Jan 22, 2012

Global Warming Killing Greenland Seals

An increasing number of Greenland seals, which live on the east coast of Canada, die from lack of ice, according to scientists.

The study conducted by researchers at Duke University revealed that the surface ice of the North Atlantic, which normally pair of Greenland seals, has declined by about 6% every 10 years from 1979.

According to scientists, generations of seal pups die from lack of habitat.

For this study, scientists have analyzed the Gulf St. Lawrence (the main area on the east coast of Canada where seals breeding) using satellite images captured during the period 1992 to 2010. They then compared these data with reports indicating the seal mortality. They also compared the rate of failure of these seals with the North Atlantic Oscillation, a phenomenon that controls the intensity and winds blowing from the west and exercising a great influence on the formation of sea ice.

Thus it was concluded that, during a North Atlantic OscilaiĊ£e low and a thin cap of sea ice, the mortality rate of pups increased.

Although Greenland seals have adapted to the early melting of ice, shortening the period of care of offspring in just 12 days, it is unknown whether this species will survive in the absence of sea ice.

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