Although a debate around the legitimacy of climate change may persist among some, evidence that global temperature change is permanently affecting life on Earth is becoming increasingly unavoidable.
2016 was the hottest recorded year since 1880, breaking the high-temperature record for the third year in a row. Two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has suffered coral bleaching due to increased water temperature. The ocean is at its most acidic, our atmosphere is filled with more greenhouse gases than ever before, and Arctic glaciers are melting substantially every year. Many scientists agree (about 97% of them) that global warming is really happening, and that it’s probably our fault.
But while most humans have the luxury of temperature controlled homes and easy access to sustenance even when temperatures border on the unlivable, wild animals losing their homes to the ramifications of climate change have to take survival where they can get it. The most recent effect of our planet’s troubling climate shift is the arrival of agitated polar bears in a Russian town not far from their melted ice cap habitat.
Polar bears have invaded a remote Russian town.
via: ShutterstockOver the last few months, over 50 of the wild animals have descended upon Belushya Guba.
Belushya Guba is on an island in the Arctic Ocean.
via: ShutterstockThe affected region is a settlement with a population of roughly 3,000 on the archipelago Novaya Zemlya.
The invasion is unprecedented.
An aurora of polar bears descend upon Russia’s remote Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya https://t.co/TUZZhTEFrZ https://t.co/GpPgose7KO— The Moscow Times (@The Moscow Times)1549875994.0
The bears are behaving aggressively.
'The people are scared': Polar bears move in on settlements in Russia's Arctic territory. https://t.co/GctAks22di— SBS News (@SBS News)1549838812.0
People are afraid to leave their homes.
The polar bears have attacked people and entered buildings... and parents are afraid to send their children to scho… https://t.co/LNqzwtZWRj— Action News on 6abc (@Action News on 6abc)1549926001.0
The polar bear attacks are unpredictable.
Belushya Guba resident: "When the polar night started, the polar bears started to blend in with the snow & scare yo… https://t.co/zfNqQeVhUa— Alec Luhn (@Alec Luhn)1549919274.0
A significant number of bears remain in the city.Authorities say between six and ten bears are still in the settlement of Belushya Guba, and more could arrive.
They’re just coming right on inside.
Russia's Novaya Zemlya is considering a cull to repel a "mass invasion" of polar bears, like this 1 in a young fami… https://t.co/j7ytAKMW5q— Alec Luhn (@Alec Luhn)1549796659.0
Nothing fazes them.
Polar bear invasion life hack from Belushya Guba, Russia: When kids are outside, station a car nearby "so that if a… https://t.co/yYeFwNLpEC— Alec Luhn (@Alec Luhn)1549895795.0
It’s a lot more dangerous than this guy makes it look.
This morning I spoke with local resident Sergey Kudinov about the "invasion" of polar bears on the remote Russian a… https://t.co/m0LMiT5WSs— Freya Cole (@Freya Cole)1549866969.0
It’s dangerous for the polar bears, too.The bears are instead stuck rummaging through garbage, searching for food and safety while they starve.
It’s a difficult situation for everyone involved.People and bears just shouldn’t have to be this close to each other.
Local officials have declared a state of emergency.
Massive POLAR BEAR INVASION prompts STATE OF EMERGENCY in Novaya Zemlya, Russia #PolarBears #Emergency #Russia… https://t.co/SKed6qE9Gk— Strange Sounds (@Strange Sounds)1549827271.0
They've tried to remove the polar bears safely.
Hungry polar bear searching for food wanders into apartment building in #Russia https://t.co/J2FLIcfzCL— Ruptly (@Ruptly)1549921968.0
But they’re running out of options.
"Aggressive" polar bears stage "mass invasion" of town https://t.co/xWV7tB9uaH https://t.co/5cc621o8Hj— Newsweek (@Newsweek)1549894433.0
Local conservationists are pushing for a humane approach.
via: ShutterstockThe Federal Service for Supervision of Nature Management has denied the town a license that would allow removal by extermination.
A specialist group has been assigned to resolve the issue.
via: ShutterstockA team of experts have been deployed to find a solution in Belushya Guba. The team is reportedly still considering a cull, or selective slaughter, as a last resort to restoring safety in the town.
It’s a heartbreaking predicament for the town.
via: ShutterstockAnd for the rest of the world, as the cause behind the polar bear invasion is the global climate change destroying their arctic home.
As rising temperatures threaten sea ice, polar food sources disappear.
Yes. It is getting worse. Climate change. Polar bears are getting desperate in Northern Russia. https://t.co/xJRVii5pIT— Pam. just sayin' (@Pam. just sayin')1549922931.0
Polar bears need over 12,000 calories per day.
via: ShutterstockThe carnivorous creatures were recently found to have an appetite far larger than expected, which puts them at a high risk of starvation.
This drives the bears inland.
Before the N Zemlya "invasion," people were facing down polar bears in Dikson & besieged by them at a Kara Sea weat… https://t.co/ojMItaLEEj— Alec Luhn (@Alec Luhn)1549802788.0
Polar bears aren’t the only animal on the move.
via: ShutterstockThe effects of shrinking ice cap habitats are also being felt within the tiger and reindeer populations in Siberia.
The West Greenland caribou mortality rate is rising.
via: ShutterstockDwindling plant life means less food for the herbivorous mothers in calving season when they need sustenance to deliver healthy offspring.
Climate change is causing the spread of malaria.
via: ShutterstockAs rising temperatures shift mosquito migration patterns, the insects carry the deadly disease to new locales, populated with susceptible humans.
Roughly half of the planet’s species are being driven from their homes.
via: ShutterstockLand animals are averaging a migration speed of over 10 miles per decade. Marine life is migrating four times that fast.
It’s the largest global movement in 25,000 years.
via: ShutterstockThe most recent mass migration this large was the last ice age, which redistributed and eradicated a variety of populations around the world.
Today, 16,000 species face extinction.The polar bear population currently sits at 26,000, and the direction of climate change patterns is troubling for them as well as the planet at large.
As Earth’s habitable locations shrink and cause migration, humans, and animals will be sharing space more often.
via: ShutterstockIn an effort to alleviate the challenges of human and wild animal interaction, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has established protective measures like patrols and tools to deter animals from entering properties.
Some are calling for Russia to create a specialized space for the bears.
@MoscowTimes They must be starving to be in such a large group. This is so sad. Wildlife sanctuaries need to be cre… https://t.co/HZ7TNxmpkk— Emma Andrews 🇪🇺🇬🇧 48% #RejoinEU 🕊🌍🌳🕷🐘🐮🦊 (@Emma Andrews 🇪🇺🇬🇧 48% #RejoinEU 🕊🌍🌳🕷🐘🐮🦊)1549924836.0