Polar bears are particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming. They rely on hunting in areas of sea ice. But as the ice melts these areas are harder to find. Read on for more about polar bears and global warming
But this isn’t the only effect that global warming is having on the polar bear populations.
The key danger to polar bears is the malnutrition and starvation that is caused by global warming because of habitat loss. Polar bears hunt seals from a platform of sea ice. However the rising temperatures are causing these areas of sea ice to melt earlier in the year. Because of this the polar bears are being driven to shore before they have had a chance to build sufficient fat reserves which would allow them to survive the period of scarce food which lasts from the late summer to the early fall.
The reduction in the amounts of sea ice is also causing polar bears to have to swim longer distances. This combined with their lower levels of energy because of the shorter hunting window has caused many polar bears to drown while swimming.
This malnutrition also causes the fertility rate of the polar bear to drop and increases the amount of baby bears which do not make it to adulthood.
The ability of mother polar bears to make proper dens in which to raise her cubs has also been hit. As the distance increases between the pack ice and coast. Female polar bears are having to swim longer distances to find adequate areas to make their dens. As the winters get warmer there have also been cases of den collapse as the den has melted because of the heat.
Also as temperatures get warmer there are more disease causing bacteria and parasites which are deadlier to the new polar bear cubs.
Polar bears also can suffer from overheating. As temperatures rise polar bears are going to overheat much more easily. This will make them more lethargic and even less capable of finding food.
You can read more about global warming here
Also check out polar bear endangered