23 Jun '11, 11pm

When the Arctic's Ice-Free, What Happens to the Polar Bears?

When the Arctic's Ice-Free, What Happens to the Polar Bears?

Ashore on Svalbard, a male polar bear investigates a whale's backbone. Fat reserves from hunting ringed and bearded seals, and sometimes walruses, must carry bears through lean summers. All photos by Florian Schulz/National Geographic . That's the question posed by a great, bummer-laden article in the July issue of National Geographic. Polar bears, once the de facto mascot of climate change, have drifted out of focus a bit, probably as the mood soured on climate in American politics and discourse. But that doesn't make them any less susceptible to losing their habitat in an Arctic that loses more and more ice volume every year -- and that scientists say could be entirely ice-free during summertime in under 40 years. What will happen to the bears then? Feast thine eyes on these gorgeous heart-tugging images from the article, "On Thin Ice," by Susan McGrath, for a glimpse of...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/when-arctic-ice-f...

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