Millions have seen the heart-wrenching video of a polar bear clinging to life, its white hair limply covering its thin, bony frame. Shot by Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier of the nonprofit group Sea Legacy, and published on National Geographic in early December, the video ignited a firestorm of debate about what scientists know, and don’t know, about the impacts of global warming on polar bears. Without examining the bear in the video—thought to have died—it’s impossible to know for sure what ailed that individual, but now scientists have published new findings that shed more light on the risk to the species overall.
Because of melting sea ice, it is likely that more polar bears will soon starve, warns a new study that discovered the large carnivores need to eat 60 percent more than anyone had realized. Turns out they are high-energy beasts, burning through 12,325 calories a day—despite sitting around …
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