Seals and Their Race against Climate Change

The Extinction Chronicles

http://climate.org/archive/topics/ecosystems/seals-battle-climatechange.html

With the rapid ice loss in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, many subspecies of seals are currently racing against the ticking clock of climate change. The worldwide status of seal population is alarming. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “almost no seal pups, dependent on sea ice, survived in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence during the ice-free years of 1967, 1981, 2000, 2001, and 2002.” The southern hemisphere seal population has been likewise affected by ice loss. Environmental scientists, Dr. Clive McMahon and Dr. Harry Burton of the Australian Antarctic Division, have concluded that warming climate is changing the ocean’s ecology to such a degree that the survival of seals and their young has increasingly become a concern for marine biologists.

Scientists have continued to monitor the decline in seal numbers considering also what is known about climate in the Southern Ocean and conclude that the…

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