Climate change ‘forcing polar bears to become cannibals’

A male polar bear dragged the grisly remains of a cub that it caught and killed in the Hudson Bay area, Canada, after separating it from its mother — one of a growing number of instances of cannibalism on record, according to climate change campaigners.

The bears may be forced into eating their own kind when the slower formation of Arctic ice leaves them with a shrinking platform from which to hunt seals, according to a study by American and Canadian scientists in 2006. The World Meteorological Association reported yesterday at the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen that this decade is on track to become the warmest since records began in 1850, and 2009 could rank among the top five warmest years.

However, a local Inuit leader dismissed the idea of any link between cannibalism and climate change.

Jose Kusugak, the president of the Kivalliq Inuit Association, told reporters: “A male polar bear eating a cub becomes a big story and they try to marry it with climate change and so on. It becomes absurd — when it’s a normal, normal occurrence.”

Comment – December 9, 2009

To put things in perspective: the reference to this decade being on track to becoming “the warmest since records began” fails to mention that it will be so by less than one degree Celsius. Not exactly a dramatic rise in temperature. Ed.