What An Invasion Of Polar Bears In Russia Reveals About The Climate Crisis

Climate change is forcing polar bears to search wider for food, placing them in more frequent contact with people.

Polar bears prowling around a children’s playground. Polar bears lumbering along the corridors of apartment blocks and offices. Polar bears descending on a sleepy Russian town in their dozens.

To state the obvious: polar bears should not be wandering into human habitation, and certainly not in these numbers. That they are doing so in Belushya Guba shows how they are being driven off their normal migration routes and hunting trails by a changing climate. This has long been predicted – with the Arctic heating twice as fast as the rest of the planet, winter temperatures are rising and the sea ice – which is the primary habitat of polar bears – is shrinking.

In this small town in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, authorities have declared a state of emergency (a reasonable precaution after spotting an unprecedented 52 polar bears). Fences have been erected around school playgrounds and locals have tried to drive them away with warning shots and explosions. All to no avail. Many residents are afraid to leave their homes. Workers are reportedly being bused to their offices in military vehicles.

Read Full Story: The Guardian/Jonathan Watts

Photo: Alan Wilson/Wikimedia Commons

To view the Creative Commons license for the image, click here.

Sign up today and take the pledge to help save our world's oceans by visiting us at: www.theterramarproject.org

Comments