The continuous shrinking of Arctic ice is proving to be a heavy challenge on polar bear survival.
A report presented at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed that that Arctic ice levels are declining more rapidly than climate experts expect. At the frontlines dealing with the adverse effects of this are polar bears whose populations are on a steady decline.
Steven Amstrup, Polar Bear International’s expert on field studies of the species tells The Guardian:
“Now the ice has gone way offshore we know that the bears aren’t feeding, and the bears that are forced on to land don’t find much to eat. The longer the sea ice is gone from the productive zone the tougher it is on the bears.”
The world news outlet reports that 2019’s yearly Arctic sea ice minimum is equal to the second-lowest recorded extent of 1.6m sq miles. This affects the feeding behaviors of the polar bears who are most affected in the north slope of Alaska and the Bering Sea’s ice floes.
Amstrup’s group reported back in 2015 that the population of polar bears residing in the Beaufort Sea went down by up to 40% over the last decade. He warns that declines will continue to be seen as conditions in their natural habitat continue to worsen. Amstrup revealed that the Arctic ice in this year’s spring season “was thin and rough,” something that is becoming a trend over the recent years.
Polar bears are an endangered species are expected to disappear from the face of the earth as Arctic ice melt.