The Wall Street Journal reports, "Scientists for the first time have documented multiple deaths of polar bears off Alaska, where they likely drowned after swimming long distances in the ocean amid the melting of the Arctic ice shelf," (Reprinted in the Daily News as "Is global warming killing the polar bears?" Dec. 14).
Says Richard Steiner, a marine-biology professor at the University of Alaska: "For anyone who has wondered how global warming and reduced sea ice will affect polar bears, the answer is simple -- they die," ("Receding ice pushes polar bears into sea," Dec. 15).
This is the latest in a series of drastic environmental shifts in the Arctic taking place in tandem with human-induced climate destabilization. Unfortunately, the Bush administration doesn't seem particularly concerned. The Journal notes, "government researchers won't speculate on why a climate change is taking place in the Arctic," though environmentalists "say U.S. policies emphasizing oil and gas development are exacerbating global warming, which is accelerating the melting of the ice."
Eric Salsburg / Philadelphia