Polar bears continue to move inland as ice melts, creating danger for people

Polar Bear
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Elyse Gabor | November 21, 2022

As the ice melts in arctic regions, polar bears are pushed onto land. Their territories will now range into small towns. Researchers in Churchill, Manitoba, also known as the polar bear capital of the world, have begun to explore how to detect the animal’s presence in remote areas through radar technology. The instruments could be in use by next summer.  

Due to polar bears’ aggressive and dangerous nature, they pose a threat to civilization. By using technology that costs thousands of dollars, the animals can be tracked, helping to prevent any unwanted conflict. 

Senior director of conservation and staff scientist, Geoff York, said, “If we’re asking people to conserve a large predator like a polar bear, we have to make sure people who live and work with them are safe.” 

According to York, “Churchill is unique in that bears come to shore, depending on the year, from July to August, and they’re on land until this time of year.” Churchill has around 800 polar bears that roam its shores.  

As rising temperatures and global warming continue to melt ice, polar bears spend more time on land. It’s predicted that a larger number of polar bears will be forced on land and near the town. So, the response program will help to ensure people’s safety.  

Study finds Arctic is warming four times faster than previously thought

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Grace Smith | August 19, 2022

For years, scientists and researchers have thought the Arctic is warming twice as quickly as the rest of the world, but a new study published in Nature Communications Earth & Environment on August 11 found that the Arctic is actually warming four times faster than the globe in the past 43 years. Some areas of the Arctic Ocean are reaching up to seven times as fast

After defining the Arctic in the study being the area known as the Arctic Circle — because that is how the Arctic is most commonly perceived by the public — researchers calculated trends in the Arctic Circle between 1979 to 2021 and discovered that the Arctic is warming 3.7 to 4.1 degrees faster than the rest of the world. 

“While the magnitude of Arctic amplification is dependent to some degree on how the Arctic region is defined, and by the period of time used in the calculation, the climate models were found to underestimate Arctic amplification almost independent of the definition”, Mika Rantanen, a researcher and author involved in the study, said in a press release

The loop that has been known to increase warming in the Arctic — melting ice causes the ocean to absorb more radiation, which then, in turn, causes more sea ice to shrink — is happening at a faster rate than previously thought. 

Rantanen told CBS News that the reason for the significant jump in findings is that other researchers may have been using models that underestimate the impact of Arctic amplification — the increased warming near the Arctic Ocean. He also said it is important to understand the Arctic’s sensitivity to warming.