Polar Bears & the Arctic

A polar bear spends months wandering across the frozen surface of the Arctic seas, looking for food. Often it catches a ride on an ice floe and snatches seals when they pop out of the water. Polar bears eat walruses, small mammals, birds, and fish, too. But their favorite food is seals because of their rich blubber. Polar bears will actually wait for hours by a seal’s breathing hole to catch one.

A polar bear also spends lots of time in the water, searching for food there or swimming from place to place to find something to eat. A polar bear can swim for hours at a time. It uses its big front paws to paddle through the water and its back feet to steer.

These days, polar bears face a problem global warming. Global warming is something that is happening to the climate of the Earth. It’s causing the average temperature to rise around the world. Rising temperatures are causing Arctic ice to melt earlier in the spring and to form later in the fall. Because polar bears depend on ice to find seals and other food, less ice time means they may not get enough to eat. Many scientists are working hard to learn all they can about global warming. They hope to use what they learn to help the bears.