Having walked the planet for over 20,000 years, polar bears could be close to extinction by 2050 a new report has revealed.
Often seen as the ‘poster boy’ (well, bear) of climate change campaigning, only a third of the Arctic beasts will survive the next 50 years according to a geological survey undertaken by the scientific arm of the US Interior Department.
The new research shows that around 40% of the Arctic's sea ice will have melted away by 2050, with the floating ice sheets on which polar bears hunt for seals being the first to disappear.
According to latest figures provided by North America’s National Snow and Ice Data Center, Arctic sea ice had fallen to 4.75 million square miles, which is an alarming 250,000 square miles below measurements taken in 2005.
At the other end of the planet, emperor penguins in the Antarctic are also coming under threat from global warming.
The flightless birds, that march over 50 miles in freezing winds to find solid ground on which to breed, also need to be close to the thawing waters in which their new born chicks can learn to swim. However, owing to rising temperatures, the ice is melting faster than the chicks can grow, thus upsetting the balance of their development. Oh bah.
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