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Sci Prog. 2008;91(Pt 2):151-73.

Effects of climate change on polar bears.

Author information

  • 1Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1172 Blindern, 0318 Oslo, Norway. oystein.wiig@nhm.uio.no

Abstract

In this article, we review the effects on polar bears of global warming that have already been observed, and try to evaluate what may happen to the polar bears in the future. Many researchers have predicted a wide range of impacts of climate change on polar bear demography and conditions. A predicted major reduction in sea ice habitat will reduce the availability of ice associated seals, the main prey of polar bears, and a loss and fragmentation of polar bear habitat will ultimately lead to large future reductions in most subpopulations. It is likely that polar bears will be lost from many areas where they are common today and also that the total population will change into a few more distinctly isolated populations.

PMID:
18717367
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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