4 Ways Polar Bears Are Dealing With Climate Change
A few of these opportunistic predators have found new sources of food as their regular sources diminish—but is it enough to save them?
It's a tough time to be a polar bear.
The Arctic predators—which depend on constantly diminishing amounts of sea ice to catch marine mammals such as seals—are declining in number, and fast.
There are fewer than 25,000 polar bears left in the wild, according to the nonprofit organization Polar Bears International. Near the southern Beaufort Sea (map), for instance, the population has dropped about 40 percent between 2001 to 2010, from 1,500 to 900 bears.
And as their habitat shrinks, they've have been acting strangely. On Wednesday, five bears surrounded a team of scientists at a weather station in Russia, trapping the people inside.
On the same day, elsewhere in the Arctic, scientists representing Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and