Climate Indicators

Polar bears and climate change: What does the science say?

Climate change makes it harder for polar bears to hunt, mate and breed. Image: Unsplash/noaa

Ayesha Tandon
Science Journalist, Carbon Brief
Share:
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Climate Indicators is affecting economies, industries and global issues
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Climate Indicators

Polar bears depend on sea ice for most important aspects of their lives – including hunting, mating and resting.
Polar bears depend on sea ice for most important aspects of their lives – including hunting, mating and resting. Image: NSIDC
All 19 subpopulations of polar bears have experienced some degree of ice loss.
All 19 subpopulations of polar bears have experienced some degree of ice loss. Image: IUCN
A review published in 2016 finds that “loss of Arctic sea ice owing to climate change is the primary threat to polar bears throughout their range”.
A review published in 2016 finds that “loss of Arctic sea ice owing to climate change is the primary threat to polar bears throughout their range”. Image: Regehr et al 2016

Polar bear diets includes bearded seals, harp seals and walruses.
Polar bear diets includes bearded seals, harp seals and walruses. Image: Unsplash/jeremypstewardson
Chart showing expected survival rate for polar bears
Polar bears living on seasonal ice will see the greatest threat from warming in the coming decades. Image: Carbon Brief

Polar bears have shown some ability to adapt to changes in their surroundings.
Polar bears have shown some ability to adapt to changes in their surroundings. Image: Unsplash/hansjurgen007

Discover

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

Have you read?
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Climate IndicatorsArctic
Share:
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Climate crisis raised the risk of 2021 weather extremes, annual report finds

Olivia Rosane

January 26, 2023

1:40

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2023 World Economic Forum