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Why are polar bears threatened?


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#16    carini

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 07:04 AM

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I don't think polar bears will become extinct if the climate becomes warmer. Global warming, if at all, will take place at a slow and gradual pace. It will not be a sudden drastic change. I'm sure the polar bears will adopt. Warmer climate can only mean more food for the polar bear. When the ice melts, it becomes easier for the polar bear to hunt seals and such. When there is good food supply, I'd say their chances of survival and adaptation are pretty good.



Ummm. Thats why for the first time ever scientists working in the arctic have discovered polar bears that have drowned. Due to the fact that there is no ice left for them to climb out on to and hunt for seals. They are raiding trash dumps in alaska because they are already straving. They have even seen cannibalism start amongst the bears, another thing they have never seen happen before.

Global warming is going to happen pretty rapidly, it already is happening. In the past 25 years about 70 species of frogs in central and south america have gone extinct because of global warming. We are on the brink of ecological collapse. The earth will be warmer then any point in the past million years if current trends continue.

The change is happening so fast that alot of species havent and wont be able to adapt.


#17    Bone_Collector

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 12:16 PM

Polar bears are strong swimmers. They can swim for several hours at a time over long distances. They've been tracked swimming continuously for 100 km at a stretch, so it is more likely the cause of death here is not drowning.

Bears are curious, and it is not uncommon for bears to explore trash bins and such, also, cannibalism is not uncommon in the animal kingdom, and it needn't necessarily suggest starvation -there are various reasons for cannibalism. Polar bears kill each other for population regulation, dominance, and reproductive advantage as studies reveal. Killing for food seems to be less common.

I don't believe global warming will bring forth rapid changes. Of course, like most species, polar bears too would find climatic changes difficult to adopt to, and even their numbers may reduce initially but I don't think it would be impossible for them to cope. Polar bears will simply migrate to colder places and find alternative food sources.

Edited by Bone_Collector, 18 January 2007 - 12:18 PM.

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#18    Essan

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 04:41 PM

Indications (from sea bed cores) are that there was less ice than today in the Arctic during some parts  the early/mid Holocene.  Also, Greenland ice cores show that the temperature there has been warmer than today for the best part of the Holocene (the MWP was not, comparatively speaking, all that warm!)

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However, polar bears never used to be hunted by human nor have their usual prey hunted by humans.  Oh, and humans didn't used to pollute the arctic.  Nor build town where the polar bears preferred to spend winter.

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#19    Mattshark

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 04:51 PM

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I don't think polar bears will become extinct if the climate becomes warmer. Global warming, if at all, will take place at a slow and gradual pace. It will not be a sudden drastic change. I'm sure the polar bears will adopt. Warmer climate can only mean more food for the polar bear. When the ice melts, it becomes easier for the polar bear to hunt seals and such. When there is good food supply, I'd say their chances of survival and adaptation are pretty good.

It is already happening at a very excellerated pace, that is the problem. Lack of ice makes it more difficult ot hunt seals as they hunt the pups hidden under the ice.
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#20    m. Moe

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 11:15 PM

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I don't think polar bears will become extinct if the climate becomes warmer. Global warming, if at all, will take place at a slow and gradual pace. It will not be a sudden drastic change. I'm sure the polar bears will adopt. Warmer climate can only mean more food for the polar bear. When the ice melts, it becomes easier for the polar bear to hunt seals and such. When there is good food supply, I'd say their chances of survival and adaptation are pretty good.

Animals can't adapt that fast.

But it isn't heat stroke thats killing them, it's starvation.

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#21    Roj47

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 01:33 PM

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But it isn't heat stroke thats killing them, it's starvation.


yes.gif  Polar bears acquire alot of their food by means of Seals. Underwater seals have the advantage over the polar bears and will inevitably escape (majority of the time). When the roles are reversed, the polar bear is more efficient at catching the seal on ice, but with the ice melting there are more and more escape routes for the seal meaning lower chances for polar bears to capture food.

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#22    Roj47

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 01:36 PM

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Excellent graph. Thank you for posting. I note a high point at around 1000BC where temperature appears to be below present. I wonder if or when we will hit that peak. Interesting to note that over the last 10,000 years temperatures have remained fairly constant.


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