Pictures of cuddly polar bears didn’t work, so now the alarmists have turned to grizzly ones.
The BBC reports,
It is an image that is sure to shock many people.
An adult polar bear is seen dragging the body of a cub that it has just killed across the Arctic sea ice.
Polar bears normally hunt seals but if these are not available, the big predators will seek out other sources of food – even their own kind.
The picture was taken by environmental photojournalist Jenny Ross in Olgastretet, a stretch of water in the Svalbard archipelago.
“This type of intraspecific predation has always occurred to some extent,” she told BBC News.
“However, there are increasing numbers of observations of it occurring, particularly on land where polar bears are trapped ashore, completely food-deprived for extended periods of time due to the loss of sea ice as a result of climate change.”
The journalist was relating the story behind her pictures here at the 2011 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, the largest annual gathering of Earth scientists…
Here’s the study abstract:
Observations of cannibalism by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) on summer and autumn sea ice at Svalbard, Norway / Stirling, I. Ross, J.E.
Arctic, v. 64, no. 4, Dec. 2011, p. 478-482, ill.
ASTIS record 75088
We report three instances of intraspecific killing and cannibalism of young polar bears by adult males on the sea ice in Svalbard in summer and autumn. During breakup and melting in summer, the area of sea ice around the Svalbard Archipelago declines to a fraction of the winter total, and in many areas it disappears completely. As the area of sea ice that polar bears can use for hunting declines, progressively fewer seals are accessible to the bears, and therefore the bears’ hunting success likely declines as well. Thus, at this time of year, young polar bears may represent a possible food source for adult males. As the climate continues to warm in the Arctic and the sea ice melts earlier in the summer, the frequency of such intraspecific predation may increase.