Nanuq, a polar bear cub, is pictured with her mother Sessi, in the water at the zoo in Mulhouse, France. Nanuq, a polar bear cub, is pictured with her mother Sessi, in the water at the zoo in Mulhouse, France. Nanuq, a polar bear cub, is pictured with her mother Sessi, in the water at the zoo in Mulhouse, France. (Photo: Sebastien Bozon / AFP/Getty Images)

Why polar bears are getting better workouts

Scientists found that today's polar bears need to work harder to find food.

Global warming might sound like a gloomy topic, but it's not all fire and brimstone (well, maybe a little fire). A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wyoming has found that, thanks to climate change, polar bears are getting more exercise!

Climate change means that the ice caps are melting, and ice is breaking apart. Polar bears normally need this ice to hunt seals. That means the bears have to walk further and further to find food, meaning they're burning more calories and totally getting in shape! And they don't even need expert workout routines.

"This study demonstrates the unparalleled value of long-term uninterrupted data collection," said Merav Ben-David, an Israeli zoology professor at the University of Wyoming who worked on the study.

Plus, the bears need to burn more calories to walk so far, so they need to eat more, so they need to walk more ... etc.

"Increased sea ice drift rates likely exacerbate the physiological stress due to reduced foraging opportunity already experienced by many polar bears in the warming Arctic," explained George Durner, the study's lead author, "adding yet another straw to the camel's back."

So polar bears aren't having the easiest time getting lunch. But they're looking great doing it!

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