Increased Sea Ice Drift Puts Polar Bears on Faster Moving Treadmill

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A new investigate led by a U.S. Geological Survey and a University of Wyoming found that increasing westward ice deposit in a Beaufort and Chukchi seas requires frigid bears to spend some-more appetite walking east on a faster relocating “treadmill” of sea ice.

These commentary paint a initial comment of a consequences of changing deposit rates for frigid bears; one of several formerly unexplored effects of sea ice loss.

A frigid bear walks opposite rubble ice in a Alaska apportionment of a southern Beaufort Sea, Apr 8, 2011. Image credit: Mike Lockhart, USGS. Public domain

“Increased sea ice deposit rates expected intensify a physiological highlight due to reduced foraging event already gifted by many frigid bears in a warming Arctic,” pronounced Dr. George Durner, investigate ecologist with a USGS and lead author of a report, “adding nonetheless another ‘straw to a camel’s back.’”

The formula were subsequent from radio-tracking information of collared adult womanlike frigid bears in a Beaufort and Chukchi seas joined with sea ice deposit information from a National Snow and Ice Data Center. The data, comprising of over 77,000 bear locations and relating ice deposit values, were collected during dual durations with opposite sea ice characteristics, 1987-1998 and 1999-2013. “These were really complete analyses requiring modernized computational capabilities,” pronounced Dr. Shannon Albeke a spatial ecologist with a Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center. “It was substantially a many formidable investigate of my career.”

“This investigate demonstrates a forlorn value of long-term undeviating information collection,” pronounced Dr. Merav Ben-David from a Department of Zoology and Physiology during a University of Wyoming. “Without entrance to a ice information from NSIDC, and a interagency and general cooperation, we could not have conducted this project.”

The investigate estimates that frigid bears contingency locate and devour one to 3 some-more seals per year (a 2-to 6-percent increase) in sequence to recompense for a aloft output of vital on faster flapping ice. This towering appetite output is point with a discontinued accessibility of sea ice suitable for sport seals, due to early ice warp in open and expanded ice warp during summer.

The need to transport longer distances coincides with decrease of a ice surface, on that frigid bears walk, formulating a formidable and formidable sourroundings to transverse. The investigate showed that during a new period, a unique adult womanlike frigid bear compulsory between 2,800,000 and 3,200,000 kcal annually.  This was 51,000-to 107,000-kcal some-more than during a early duration and is 3 ½ to 4 times larger than sum appetite mandate of a tolerably active adult tellurian female.

The paper entitled “Increased Arctic sea ice deposit alters frigid bear movements and energetics” was published Tuesday by a biography Global Change Biology. Partners in this investigate enclosed a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Polar Bears International.

Source: USGS

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