You are here

Polar bears face melting chemical cocktail

Polar bears face melting chemical cocktail 06 Aug 2010 Polar bears, the icon of the Arctic, are under threat from the twin challenges of climate change and chemicals that are not breaking down in the region's cold waters. Research published in the journal Science of The Total Environment shows the retreat of sea-ice in the Arctic could increase the exposure of species such as polar bears to persistent organic pollutants, which include flame-retardants and substances used to harden plastics. Scientists believe the pollutants, locked in the polar ice for decades, could be released into the ocean as the ice melts due to climate change global warming.