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Polar bears to survive climate crisis? New population found

Polar bears to survive climate crisis? New population found

Image source: © canva
Anna RusakAnna Rusak,02.01.2024 09:45

Scientists have discovered a new population of polar bears that appears to be more resilient to climate change. Are these animals adapting to the warming climate and finding ways to cope with the crisis?

You may be familiar with the distressing images of polar bears stranded on melting icebergs, which have been used to illustrate how the climate crisis affects wildlife. However, if you are seeking some good news amidst these challenging times, you will be pleased to know that scientists have recently discovered a new population of polar bears. This discovery suggests that rising temperatures may not wipe out the entire species after all.

Climate-resilient polar bears

Scientists at the University of Washington have made a groundbreaking discovery of a new population of polar bears in southeast Greenland. The discovery of any new population is exciting. Still, this one is particularly important because these polar bears live in an ice-free sea, a condition unusual for their species.

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This is the first polar bear population discovered by scientists that is likely to be able to survive climate change. It is important to remember that human expansion of the Earth's land areas is causing global warming, which is melting glaciers, an essential part of life for polar bears.

What makes those polar bears unique?

The polar bears in question are believed to have lived in isolation for several hundred years, resulting in a small population size. These polar bears also have a slightly different appearance than the "standard" polar bears, with females being smaller and producing fewer offspring. Moreover, this isolated population exhibits genetic distinctiveness from other populations of polar bears.

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In a sense, these bears provide a glimpse into how Greenland's bears may fare under future climate scenarios

- says Dr Kristin Laidre, who led the study.

Is there anything to be happy about?

Both yes and no. The new polar bear population offers hope that they will adapt to climate change and avoid extinction. However, scientists remain concerned.

But I don't think glacier habitat will support huge numbers of polar bears. There's just not enough of it. We still expect to see significant declines in polar bears across the Arctic under climate change

- adds Dr Laidre in an interview with Daily Mail.

We must continue to take care of our planet and fight against climate change. The fact that there is a single species that has adapted to change in small numbers doesn't prove anything. We are currently experiencing the sixth great extinction of species, a catastrophic event. While the case of the bears may offer hope, we must not forget the severity of the situation we are facing.

Source: Daily Mail

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