Search Results for Tag: polar bears
Polar bears evolved earlier than previously thought
A team of scientists led by researchers from the German Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) has found out that polar bears evolved as early as some 600,000 years ago. The study, published in the current issue of the journal “Science”, ( Nuclear Genomic Sequences Reveal that Polar Bears Are an Old and Distinct Bear Lineage, Hailer, F. et.al) says the white giants are thus five times older than previously realised.
Why do we need to know this apart from pure scientific curiosity? Because knowing when polar bears evolved as a genetically distinct species, different from brown bears, could help us understand what is going to happen to the polar bears if the planet keeps heating up. You can read more about how the scientists came to their conclusions and what implications they could have here.
DateApril 23, 2012 | 1:19 pm
Living conditions have changed considerably over the last few decades for sea birds who live or breed in the Arctic region.
Ornithologist George Divoky has found that his monitoring of black guillemots on the Arctic Cooper Island off the coast of Barrow, Alaska over the last four decades has turned into observation of the rapidly changing climate in the high north.
DateFebruary 21, 2012 | 12:19 pm
September is the month when the Arctic ice reaches its lowest extent before the onset of winter. And it probably won’t surprise you to know that the trend has not changed. The minimum ice extent was the second lowest in satellite records after the low of 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, continuing what’s knows as the “decadal trend of rapidly decreasing summer sea ice”. NSIDC says this is a preliminary announcement and the sad 2007 record may yet be beaten, as conditions will still change until early October.
There is a Greenpeace expedition on board the Arctic Sunrise currently up in the Arctic, led by campaigner Frida Bengtsson. Let me quote you her response to the latest figures:
DateSeptember 23, 2011 | 1:51 pm
“Beyond penguins and polar bears”
Beyond penguins and polar bears is a website you have to look at for the pictures alone – as well as understandable information on polar issues.
It’s actually an educational website for teachers. I found out about it because it has just won a science prize for online education SPORE
The idea is to use the appeal of penguins and polar bears to get kids interested in science. But there ‘s a lot of background on there for us adults as well.
DateFebruary 22, 2011 | 9:32 am
Heatwave at the North Pole?
(Ice off Greenland, 2009)
Sitting here in Germany during a heatwave I often think of the pleasantly cool temperatures up in the Arctic where I was just a few weeks ago. But I just read a worrying report quoting figures from the National Snow and Ice Data Report.
It seems the Arctic sea ice has reached another record low. The ice covered area is smaller than ever since satellite measurements began in 1979. The report says 88,000 square km of ice melted during June. The average is around 53,000 square km.
It’s hardly surprising that wwf is watching with concern what this means for polar bears.
In Churchhill, Canada, western Hudson Bay, the current average daytime temperature is 17° C. says WWF. The average is 12°C. The conservationists are worried that a lot of bears may not survive the coming winter, especially if the sea ice starts to form as late in the year as it did last time. Without ice to hunt on, the bears lose a lot of weight.
DateJuly 12, 2010 | 8:18 am