Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What About the Toonie?

Up until now, there has been a great deal of speculation on the plight of the polar bear in the wake of global warming. It looks as though reality is starting to take hold:

Two polar bears have starved to death and two others were found dead this year in the region where scientists previously discovered unprecedented cannibalism within the population...

What sets the 2004 deaths apart is the calculated manner in which the bears appear to have been sniffed out, stalked and killed by large males bears hunting for food.

“These are very rare events. The fact that we observed three in a row is very profound,” Dr. Amstrup said.

This year, researchers found two females with radio-tags were found dead from starvation in Alaska and the remains of a third.

Canadian researchers found one dead polar bear in their study region.

“We've never seen anything like that before,” Dr Amstrup said. “Two of the dead bears were extremely emaciated and appeared to have starved. We don't know what the cause of the starvation was. We're concerned these could be another symptom of changes in the habitat, but we don't know enough yet to know.”

Canada's much-hyped symbol of the north is now feeling the concrete consequences of global warming. If you believe the "tipping point" theory, we can expect to watch the slow burn as a great species fades away into pathetic extinction. The sad thing, this is likely an inevitable sequence of events.

No comments: