Polar Bears "Not Out of The Woods" - Official - And If They Come Out Shoot Them
BBC News - Polar bears can be saved by emissions cuts, study says
Cutting global greenhouse emissions might yet save the polar bear and its Arctic habitat, according to scientists in the US.
It has been suggested that emissions of greenhouse gases have already put the Arctic ice cap and the polar bear on an irreversible path towards extinction.
But a new study suggests rapid emission cuts could help preserve ice cover to save the iconic bear.
Details are published in the academic journal Nature.
Dr Ted Maksym, of the British Antarctic Survey (Bas), said he agreed there was little evidence of "tipping points" in the Arctic.
"All the literature that has looked for a tipping point for sea ice has essentially found none. This has been drowned out a bit by the noise surrounding the 2007 minimum [for summer ice loss] and a possible 'death spiral' for Arctic sea ice."
"The suggestion that if global temperature rise is kept below 1.25 degrees that polar bears will survive is encouraging; but given current trends this is not likely to be achieved. So we are by no means out of the woods."
Dr Brendan Kelly of the US National Marine Mammal Laboratory, and colleagues, write in a separate comment piece about the possibility of increased cross-breeding between the polar and grizzly bears.
Dr Kelly suggests that as the ice cap melts and polar bears go ashore, the natural barrier between the bear populations will fall, and such hybrids, dubbed "pizzly bears" by some, might become more commonplace.
He and his team have found 34 possible examples of such hybridisation among sea mammals in the region. Cross-breeding between the bowhead whale and the endangered North Pacific right whale could quickly push the latter towards extinction, he warns.
"Plans must be developed immediately to monitor the genetics of Arctic animals and to deal with hybrids before current discrete populations merge and at-risk species are bred out of existence," the team write in Nature...
"deal with hybrids"? I presume that means shooting them to preserve their genetic purity. I wish I could remember what political movement that should remind me of....