California . Visible damage to the home occurred with at least one exterior wall showing evidence of the impact.
    Paragon from Epic Games is shutting its doors this April

    Paragon from Epic Games is shutting its doors this April

    Now Epic has admitted defeat, confirming on the official Paragon blog that it will close the MOBA on April 26. The company offers to return the money to any player for any purchase of Paragon on any platform.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.