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Polar Bears forced to land and water

As Arctic sea ice melts, polar bears are changing their habitat, shifting from their preferred ice hunting grounds to land and open water, according to a new long-term study.

The number of bears sighted steadily increased from 138 bears between 1979 and 1987, to 271 bears between 1988 and 1996, and finally to 468 bears between 1997 and 2005.

“Our results do suggest that bears that use the nearshore area are more likely to occur on land in recent years because their preferred habitat, sea ice, is unavailable.”

Last year, international researchers involved in a separate study looking at melting Arctic ice and the effects on ecosystems concluded: “The Arctic as we know it may be a thing of the past.” … Read Full Article

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