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Polar bear
The Telegraph, December 9, 2010

Cancun climate change summit: climate change killing polar bears

Polar bear cubs are starving as a result of climate change, according to experts, because global warming is causing the sea ice to melt.

New video footage shows a mother bear and two cubs in Hudson Bay, Canada, desperately searching for food.

One of the cubs experiences seizures in the video, and both cubs died within two days of the filming.

Kassie Siegel, director of US research group Center for Biological Diversity, said the bears are dying as a result of climate change.

“Although it’s difficult to watch, this video is an important document of the terrible cost of climate change denial and inaction,” she said. “Global warming isn’t a crisis that’s decades away. It’s here now. The sad truth is that polar bears are already starving as global warming melts the Arctic.”

The melting of the sea ice in western Hudson Bay is now about three weeks earlier than it was 30 years ago, according to CBD, while freeze-up comes several weeks later. This means the bears have less time for hunting seals and other prey.

The western Hudson Bay polar bear population declined 22 percent between 1987 and 2004.

The footage was released to coincide with key climate change talks in Cancun, Mexcio.

More than 190 countries are gathered in the luxury resort to try and reach a global deal to keep temperature rise below 2C.

Ms Siegel said more polar bears will suffer unless a deal is reached.

“In November I was in the area where this video was shot, and it was clear polar bears were having a very hard time,” she said. “The loss of sea ice has tragic consequences for them. It’s going to get far worse if world leaders don’t address this unprecedented global crisis effectively, making deep cuts in greenhouse pollution.”

© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2010

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton