polar climate

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Levels of polar sea ice just hit another record-breaking low

  • Since regular record-keeping of sea ice started in 1979, combined sea ice levels at the polar ice caps were at their lowest ever on Feb. 13, NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced.
  • Furthermore, the Arctic’s winter “maximum extent” — the peak amount of ice in a year — and the inverse “minimum extent” for the Antarctic, in which it is now summer, together hit a record low in early March.
  • Between 1981 and 2010, the global minimum extent average was 7.05 million square miles.
  • But on Feb. 13, with its record-breaking low levels, there were only 6.26 million square miles of polar sea ice.
  • As compared to the nearly 30-year average, the world lost enough polar sea ice by Feb. 13 to fit into Mexico, NASA noted. Read more (3/23/17)

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Polar Bear Diet Changes as Sea Ice Melts

“There is little doubt that polar bears are very susceptible as global climate change continues to drastically alter the landscape of the northern polar regions,” said Robert Rockwell, a research associate in the Museum’s Department of Ornithology. “But we’re finding that they might be more resilient than is commonly thought.”

Polar bears are listed as a threatened species under the United States Endangered Species Act and are classified as “vulnerable” with declining populations on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Red List. Climate warming is reducing the availability of their ice habitat, especially in the spring when polar bears gain most of their annual fat reserves by consuming seal pups before coming ashore for the summer. The new work, led by Rockwell and Linda Gormezano, a postdoctoral researcher in the Museum’s Division of Vertebrate Zoology, examines how polar bears might compensate for energy deficits from decreasing seal-hunting opportunities.

Read more about this research on the blog.

arclent  asked:

My question is about the polar bear at SeaWorld San Diego dying. My friend is trying to argue that it died because polar bears don't belong in hot weather and it's the zoo's fault. She's very anti-zoo, while im a huge supporter of zoo's and dont really think that the climate killed them polar bear. Are polar bears able to adapt to warmer climate?

Polar bears adapt just as well to weather as any other bear - and it’s all in what they eat.

They withstand the cold due to a heavy blubber that insulates them, and they build it up by eating a diet made almost entirely of seal fat. (If you watch the Wild Alaska BBC miniseries, they show foraging bears only eating the fattiest parts of salmon when they’ve got enough available to be picky.)

Zoos are aware that their polar bears would be really uncomfortable in warmer climates with a heavy layer of blubber, so they’re fed more lean meat. They get the appropriate nutritional balance, but not the huge amount of extra calories from fat. Because the climate is milder, the bears also naturally adapt and don’t grow as thick of a coat as their counterparts in colder weather.

On top of that, every good facility housing polar bears chills their pools and gives them chilled dens, ice blocks, etc. They don’t always prefer it! At the San Diego zoo, famously, their pool was initially chilled to 40 degrees F and the bears didn’t go in because it was too cold and they weren’t adapted to it. When they raised the temperature, the bears became much more willing to swim.

So basically, if right accommodations are made, polar bears can thrive in almost any climate in a captive setting.

So far we have no idea why that polar bear died. If it’s not immediately visually obvious in a necropsy what killed an animal, tissue samples are sent out for testing and it regularly takes a couple weeks to get results back from a lab.

theguardian.com
Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts
No seeds were lost but the ability of the rock vault to provide failsafe protection against all disasters is now threatened by climate change
By Damian Carrington


Hey, don’t worry; there’s no definitive proof climate change is real. :-/

3.5/5 Stars.

This dystopian novel imagines an America several decades in the future immersed in a second Civil War.

Sarat is six years old and living with her family in Louisiana when the war begins. Soon they get displaced from their home and wind up in a refugee camp, where Sarat is mentored by an older man who provides her with a unique perspective on the current state of affairs.

The book follows Sarat through to adulthood when, following decades of tragedy and suffering, she finds herself hellbent on revenge against those who have wronged her.

This is a story about the devastating effects of war—and one that doesn’t seem entirely improbable given our deeply polarized political climate.

As compelling as the world that the author creates may be, the real strength lies in Sarat’s character development. The details of the war and the various conflicts are muddy at times, but Sarat’s journey is what kept me engaged.

This isn’t quite on the same level as revered dystopian classics, but it’s a solid read for fans of the genre.

theguardian.com
Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts
No seeds were lost but the ability of the rock vault to provide failsafe protection against all disasters is now threatened by climate change
By Damian Carrington

It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.

The vault is on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen and contains almost a million packets of seeds, each a variety of an important food crop. When it was opened in 2008, the deep permafrost through which the vault was sunk was expected to provide “failsafe” protection against “the challenge of natural or man-made disasters”.

But soaring temperatures in the Arctic at the end of the world’s hottest ever recorded year led to melting and heavy rain, when light snow should have been falling. “It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that it would experience extreme weather like that,” said Hege Njaa Aschim, from the Norwegian government, which owns the vault.

  • twenty øne piløts: help me polarize
  • juicer: help me pulverize
  • carbs: help me bowl o'rice
  • intro paragraphs: help me summarize
  • automobiles: help me motorize
  • friends: help me socialize
  • arguments: help me compromise
  • "friends": help me full of lies
  • the school system/testing: help me memorize
  • climate change: help the polar ice
  • my life: help me organize

Climate change is forcing polar bears to swim for days on end to solid ground

While polar bears are adept swimmers, they are not evolutionarily equipped to tackle long distances. University of Alberta biologist Andrew Derocher began tracking the swimming patterns of bears near Alaska and Canada in 2004. Twelve years later, the results are in: By 2012, the number of bears swimming more than 31 miles grew from 25% to this shocking percentage.

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