Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Polar Bears on Thin Ice, Arctic Expedition Finds

By Tanya Lewis, Staff Writer | April 22, 2014 10:07am ET

An expedition to the islands of Svalbard, Norway, to study how rising temperatures and melting sea ice are affecting polar bears concluded Monday (April 21).

Over the 10-day trek, researchers outfitted female bears with satellite tracking collars that will send back data, giving researchers a picture of how shrinking sea ice may be affecting the polar bears' movements and denning patterns.

"The bear denning habitats appear to be shifting further north," Geoff York, one of the expedition leaders, told Live Science via satellite phone from the team's ship in Svalbard Thursday (April 17). The team had so far deployed 11 of their 20 collars, York said.

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