Polar Bears Don't Hibernate Through Summer Starvation
A new study found that polar bears don't have special protection against summer starvation, contrary to what was previously believed.
The poor polar bears can't seem to catch a break. A new study debunks a theory that polar bears are able to make up for a lack of food during the summer, which would have been good news for the vulnerable species. (Video via National Geographic)
The theory was that polar bears could enter what was called a "walking hibernation" during the summer months when food can be scarce. Basically, the bears were thought to use less energy by slowing their metabolism to keep from starving. (Video via U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
But the new study found polar bears don't actually have any special protection against summer starvation. One researcher told The Washington Post, "If there was hibernation metabolism … you would see all of them have a very steep, abrupt decline in body temperature, ... but we don’t see that.”
This is just another blow to a species that has struggled with the effects of climate change.
Just last week, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service noted the "decline of sea ice habitat due to climate change" as the primary threat to polar bears.
Currently, it's estimated there are between 20,000 and 25,000 polar bears on the planet, with some populations on the decline.
The research team told The Washington Post this new info will allow more accurate studies on polar bear populations.
This video includes images from Getty Images, rubyblossom / CC BY-NC 2.0 and trasroid / CC BY-NC 2.0.
Research finds climate change is making allergy season worse
A review of data shows the rate of temperature increase correlates to a rise in the number of patients suffering from nasal and sinus problems.
UN report: We're losing progress in fight against climate change
A new report finds Earth will likely hit a critical climate change threshold in the coming years.
Oregon eyes mandate for climate change lessons in schools
Dozens of Oregon high schoolers submitted support of the bill, saying they care about climate change deeply.
How a TikTok ban would work
President Joe Biden and lawmakers have signaled support for a ban on TikTok, but experts say it won't easy to carry out.
A furry friend has the best chance of saving lives in avalanches
Avalanche dogs can search acres of terrain in a fraction of the time humans can. Frank, a black lab in Snowbird, Utah, shows us how.
IRS lays out which HSA expenses are tax deductible
You can use HSA plans for many different expenses, but not all of them are tax deductible. The IRS has provided updated guidance on HSA plans.