A new report on the fate of polar bears in a world of climate change predicts disaster for one of the world's most charismatic species, the global conservation organization WWF said today.

"We now have official confirmation that the largest living land predator is going to go extinct in our lifetime,” said Dr Neil Hamilton, Director of the WWF Arctic Programme.

The report by the US Geological Survey predicts that changes in sea ice will result in the loss of about two-thirds of the world's polar bear population by 2050. This is almost certainly an underestimate of the predicted impact because of the consistent underestimates in sea-ice loss (currently about 25 per cent ) of current models.

"The world is still discussing whether or not to take rapid action against climate change," said Dr Hamilton. "Politicians are fiddling at the edges while the Arctic wilderness succumbs to global warming; but in the meantime, they are sending one of the world’s greatest species on its way to extinction."


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