Global Warming Anticpated to Eliminate Two Thirds of Polar Bears

The New York Times reports on a United States Geological Survey report which finds that. “Two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will disappear by 2050, even under moderate projections for shrinking summer sea ice caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

The finding is part of a yearlong review of the effects of climate and ice changes on polar bears to help determine whether they should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Scientists estimate the current polar bear population at 22,000…

The scientists concluded that, while the bears were not likely to be driven to extinction, they would be largely relegated to the Arctic archipelago of Canada and spots off the northern Greenland coast, where summer sea ice tends to persist even in warm summers like this one, a shrinking that could be enough to reduce the bear population by two-thirds.

Polar bears are expected to disappear entirely from Alaska.

A report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to be published today in Geophysical Research Letters, says “sea-ice coverage of the Arctic Ocean will decline by more than 40 percent before the summer of 2050, compared with the average ice extent from 1979 to 1999.”

Several Arctic research groups have also reported that this year the ice “has retreated much farther and faster than in any year since satellite tracking began in 1979.” It is believed that the Arctic ice cap will continue to shrink over the next fifty years regardless of whether changes are made in greenhouse emissions.

Environmental groups such as Greenpeace have been urging that polar bears be placed on the endangered species list. The Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior will be making that decision in January.

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  1. 1
    The Charters Of Dreams says:

    The American Geophysical Union suggest another factor is contributing to the melting of Greenland:

    Magma May Be Melting Greenland Ice

    “The behavior of the great ice sheets is an important barometer of global climate change,” said lead scientist Ralph von Frese of Ohio State University. “However, to effectively separate and quantify human impacts on climate change, we must understand the natural impacts too.”

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