Polar bears could go extinct by 2100

Published: July 31, 2020

According to a study published by the University of Toronto has claimed that if arctic ice continues to melt at its projected rate, polar bears will go extinct by the end of the century. This is the first-ever such prediction in the world.

Reason for Such Prediction

The polar bears could reach extinction in less than 100 years due to starvation. These creatures are mainly dependent on ice for hunting seals, a primary component of their diet. As the temperature is rising and sea ice continues to shrink, it has become increasingly challenging for the carnivores to hunt for food. The Arctic is likely to have warmed more than double the amount of the global average this year compared to the pre-industrial temperatures.

Highlights and Method of Study

The study looked at 13 of the world’s 19 sub-populations of polar bears that account for 80% of the species’ total population in the world. The researchers modelled the energy use of the polar bears to calculate the number of days that bears can fast before their reproductive abilities become impacted. Then that was mapped to the number of iceless days that will be faced in the coming decades. As per this, in 20 years, some polar bears living in Canada will face reproductive failure and in 40 years, a majority of the global population will be affected.

What should be done now?

The scientists have recommended that moderate cuts in emissions could potentially extend the bears’ estimated life-expectancy for a bit but it will not be sufficient to save some species populations from extinction by the end of the century. It also depends on the countries cutting down on fossil fuel emissions.

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