Polar Bears Are Being Forced Into Cannibalism Due to Climate Change, Scientist Says | 22 Words

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll probably know that our planet isn't exactly in good shape. In fact, experts have said that global warming is now happening at an "unprecedented" scale, with many claiming that human civilization may come to a screeching halt within just 3 decades. Not to mention the detrimental effect on wildlife.

But there's one species that is undoubtedly feeling the effects of global warming more than most  - polar bears. Although now, things appear to have reached new, devastating heights...

Keep scrolling for the full story.

We are in the midst of a climate change crisis.

The devastating impacts of global warming and our consistent inability to do anything about it is sending our planet down a very bleak path.

From soaring temperatures to rising sea levels, global warming seems to be hitting the headlines more than ever.

In the wake of extreme weather conditions and natural disasters last year, The UN warned that we have just twelve years to limit climate change and prevent global warming from exceeding the maximum of 1.5C.

Despite stark warnings, many people seem to bury their heads in the sand on the issue.

Worryingly, our very own president, Donald Trump, is one of those people, who continually deny that global warming is even a thing in the first place. And, if this is what our political leaders believe, then what chance do we have?

He's not the only one who denies its existence.

Several "climate deniers" believe that the rapid rising temperatures is simply a result of the earth's "natural cycle," just like the ice age. Although this has since been proven wrong after experts established that the climate change that we are experiencing is on a scale that far exceeds temperature fluctuations during the last 2 millennia.

The issue only seems to be escalating.

If the future of our planet wasn't looking bleak enough, experts have now shattered the "we've got twelve years left" to act theory, claiming that political steps to enable the cuts in carbon need to take place before the end of this year, otherwise we will be in a very dire situation.

There is some hope, though...

Just because many of the world's political leaders are failing to recognize the significance of the climate change crisis, it doesn't mean that other people aren't. In fact, there's a huge number of climate change activists who have been taking the world by storm, aiming to widen the conversation surrounding global warming and offer ways in which we can make a difference for the sake of our planet.

One of those people is seventeen-year-old Greta Thunberg, a pioneering climate change activist.

The teen has drawn in praise from many for raising awareness over the risks posed by climate change while holding politicians to account. Known for her matter-of-fact manner of weighing into the issue, Thunberg has somewhat become the face of the modern climate change movement.

More people may be listening, but things still need to change.

July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded by humans in history across Europe, highlighting the urgency to act.

While much of the fate of the planet lies in the hands of politics, many climate change activists believe that, as individuals, we can still make a change.

There are many reasons attributing to climate change, with fast-fashion and agriculture being the main 2 culprits that are having the biggest effect on the planet.

But there are ways in which we can make small changes.

For example, since the increased media coverage on the issue of the fast-fashion industry, and the detrimental contribution it has to climate change, it seems logical to be selective about where and how often we buy clothes. Aka buying second hand, from sustainable brands, or just not as often.

Reducing meat consumption is also a big one...

When Cowspiracy aired on Netflix in 2015, it was the first time the world was introduced to the idea that the meat and dairy industries were really bad for the environment. So, naturally, in the wake of the so-called climate crisis, people are being urged to go vegan. Or if that's too much, going vegetarian, or simply just reducing meat consumption - in particular, red meat.

Although it's safe to say that things aren't exactly looking up.

And that couldn't be more the case for polar bears.

Polar bears are feeling the effects of climate change more than most.

As the temperature in the Arctic increases, the ice that polar bears depend on is melting on a mass scale.

It's simply disappearing...

Climate change is really making life tough for them, especially considering the fact that their main prey - seals - are also at risk. There have been so many heartbreaking sights - from starving polar bears to those clinging on to the last bit of ice they have.

WWF has declared the species as "vulnerable."

With around 22,000 now remaining, at the time of writing. It's truly baffling to imagine the biggest land-based carnivores on the planet being so at risk in this way.

But things now seem to have reached new, devastating heights.

Many polar bears are now being forced into cannibalism.

According to a Russian expert, cases of polar bears killing and eating each other are on the rise in the Arctic.

It is believed this is mainly due to human disturbance and depletion in their habitat.

Cannibalism among polar bears has always occurred...

“Cases of cannibalism among polar bears are a long-established fact, but we’re worried that such cases used to be found rarely while now they are recorded quite often," said Ilya Mordvintsev, a polar bear expert, to the Interfax news agency.

But it's a harsh fact that this behavior is increasing.

“We state that cannibalism in polar bears is increasing," Mordvintsev added.

It has also been suggested that the cannibalism could be due to a shortage of food.

"In some seasons there is not enough food and large males attack females with cubs." Interested in more news relating to climate change? Keep scrolling to learn about fifty small ways you can help the planet.