Scientists thought hungry polar bears went into 'walking hibernation' if they couldn't find food — but new research says that's not the case.
Two new US government reports paint a very bad picture for polar bears, which are under threat due to diminished sea ice extent in the Arctic, a region that is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the world.
Temperatures for the month were over seven degrees warmer than the 20th-century average — the latest in a two-year streak of broken temperature and precipitation records.
Rates of sea ice melt are higher than previously seen and could bring about dangerous levels of sea-level rise.
Less Arctic ice means more dark, open-ocean water that absorbs additional heat, melting yet more ice, and so on in what is a quintessential climate change feedback loop.
The amount of sea ice in the Arctic that is more than a year old has been decreasing since the mid-1980s, meaning the ice pack is becoming more vulnerable to warming ocean temperatures.
Maps from a new atlas are the 'most thorough audit of marine life in the Southern Ocean.'