Scientists: Polar bears are inbreeding as ice melts

Scientists: Polar bears are inbreeding as ice melts
Poster bear. Not as stranded as previously suggested.

[Ed. – This is bound to be a bad thing.]

Climate change is rapidly melting sea ice in the Arctic, causing “large-scale changes” in how polar bears are able to function, according to a new study. In Norway, scientists found, the bears are inbreeding as the species fights to survive.

study published on Wednesday found that on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, polar bear populations have seen a 10% loss in their genetic diversity from 1995 to 2016. The primary driver for the decline among the two generations of bears studied in that time is the rapid loss of ice in the Barents Sea, as it causes “detrimental ecological and demographic effects” on animals, the study says.

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