Friday, 23 December 2011

Freezing temperatures are not the only things I will have to "bear"

I have just watched a programme on Grizzly and Polar Bears, in preparation for my scholarship to Alaska next year. Although many of the scenes are crafted to portray the bears as cute- you know, those clips that make you want to go "awww" - unfortunately, it hasn't made me any more comfortable about the whole situation!
Global Warming is certainly affecting the bear's hunting routines and for many families, their habitat itself. The programme referred to 'permafrost' only once but it was clear that the issue I want to study (the ablation of permafrost) is critical to the survival, possibly in a positive way. Furthermore, if more of the frozen ground melts, the more area there is for a variety of new habitats to be set up. Grizzily Bears eat almost anything (not a particularly pleasant thought) but if a richer variety of plants start to colonise the cryotic soil, then it could help to save the bears from starvation.

With the best nose in the world and one of the "biggest predators since the dinousaurs", the programme describes the bears in a way that does nothing to soothe the uneasy traveller, but at least it highlights the fact that just like the permafrost, the future of the bears is unstable aswell.

Watch the programme here

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