Tag Archives: pollution

‘(NEAR) RECORD NUMBER OF ANIMALS AND TWO CRUEL DEATHS’: Annual Svalbard reindeer count shows Mother Nature was kind, but humans discarding steel wires were a fatal snag

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Photo by Trine Lise Sviggum Helgerud / Norwegian Polar Institute

It was a highly favorable winter for nearly 1,700 Svalbard reindeer, the second-highest count ever in an annual census, but for researchers conducting the count it’s two reindeer who didn’t survive who are much in mind as they were fatally snagged in wires discarded by humans.

ALL-CONSUMING TERROR: Could massive polar bear “invasion” of town on neighboring Russian island happen in Svalbard? Probably not unless we get wasted, expert says

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Those dozens of polar bears invading and terrorizing a small Russian island town to the east with some remarkably similar qualities to Longyearbyen are going to have plenty of energy to swim here if so inclined when they finish their feast. But while photos of the bears are making for lively local social media fodder, don’t expect them to make the long swim here – or, more importantly, those already in the area – to stage a similar occupation.

Access of evil: Polar bears in eastern Barents Sea have highest toxin levels on Earth; Russia, China, climate change blamed

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Polar bears who spend most of their time on the sea ice east of Svalbard have one-third more toxic pollutants in their blood than bears elsewhere in the Arctic, according to a 15-year study.

Among the primary reasons are high levels of industrial pollution from China and Russia, plus the fact polar bears in the east Barents Sea are being forced to exert more energy hunting and swimming – and therefore eat more – due to the rapid loss of Arctic ice caused by climate change.