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On the Arctic Sea a new study by Anthony Pagano a Ph.D. candidate at UC Santa Cruz says polar bears in the wild have higher metabolic rates than what previous scientists thought. As the climate change alters the polar bears environment its harder for a number of them to catch enough prey to meet their energy needs. Anthony Pagano says “We’ve been documenting declines in polar bear survival rates, body condition, and population numbers over the past decade,” he said. “This study identifies the mechanisms that are driving those declines by looking at the actual energy needs of polar bears and how often they’re able to catch seals.” Pagano and other researchers monitored there behavior, hunting success, and metabolic rates of adult male polar bears without as they hunted for prey. High tech collars were put on the bears to record video, audio, and location in a 8 to 11 day Period to see how much energy was used by the adult male bears. The researchers have collected data from the data that says five out of nine polar bears lost body mass which means they weren’t catching enough mammal prey to meet their energy demands.
Climate change is having dramatic effects on the Arctic Sea ice forcing the polar bears that live there today to greater distances and making them harder to catch seals. In the Beaufort Sea the ice starts to retreat away in July and the bears in that region have to move north. This ice melting causes them to use more energy during the summer.
In other areas, such as Hudson Bay most bears move on land when the ice retreats. In that region the Arctic warming means the ice is breaking up earlier in the summer and returning later in the fall forcing polar bears to spend more time on land. USGS researchers have been studying polar bears in the Beaufort Sea since the 1980. Their most recent population estimated the polar bear population has declined by 40 percent over the past 10 years. This work is very hard is very difficult for researchers to study the fundamental biology and behavior of polar bears in this very remote and harsh environment like the Arctic.
This article has something to do with science because it talks about climate change and how a slight change in climate can affect a ecosystem so beautiful like the Artic. I benefited from reading this article because I had no idea how bad the polar bears were affected by climate change and it reminded me that we need to protect our world and persevere it’s beauty. I believe this information could be beneficial to another person because it would allow them to have a better understanding of the issue Global warming by using the polar bear as an example.
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