A new federal study shows Alaska’s two polar bear populations could be greatly decreased in a decade. The research also shows global warming is by far the biggest threat to polar bear populations across the arctic compared to other stressors like hunting and pollutants. The information is critical to wildlife managers as they develop and implement a recovery plan for the species that was released July 2nd. The polar bear was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2008.
Todd Atwood is a research biologist with the United States Geological Survey and lead author of the study. He says indirectly greenhouse gases are driving the loss of polar bear habitat- sea ice.