Friday, July 22, 2011

The Perils of Polar Bears’ Longer Swims

July 20, 2011
The Perils of Polar Bears’ Longer Swims
New York Times

In arguments over the impact of climate change, some of the images commonly associated with those clashes have attracted skeptical critiques, perhaps none more so than those of polar bears forced to swim longer distances because their sea ice habitat is melting. Some skeptics point out that polar bears are born swimmers and that the worries of environmentalists are therefore overdone.

Now comes a new study from researchers at the United States Geological Survey and the World Wildlife Fund indicating, after tracking a small sample of bears wearing radio collars, that the swims have indeed grown longer over the last six years. Five of the 11 mothers swimming with cubs lost the cubs along the way, and one bear even swam 427 miles to reach sea ice...

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