Winnipeg zoo focuses research on arctic ice, climate change in Manitoba

A Manitoba polar bear is often the poster child for climate change, dealing with the effects of a changing environment.And with weather predictions showing a grim forecast for the viability of the bears to live in the northern region, researchers are sounding the alarm.Story continues below

“With climate projections, there is a substantial risk of us not having polar bears in Manitoba any more. That’s probably a few decades into the future, but we’re not too late from that tipping point,” Laura Burns, Research and Conservation Specialist with the Assiniboine Park Zoo said.READ MORE: World leaders to talk climate change, regional conflicts at UN General AssemblyThe zoo has a team of researchers focusing on climate change in Manitoba. Burns says one of the areas of focus is on the decreasing amount of time there’s ice on the Hudson Bay.“With climate change we’ve been seeing spring breakup happening earlier and earlier and fall freeze up happening later and later. That means the time there’s no ice in Hudson Bay is happening longer,” she said.“Species that have never been there before are showing up and species that rely on sea ice aren’t faring so well.”WATCH: Meet the newest additions to Winnipeg’s zoo bear community