Sunday, February 10, 2008

Should Polar Bears be put on the endangered list?

Several conservation groups have filed a lawsuit to force the listing of the polar bear onto the endangered list.
"This is going to be the mother of all test cases," said Alison Rieser, a lawyer and ocean policy professor at the University of Hawaii.

"The legal question is whether the emissions of a proposed power plant can be tied to the cumulative effect of carbon dioxide, which is adversely affecting sea ice -- critical polar bear habitat."

In September, the U.S. Geological Survey released a set of studies that analyzed existing climate models. They presented increasingly compelling evidence that the top predator at the top of the world is doomed if the polar regions get warmer and sea ice continues to melt as forecast.
Its results suggested that the habitat of two-thirds of the bears would disappear by 2050.

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