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Monday 27 February 2017

International Polar Bear Day

Do you have a polar bear question you’d love to ask a scientist? The International Polar Bear Day (PBI’s) is February 27th! Every year, this global event draws attention to the challenges polar bears face in a warming Arctic—and how we each can help.
Heating and cooling account for roughly half the energy consumption in an average home, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Thermostat Challenge is part of our Save Our Sea Ice (SOS) campaign, a series of celebrations centered around action on climate change. It begins each year on International Polar Bear Day, February 27th, and continues through Polar Bear Week in the fall—although you can take the challenges at any time.
We know we need to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to solve the problem of climate change—a problem that extends beyond polar bears and the Arctic to affect all wildlife and people, too. But how do we achieve that goal? Experts say the surest way is to set a fair price for carbon pollution.
By including the true cost of carbon in the price we pay for fossil fuels, we can speed up the transition to a renewable energy future. Not only will this reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, it will improve human health, reduce pollution, and strengthen the economy at the same time.
Interesting facts about Polar Bear.
Although popular art and children’s books often show polar bears and penguins together, the two live at opposite poles. Polar bears live in the Arctic, a massive frozen sea surrounded by continents. Penguins live in Antarctica, an ice-covered continent surrounded by oceans.
Polar bears live in the circumpolar north in areas where they can hunt their primary prey, ice seals. They are found in Canada (home to roughly 60% of the world’s polar bears), the U.S. (Alaska), Greenland, Russia, and Norway (the Svalbard archipelago).
Two polar bear cubs stay close to mom as they travel across the sea ice.
The polar bear Range States have identified 19 populations of polar bears living in four different sea ice regions across the Arctic.
Ursus maritimus. Sea Bear. Ice Bear. Nanuq. Isbjorn. White bear. Beliy medved. Lord of the Arctic. Old man in the fur cloak. White sea deer. These are just some of the names for polar bears.
Ursus maritimus is the scientific name. It means sea bear. Commander C.J. Phipps, an office in the British navy and author of A Voyage towards the North Pole used it for the first time in 1774.
Later, the scientific name Thalarctos gained acceptance. It is a combination of the Greek thalasso, meaning sea, and arctos, meaning bear of the north.
In 1971, polar bear scientists returned to the bear’s original scientific name, Ursus maritimus.
Left pawed. There is no evidence to support the notion that all great white bears are left-pawed. Scientists observing the animals haven’t noticed a preference. In fact, polar bears seem to use their right and left paws equally.
Hollow hair conducts UV light. A polar bear’s hollow hairs do not conduct ultraviolet light to its black skin. This theory was tested—and disproved—by physicist Daniel Koon.
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