Global warming unleashes “world’s largest land predators” on humans

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"Global warming unleashes “world’s largest land predators” on humans"

It could be the premise of a new horror movie — one sadly based on an all-too-true story. We have “a new and unusual threat: a polar bear stuck on land due to climate change“:

http://www.hickerphoto.com/data/media/166/polar_bear_tour_sc55.jpg

Five scientists studying shorebirds in northern Alaska had to themselves take flight after a polar bear showed up at a time of year it should have been out on ice floes hunting seals.

Polar bears would normally be out on sea ice in spring and summer, the group said in a statement, “but with recent warming the ice is miles from shore and bears are becoming increasingly trapped on land well away from their usual seal prey….”

“It is ironic that our efforts to understand how climate change is affecting wildlife were disrupted by the top Arctic predator displaced by climate,” Steve Zack, one of the evacuated experts, said in the statement.

Polar bears are known to be the “world’s largest land source of irony” (see, for instance, “Debunking Bj¸rn Lomborg — Part I, The Great Polar Bear Irony“).

The scientists should just be glad they didn’t meet an even more fearsome beast — the Grolar bear. In the event you should run into an angry polar bear or grolar bear, here are some facts about them:

Polar bears are the world’s largest land predators. They top the food chain in the Arctic, where they spend most of their time on the pack ice or in the water, hunting down their favorite food – seals.

A single polar bear can consume 100 pounds / 45 kilos of meat at one feeding, and needs about one seal per week, or 50 to 75 seals per year, to survive. The bears eat as much as they can during the winter to get fat. They then live off the fat in their bodies during the summer when the ice melts and it is harder to catch seals.

The polar bear’s white coat provides camouflage in the ice and snow, not for protection, but to make them almost invisible as they stalk their prey.

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9 Responses to Global warming unleashes “world’s largest land predators” on humans

  1. Sasparilla says:

    I didn’t think the Grolar bear would be more fearsome than a true Polar bear, since the Polar bear is bigger (and has no fear of men from what I understand). The Grolar might be more fearsome than a regular Grizzly, since it would (presumably) be bigger than a regular Grizzly.

    It will be interesting to see if we have to sustain the Polar Bear populations in Zoos, depending on how events unfold in the near-mid future.

  2. Michael says:

    Another angle on this story:
    largest land predator eaten by (one-of-largest) ocean predators.

    http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/37893

  3. Greg says:

    In the series of posts “Is 450 ppm (or less) politically possible?” there were several parts. What happened to Part 0? The link is dead.

    [JR: My mistake -- it's back! Thanks.]

  4. Peter Foley says:

    Polar bears could help by eating some of the 100 million refugees displaced by rising sea waters over the next century.

    If drilling was allowed in the 2000 acres of ANWAR, allegedly all polar bears will become extinct. (Just how did they make it through all the other interglacial eras and the higher temps of medieval warm period?)

  5. I was joking above….I don’t know if Mr. Foley is, though… He’s scarier than the bears!!

  6. David B. Benson says:

    Peter Foley — MWP not warmer than now. Now warmer than MWP.

    Not all subspecies (populations) of polar bears survived the Eemian interglacial period.

  7. shop says:

    Five scientists studying shorebirds in northern Alaska had to themselves take flight after a polar bear showed up at a time of year it should have been out on ice floes hunting seals.

  8. Paul Bates says:

    That’s sad but true. Their food is disappearing so they either get desperate or perish.