Brain problem: climate warming, can polar bears be transported to Antarctica?

2021-01-05 | Animal Expo Original |

Many people have cited the difference between the Antarctic and the Arctic to prove that polar bears are not suitable for the Antarctic. This logic is not correct. Whether an area is suitable for polar bears to survive depends on whether the area can meet the needs of polar bears.Whether it’s exactly the same as the North Pole.

Polar bear

What do polar bears need?

First of all, the floating ice on the sea. Because the polar bear must hunt seals on the floating ice. Without the floating ice, it cannot catch the seals. Even if it is swimming, it must not swim the seals.

The second is the ice lake. If the sea is completely frozen, the seal will be suffocated. Polar bears like the sea environment of partly iced and partly iced lakes, so that it can "wait for rabbits" on the edge of the iced lakeNow, the seal must be exposed to the surface to breathe, and it must also reproduce on the ice.

Polar bear waiting for the rabbit

Does polar bears need land? The answer is no. Polar bears are indeed not animals swimming in water. It needs a "support surface" for its daily activities, but this support surface is sea ice, not land. Female bears in some areas are pregnantHowever, in some areas, such as the Beaufort Sea area, female polar bears nest on ice floes, which shows that polar bears can completely get rid of land restrictions.

Then the answer comes out. In the sea near Antarctica, there are many ice floes, which can fully meet the basic needs of polar bears, so polar bears can enter the Antarctic.

Polar bear hunting

What is the difference in life in Antarctica?

Although polar bears can survive in the Antarctic, the Antarctic has two distinct characteristics from the Arctic, which will still have a certain impact on the life of the polar bear.

First is the location of the sea and land. The North Pole is the continent surrounding the ocean, and the South Pole is the ocean surrounding the continent. The living environment of the polar bear is sea ice, and its distribution in the North Pole can reach the North Pole. The northernmost record is 88 degrees north latitude; and to the South Pole, It cannot survive in the Antarctic inland in fact, there are no vertebrates in the Antarctic inland, and can only live in the waters around the Antarctic.

However, this has little effect on polar bears. Polar bears are now mainly active near the Arctic Circle in the Arctic. The more they go north, the more scarce they are. Because the high latitude sea areas have low productivity and scarce food, the sea is frozen all year round and the hunting conditions are also poor.

The distribution of polar bears

The second is temperature. The temperature in Antarctica is lower than that of the Arctic, and there is no warm current around Antarctica, which makes it colder near the Antarctica. Therefore, polar bears can live in lower latitudes in Antarctica. Where there is sea ice, there are polar bears.

The lowest latitude for polar bears to live in the Arctic is about 52 degrees north latitude Hudson Bay. When they reach the South Pole, they should be able to live at lower latitudes.

However, a problem with this is that the Arctic waters are surrounded by continents. In summer, polar bears can land on sea ice; while there are no continents around the Antarctic waters only a few small islands.Retreat at high latitudes. This will be an important factor limiting the growth of polar bear populations in Antarctica.

Antarctic Geographical Environment

What is the real problem?

The real problem of polar bears entering Antarctica is not the polar bears themselves, but the destruction of ecological balance.

Marine mammals in the Arctic waters have become accustomed to the existence of polar bears, and their behavior is centered on avoiding predation by polar bears. For example, the staple food of polar bears, ringed seals, will find a hidden production den during production., And when basking on the ice, he will frequently scan around to prevent predators.

Weddell seal, unsuspecting animals on ice

The Weddell seal in Antarctica is the opposite. Its natural enemies are all in the sea. It has become accustomed to life without any natural enemies on the ice surface. It produces without any cover on the ice surface, and it is active on the ice surface.Animals are indifferent, and humans can even walk right beside it. It is conceivable that if polar bears enter the Antarctic, the impact on the unsuspecting Weddell seals will be catastrophic.

The other sufferer is the penguin. Penguins lay their eggs on the shore and have a fixed nesting area, which is in the arms of the polar bear. Historically, the great auk, known as the "Arctic Penguin", has been attacked by polar bears.Especially after the 15th century, when the earth entered a little ice age, polar bears expanded their distribution to the south to include more large sized nests. Although the main cause of the large auk’s extinction was human indiscriminate killing, some experts believe that polar bears are also among them.Played a certain role in fueling the flames.

"Arctic Penguin" Great Auk, can't beat the real penguin, belongs to the same evolution

Some people say that the climate is warming, so polar bears can be transported to the colder Antarctica, which is actually meaningless. For polar bears, the Antarctic is more susceptible to climate warming than the Arctic. In the Arctic, even the sea near the Arctic CircleThe ice has melted, and the bear can still retreat to the north and continue to survive; but in Antarctica, the colder place is the mainland. Once the sea ice near the Antarctic circle has completely melted, the bear will die.

Therefore, although polar bears can survive in the Antarctic, they will destroy the ecological balance, and the long-term continuation of the species is meaningless.

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