Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Polar Bear Cubs Die More Often With Less Arctic Ice

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As Arctic ice thins and melts more and more every year, polar bear cub mortality is rising.  Compared to cubs that don’t have to swim as far to reach sea ice, which had a 19% mortality rate, cubs that are being forced to swim for days without reaching ice had a 45% mortality rate in a recent study.

With less body fat, the cubs can’t maintain their internal body heat as long as adults and they aren’t as buoyant in the water.  The cubs either drown because they can’t keep their noses above water or they succumb to the colder water.

I will point out that this is only one species.  There are many other species we didn’t even know existed that are under similar pressures from our greenhouse pollution.  On top of that, there are yet more species whose fate are being sealed every day we don’t reduce that pollution.

The Anthropocene is underway.  What happens in this Epoch is up to us.

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