The impact of the climate crisis is becoming more and more obvious to humans and their animal neighbors. But among all species, polar bears might be some of the hardest hit.
The bears rely on sea ice for nearly every aspect of their survival: It’s where they hunt seals, travel, make dens and mate. So the earlier in the season the ice begins to melt, the less time they have to eat and procreate.
The findings were outlined in a new study published in Ecological Applications.
Researchers found polar bears are becoming thinner and having fewer cubs, and their declining health was tied to melting sea ice.