How one crew of polar predators is bearing up properly within the face of local weather alternate

The polar bears had been discovered to be bodily and genetically distinct from different species, which researchers imagine is as a result of they’re hemmed in via mountains, the Denmark Strait, the East Greenland coastal present and the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Body measurements recommend that grownup women folk are smaller than in maximum areas. They even have fewer cubs, which might mirror the problem of discovering friends within the far off panorama of fjords and mountains.

Unlike different polar bears, the group additionally prefers to stick in a single position, quite than venturing a ways over sea-ice to seek. Satellite monitoring confirmed that once 27 bears unintentionally floated 120 miles on ice floes stuck in a coastal present, they swam to land and walked again house.

“They are the most genetically isolated population of polar bears anywhere on the planet,” stated co-author Professor Beth Shapiro, of the University of California, Santa Cruz and investigator on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

“We know that this population has been living separately from other polar bear populations for at least several hundred years, and that their population size throughout this time has remained small.”

‘A gradual provide of ice’

The panorama implies that the south-east Greenland bears have get entry to to sea ice for handiest 4 months, between February and overdue May, however for the remainder two-thirds of the 12 months, they hunt seals from chunks of freshwater ice breaking off the Greenland Ice Sheet.

But researchers say the truth that bears can live to tell the tale means that marine-terminating glaciers, and particularly the ones frequently calving ice into the sea, may just transform local weather sanctuaries as ocean ice melts.

“Even with rapid changes happening on the ice sheet, this area in Greenland has the potential to continue to produce glacial ice, with a coast that may look similar to today, for a long time,” stated co-author Twila Moon, deputy lead scientist at the United States National Snow and Ice Data Centre.

“These types of glaciers do exist in other places in the Arctic, but the combination of the fjord shapes, the high production of glacier ice and the very big reservoir of ice that is available from the Greenland Ice Sheet is what currently provides a steady supply of glacier ice.”

A separate find out about via the University of California discovered that 10 in keeping with cent of brown undergo DNA comes from polar bears, with researchers suggesting that the breeds might get started mating once more if local weather alternate pushes their habitats nearer in combination.

The findings had been revealed within the magazine Science.

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