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Climate change diet: Arctic sea ice thins, so do polar bears

February 1, 2018

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A new study shows some polar bears in the Arctic are shedding pounds during the time they should be beefing up.

Scientists blame climate change for shrinking the ice cover on the Arctic Ocean that the polar bears need for hunting.

Each spring, polar bears go out on the sea ice that grows in the winter to hunt for seals. Government biologist Anthony Pagano says the bears are having a harder time catching seals because the ice is melting and thinning more and earlier.

For the research published Thursday, nine females were equipped with tracking collars with video cameras and the bear equivalent of a Fitbit. Their blood was monitored and they were weighed. Five of the bears lost weight. Four lost 3 to 5 pounds per day.

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