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The Arctic and Antarctica, while similar habitats in some ways, are home to very different creatures. Both poles host a variety of seal and whale species, but only the Arctic is home to Earth's largest bear, the polar bear.
Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and their tumbly cubs can be found around the Arctic Circle (opens in new tab) in Alaska, Canada, Greenland (part of Denmark), Norway, Russia and, occasionally, Iceland. A polar bear's fur is specially suited for temperatures that can dip below minus 22 degrees (opens in new tab) Fahrenheit (minus 30 degrees Celsius). They live on ice for most of their lives, feeding on fat-rich seals that keep them energized for long periods between meals.
"Bears are largely a Northern Hemisphere phenomenon," said Andrew Derocher, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta in Canada who has studied polar bears for nearly 40 years. Aside from the Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) of South America, bears appear only in the Northern Hemisphere. There's no specific reason for this, just that some species evolve in some places and some don't. "Biogeography is full of oddities," Derocher said. "Some species made it to new places and some didn't."
For polar bears specifically, there was never a time in their evolutionary history when the North and South poles were connected by ice (or land, for that matter). People say polar bears are the "biggest terrestrial carnivore in the world, and yet they're not a terrestrial species at all," Derocher told Live Science. The big, white bears live on sea ice for almost their entire lives, only occasionally coming ashore to breed.
Polar bears are, evolutionarily, a relatively young species. They evolved from a common ancestor of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) sometime between 5 million and 500,000 years ago, Derocher said. But even 5 million years ago, the continents were in similar positions to where they are today, so polar bears never got the opportunity to travel from pole to pole. The closest landmass to Antarctica is the southern tip of South America, which includes Chile and Argentina. To get to Antarctica, polar bears would have to cross the treacherous Drake Passage. The area is also known for powerful storms and rough seas (opens in new tab) as cold water from the south runs into warm water from the north.
JoAnna Wendel is a freelance science writer living in Portland, Oregon. She mainly covers Earth and planetary science but also loves the ocean, invertebrates, lichen and moss. JoAnna's work has appeared in Eos, Smithsonian Magazine, Knowable Magazine, Popular Science and more. JoAnna is also a science cartoonist and has published comics with Gizmodo, NASA, Science News for Students and more. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in general sciences because she couldn't decide on her favorite area of science. In her spare time, JoAnna likes to hike, read, paint, do crossword puzzles and hang out with her cat, Pancake."}; var triggerHydrate = function() window.sliceComponents.authorBio.hydrate(data, componentContainer); var triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate = function() var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = ' -8-2/authorBio.js'; script.async = true; script.id = 'vanilla-slice-authorBio-component-script'; script.onload = () => window.sliceComponents.authorBio = authorBio; triggerHydrate(); ; document.head.append(script); if (window.lazyObserveElement) window.lazyObserveElement(componentContainer, triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate); else triggerHydrate(); } }).catch(err => console.log('Hydration Script has failed for authorBio Slice', err)); }).catch(err => console.log('Externals script failed to load', err));JoAnna WendelSocial Links NavigationLive Science ContributorJoAnna Wendel is a freelance science writer living in Portland, Oregon. She mainly covers Earth and planetary science but also loves the ocean, invertebrates, lichen and moss. JoAnna's work has appeared in Eos, Smithsonian Magazine, Knowable Magazine, Popular Science and more. JoAnna is also a science cartoonist and has published comics with Gizmodo, NASA, Science News for Students and more. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in general sciences because she couldn't decide on her favorite area of science. In her spare time, JoAnna likes to hike, read, paint, do crossword puzzles and hang out with her cat, Pancake.
We have partnered with experts in design and manufacturing to create a collection of high-quality, stylish outerwear from sustainable raw and recycled materials. The Recycled Planet Company believes in saving the planet, one coat at a time.
A space suit, of course, can offer protection and artificial environments may be able provide a place from which Mars colonists can escape all the perils of their new home. And Musk is right that, however harrowing life on other planets may be, humans need to become a multi-planet species if we want to avoid eventual extinction.
Besides, why be in a rush to take leave of a planet with trees and birds and mammals and amphibians and fish and streams and lakes and seas and rain and snow and bright sunny days and food grown from the ground and air that we can actually breathe This place has been good to us. We need to do a much better job of keeping it habitable while we still have the chance.
A few sustainable design features in these gloves and mittens include certifications from the Fair Wear Foundation, a nonprofit based in the Netherlands with a mission to improve the working conditions in the clothing industry, and Climate Neutral Certified, when a company measures and offsets their entire annual footprint in order to reduce emissions and decarbonize the planet. Another certification is Responsible Down Standard (RDS), which ensures that the down and feathers are sourced from ducks and geese that have not been subjected to harm including live-plucking or force-feeding.
Firstly, and most importantly, is to find a shoe that fits. It seems obvious, but bear with us. A shoe that hurts your feet at room temperature is going to be exponentially worse in the cold, so it's absolutely essential to find a pair that fits comfortably.
The best winter cycling shoes can often help keep your feet nice and warm. After a while on long winter rides, the cold can often set in and your extremities are the first to bear the brunt. If your toes get cold and go numb, it can often prevent you from enjoying your ride and means either suffering for hours needlessly, potentially damaging your feet, or cutting your ride short to go home and warm up. Good overshoes will certainly help, but the winter-specific cycling shoes on the market are designed specifically to protect your feet from the worst of the elements.
All gear (outside Sierra)*: 9.72 lbs / 4.409 kgAll gear^: 12.78 lbs / 5.866 kg*This does not include ice axe, traction, bear canister, poles, shoes, or socks^This does not include poles, shoes, or socks
Now, a detailed look at the highest-rated gear in each of the following categories: backpacks, shelters, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, insulated jackets, shells, stoves, water treatments, fleeces, shoes, socks, bear canisters, trekking poles, PLBs, ice axes, and traction systems.
All gear (outside Sierra)*: 7.8 lbs / 3.537 kgAll gear^: 11.56 lbs / 5.244 kg*This does not include ice axe, traction, bear canister, poles, shoes, or socks^This does not include poles, shoes, or socks
Now, a detailed look at the most common pieces of gear in each of the following categories: backpacks, shelters, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, insulated jackets, shells, fleeces, shoes, socks, stoves, water treatments, bear canisters, trekking poles, PLBs, ice axes, and traction systems.
The BearVault BV500 was the most common bear canister on the Pacific Crest Trail this year (for the fifth year in a row). It has an 11.5 L capacity and is made from polycarbonate (transparent blue plastic). The lid can be removed without any tools (or coins) and measures 12.7 x 8.7 in / 32 x 22 cm.
Calling itself the BIG little water park, Carousel Water and Fun Park has everything you need minus the large crowds, making it ideal for young ones 8 and under. A Kiddie-kart track, wading pool, water slides, bumper boats, mini-golf, and go-karts provide more than enough fun to stay from opening 'til closing.
When you bear in mind that you are wearing this gear to enable you to live, move and function in a pretty harsh environment then they have got to live up to the highest standards. Yes you want to be warm, but your gear has to be functional and usable whilst in windy, frozen, icy conditions and you need to be able to operate toggles and zippers and access pockets without having to remove your gloves or mitts. 153554b96e