turn to cannibalism - Polar Bears are not doing well, despite assertions by one vice-presidential candidate that they're just fine. In fact, there are an increasing number of reports of starving polar bears killing and eating each other.
The US Department of Interior has put them on their Endangered Species List. In CNN.com, Marsha Walton quotes Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne as saying, "Loss of sea ice threatens and will likely continue to threaten polar bear habitat. This loss of habitat puts polar bears at risk of becoming endangered in the foreseeable future, the standard established by the ESA for designating a threatened species."
Arctic sea ice, which is usually around 9 feet thick, is now 40% less than it usually is at this time of year, the second lowest level in modern times. Walton quotes researcher Walt Meier as saying, "Warming is going to spread to the lower latitudes, to the United States, and it's going to affect storm systems and storm tracks, the jet stream; that's going to affect crops and all sorts of things."
Walton quotes researcher Kassie Siegel as saying, "The Arctic sea ice melt is a disaster for the polar bears. They are dependent on the Arctic sea ice for all of their essential behaviors, and as the ice melts and global warming transforms the Arctic, polar bears are starving, drowning, even resorting to cannibalism because they don't have access to their usual food sources."
Art credit: gimp-savvy.com
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