In the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and in the arctic part of Russia, in 50 years there may not be polar bears and they will remain only in the north of Canada and Greenland, says Dag Vongraven, the head of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) specialist group for polar bears.
"In 50 years, the Arctic Ocean will not freeze in summer. In spring the ice sheet will melt much earlier, and in autumn it will freeze later," Vongraven said in an interview published Friday by the Norwegian Polar Institute.
According to Vongraven, the current situation could result in the extinction of the polar bear population in the Svalbard archipelago. It currently has 300 animals. The scientist called for international cooperation on this issue.
The Norwegian Polar Institute warns of the consequences for polar bears of reduced access to food as a result of a warmer climate, as well as environmental pollution with toxins. Chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are detected in the blood and fat of this species of animals.
According to The Barents Observer on Friday, the polar bear population currently numbers around 26,000 animals, of which they live in the Barents Sea region from 1900-3600. (PAP)