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  Polar bears could be wiped out in 100 years
Updated 10 January 2003, 07.46
Global warming could kill off polar bears (picture: Andrew Derocher)
Polar bears may only be around for another 100 years because global warming is wrecking where they live.

As the Earth gets hotter sea ice melts, and this sea ice is a huge part of the polar bears' lives.

Fact File
Polar bear facts
They are the world's largest land predator, feeding mainly on seals
They live in Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland and Norway
Scientists reckon they evolved about 200,000 years ago from brown bears

They use it as a floating platform to stand on when they catch seals to eat, and also walk on sea ice to get to their dens.

Already some polar bears, in places like Hudson Bay in Canada, are beginning to struggle because of the effects of global warming.

May have to find new things to eat

The sea ice is melting at a speed of 9% a year, and when it's all gone the polar bears will have to find new ways of living before they become extinct.

Other bears have learnt to change their habits, but polar bears need the fat from seals to get through the winter.

Photos courtesy of Andrew Derocher.

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Find OutGuide to global warming
Find OutEndangered animals guide
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QuizAnimals in danger quiz

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
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Polar bear tricked into adopting cub
Human-made poisons are killing polar bears

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