Study: Polar bear numbers could plummet by midcentury

New research from the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage, Alaska, predicts that the global population of polar bears, estimated at 26,000, will decline by 30 percent over the next 35 years due to melting Arctic ice.

The study, which was published in the Royal Society Biology Letters, was lead by biologist Eric Regehr, whose team determined that there is a 70 percent chance this significant decline will occur by 2050.

“Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) depend on sea ice for most aspects of their life history,” the researchers wrote. “Anthropogenic climate change is the primary threat to the species because, over the long term, global temperatures will increase and Arctic sea ice will decrease as long as atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise.” READ MORE.