It is said that the polar bear is the new "canary in the coal mine." The signals of climate change are numerous and seem to be piling up day by day – disrupted weather patterns, more bad storms and deterioration of coral reefs, to name a few. Numbers of examples of global warming are making the news, such as retreating of glaciers. It is the Polar Regions that are the most vulnerable to the warming, and so are early warning signs as to what is to come. Perma frost is no longer “perma.” More southern plants and insects and birds are appearing in the Arctic for the first time. But the most powerful symbol of what is happening to the climate of the planet is the plight of the polar bear.
In a real sense, polar bears are marine mammals. They live by the sea, their primary food source is the sea, and they are great swimmers. Seals are their staff of life, but bears are not aquatic mammals like seals. They could not dream of chasing down a seal in the water. They must approach from a solid footing, almost always sea ice. Seals obviously come up through holes in the ice to breathe or climb out to sleep or “sunbathe.” The bear often approaches from a long distance with great care and stealth, blending in with the whitish sea ice. However, this sea ice is now disappearing and with it the hunting ground for the bears. Scattered, fragmented pans of ice are still all right for seals to rest on, but very difficult for the polar bear’s stalking strategy.
As a result, the bears are becoming thinner and breeding success is falling. They are now being seen further and further away from their old hunting grounds. The impending doom for polar bear populations is a warning that we must face the inconvenient truth and move away from dependence on fossil fuels. - RB
Robert Bateman - Global Warning
Product Code: BATGL2
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