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Climate Change Will Kill Off The Polar Bears, Feds Warn

12 January 2017

"The single most important action for conservation and recovery of polar bears is a prompt and aggressive global reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases contributing to Arctic warming", the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service writes in a manual dedicated to conserving the bears, the Huffington Post reports. FWS officials warned everyone that the fate of polar bears will be determined by "our willingness and ability to address climate change".

Instead, the FWS wants to reduce "human-bear conflicts, collaboratively managing subsistence harvest, protecting denning habitat, and minimizing the risk of contamination from oil spills".

"Most of these actions are already underway, in partnership with Alaska Native communities, nonprofit groups, and industry representatives who participated in the plan's creation", said the FWS statement.

Polar Bear Conservation Management Plan highlights the obstacles polar bears face on the road to recovery, and how we can fix them.

But their reliance on sea ice for traveling, hunting prey, and mating makes them vulnerable to climate change.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that there are about 26,000 polar bears split into 19 different populations across the Arctic.

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"Short of action that effectively addresses the primary cause of diminishing sea ice", the agency's plan said, "it is unlikely that polar bears will be recovered". 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.

Just released by the U.S. Geographic Survey, the footage is from a point-of-view camera around the neck of a female polar bear from the southern Beaufort Sea, just north of Alaska.

The next President of the US, the Republican Donald Trump, has said that he isn't sure about the veracity of climate change itself.

Shaye Wolf of the Center for Biological Diversity calls the plan toothless.

The only way to save the polar bear population is to hit the brakes on climate change, the US Fish and Wildlife Service said in a report announced Monday. These POPs are able to spread widely throughout the environment, and make their way through the food chain from plankton all the way to polar bears, accumulating in highly toxic doses as they move through the system to larger animals. In 2013, the FWSreported the Chukchi Sea population in Alaska was doing "quite well", while the Norwegian Polar Institute found in 2015 that the Barents Sea polar bears had risen by 42 percent since 2004. He also said he would keep an open mind about the global climate accord and whether his administration will withdraw from it. "Recovery plans work, but only if they truly address the threats to the species", she said.

"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".