Polar bears are strong swimmers, but swimming long distances in open water is draining and can be fatal. In 2008 a radio-collared bear with a yearling cub swam an astounding 427 miles to reach the ice off the northern Alaska coast. The cub didn’t make it.
A grim future for polar bears is one of the most tangible and poignant outcomes of global warming. In 2006, federal researchers reported that two-thirds of the world’s polar bear habitat could vanish by mid-century. Saving the Polar Bears all hinges on reducing greenhouse gas emissions – carbon dioxide and other pollution from the burning of fossil fuels. Time is running out.