We could be saying goodbye to polar bears

A polar bear dries off after taking a swim in the Chukchi Sea in Alaska. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its final polar bear recovery plan which includes provisions for tertiary threats such as oil spills and excessive hunting but it does

We could be saying goodbye to polar bears

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identified the rapid decline of sea ice as "the primary threat to polar bears".

"Short of action that effectively addresses the primary cause of diminishing sea ice, it is unlikely that polar bears will be recovered", it adds.

Polar bears, the first species to be declared threatened or endangered because of climate change, rely on sea ice for hunting seals and raising their young.

The federal office issued that the global community must address the Arctic warming urgently by reducing the human emission of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. "The Paris Agreement is a step in that direction".

Currently, the actions that include the conservation of the polar bear's population in the Arctic would cost the US about $13 million a year, and the Republican Congress is likely to disagree as the Republican Party has shown its disconformity with the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The final plan states that the recovery and survival of polar bears "turns on our collective willingness to address the factors contributing to climate change and, in the interim, on our ability to improve the chances that polar bears survive in sufficient numbers and places so that they are in a position to recover once the necessary global actions are taken".

Investigations from recent years have shown how the Arctic zone of the Earth is the most affected by climate variations, as is the area that is warming the most. "Sadly that simply isn't the case with this polar bear plan". Last year, President Obama, along with other 190 governments across the world, signed a treaty in Paris that hoped to address the climate change problem, while Trump has said that the US will probably back out from it when he enters the White House. In its report, FWS acknowledges that polar bears "will likely be extirpated from much of their present-day range if emissions continue to rise at current rates".

Of course, President-elect Donald Trump has dismissed climate change as "bullshit" and a Chinese "hoax", and vowed to cut all federal spending related to the issue. That's also the cutoff for climate conditions that will allow polar bears to thrive, the report said. During the late summer and early fall when the sea ice melts away, polar bears are unable to hunt so they use the stored up fat from their summer feast as fuel until sea ice begins to form again in the spring.

Elisabeth Kruger, a polar bear expert and Arctic program officer at the World Wildlife Fund, said that by quickly implementing the federal recovery plan, scientists can make sure the animals are more resilient to our changing climate.

"If our grandchildren are to live in a world with a healthy population of wild polar bears, we need to take responsibility to limit further increases in climate change and care for our planet".

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