Polar bears are at risk of starving to death as the climate warms

14 February, 2024

When the polar bears are forced to spend more time on land than on the ice, the risk of them starving to death increases, a new study shows. This shows, say the researchers, that Polar Bears will find it difficult to adapt to a changing climate with warmer summers.

– Polar bears are not grizzly bears wearing white coats. They’re very, very different, said Charles Robbins, director of the Washington State University Bear Center and co-author of the study in the journal Nature Communications.

The researchers followed 20 polar bears for three summer weeks, which tried different ways to maintain their energy reserves. The polar bears tried to rest through the days or in different ways look for food other than what they usually eat. Nevertheless, everyone lost weight very quickly, an average of 1 kilo a day.

There are those who believe that the polar bears can do like the grizzly bears when the natural food is scarce, to either rest through the period or eat terrestrial food. The polar bears tried both ways but with little success.

– Neither strategy will allow polar bears to exist on land beyond a certain amount of time. Even those bears that were foraging lost body weight at the same rate as those that laid down, said Charles Robbins.

Text: Lena Scherman
Photo: Simon Stanford/Deep Sea Reporter

Related articles

Why is the polar bear looking for new hunting grounds?…
Report: Peter Löfgren
Photo: Simon Stanford, Göran Ehlmé
Editor: Alexandre Gobatti Ramos
The expedition to Greenland has been attacked by a polar bear. It broke in through a window and bit researcher Lars-Öivind Knutsen in the arm…
Text: Peter Löfgren
Photo: Simon Stanford
The sea ice in the Arctic will melt much faster than previously thought because today’s climate models underestimate the rate, according to new research. …
Text: Hanna Odelfors/TT/Nyhetsbyrån
Photo: David Goldman/AP/TT
Graphics: Anna-Lena Lindqvist/TT
Scroll to Top