This is a highly complex subject and on this page we will briefly examine how climate change is affecting bears and how it may affect them in the future. Ultimately we will then enlarge upon this introduction in a downloadable pdf document.
Almost all climate scientists (97%) agree that man-made climate change is a reality and that it is happening now. The cause is also known; carbon pollution is warming the Earth and causing extremes of climate, such as extreme droughts, flooding, wildfires, and super storms and hurricanes. Whilst the polar bear has become the poster child of climate change, all species of bear are affected.
Probably the greatest concern is how the changes in weather will affect the habitats in which bears live together with the plants, seeds, roots, animals and insects that form their diets. Species have, of course, adapted to changes to their climates before (such as during the Ice Age), but it is believed they need a longer period of time to adapt to change than the present accelerated rate of change will provide.
Bears are intelligent and adaptable creatures. However, there is already evidence that their adaptations to changes in habitat are bringing some bears into conflict with humans, with often fatal consequences.
We share our world with bears, and human fueled (literally) climate change is destroying our shared home. Our house is on fire and the most urgent task we face is putting out that fire; reversing climate change.
Voiced by Naomie Harris and scored by Brian Eno, the animated video below summarises the planet’s biodiversity loss, runaway consumerism and the ecological crisis we face, and how the consequences will affect millions of lives around the world.
We are currently researching articles and papers on climate change and how it is already affecting and how it is likely to affect bears and the places where they live in the future. We will add links to this growing library of information here over the coming weeks and months.
There are a number of simple steps which individuals can take to help reduce the future effects of climate change and we will include these in our “Action” section. Once this work is completed we’ll link to it from this page.
News Release: Polar Bears and the Climate-Change Denial Machine (29 November 2017) (Opens in new window)
Page updated 14 August 2020