Bear metabolism expert John Whiteman rigorously assesses this landmark polar bear study, outlining the novel molecular approach that leads to important insights for polar bear conservation. He explains how polar bear metabolism militates against polar bear survival in the face of climate change. He also cautions that both seasonal and reproductive changes in metabolism remain unknown, but could significantly impact their chances of survival. getAbstract recommends this article for anyone concerned with arctic ecosystems and their broad impact on climate change.
In this summary, you will learn
- How researchers use new biochemical tracing methods to accurately measure the energy demands of both wild and captive polar bears;
- Why polar bears have particularly high energy needs compared to other bears; and
- How climate change impacts polar bear energy balance, tipping the scales toward starvation and extinction.
About the Author
John Whiteman is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico and consultant for the San Diego Zoo Conservation Institute. He uses biochemical tracing methods to study bear metabolism.