понеділок, 25 квітня 2016 р.

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Melting ice in the Beaufort Sea is forcing polar bears to swim long distances, without food or rest for days at a time, with increasing frequency, according to a five-year study that sheds light onto yet another consequence of climate change in the North.

A group of researchers at the University of Alberta monitored polar bears in the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska and the Yukon, and Hudson Bay from 2007 to 2012.

They found that as sea ice melted, female adult bears and younger bears of both genders were paddling distances greater than 30 miles more often in order to find pieces of ice large enough for them to rest on.

"If you went back in time, even to the 1980s, bears in the Beaufort Sea probably never saw 50 kilometers [30 miles] of open water, and that's the low end of the analysis," said researcher Andrew Derocher, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta.

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