Public Relations

Polar Bears International

Project thermo-STAT Focuses on Impact of Rising Temperatures on Polar Bears, Sea Ice, and Arctic Habitat

The world’s foremost polar bear researchers, photographers, filmmakers, and zoological institutions relate climate change findings and opinions about the future of the threatened polar bears.

Sebastopol, CA (October 21, 2008) – In an effort to alert the world that higher temperatures are having an immediate and negative impact on polar bear conservation due to global warming, Polar Bears International will launch project thermo-STAT.™ The initiative comprises programs that involve a wide range of participants worldwide. In October, 2008, some events will take place from the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Manitoba, where polar bears assemble annually to await the freeze up. Predictions are that if global warming trends continue in the arctic, two-thirds of the polar bear population could disappear by 2040. Linked to the world by a high-speed digital network, the team of top polar bear researchers, photographers, and filmmakers will document and report from a Tundra Buggy™ at Hudson Bay. They will provide live and near-real-time interviews to the news media. This Digital Stage will be available for media interviews. The team will discuss ice conditions and how changes in the environment and sea ice caused by global warming threaten polar bears, and ultimately all organisms on the planet. Project thermo-STAT core components include the Arctic Ambassador Centers, the PBI website’s CO2 calculator and the Leadership Camp. Detailed information on each of the programs can be found online at www.thermo-stat.org.

The project thermo-STAT™ team includes members of PBI’s Scientific Advisory Council: Dr. Steven C. Amstrup, research wildlife biologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, AK; Dr. Donald Moore, associate director for animal care, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington, D.C. and founding vice-chair and current advisor of animal welfare, American Zoo & Aquarium Association (AZA); Dr. Thomas S. Smith, associate professor and research wildlife biologist, Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; and Dr. Ian Stirling, scientist emeritus, Canadian Wildlife Service and adjunct professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta; and other elite polar bear scientists. Additionally, the team includes four-time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, Daniel Zatz, and renowned award-winning photographer, Daniel J. Cox, as well as many others.

They will interpret the current and projected future of polar bear conservation, and they will help encourage viewers around the world to take actions that can reduce carbon footprints, such as curtailing driving and planning trips efficiently; bicycling when possible; reducing electricity as much as possible; supporting the return to rail transport for the transfer of goods; and eating locally-grown, organic food to encourage the reduction in the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers; all of which affect climate change.

According to Robert Buchanan, PBI president, “It has become increasingly clear that damage is occurring daily to our Earth and its creatures. Among the gravest concerns is the peril imposed by global warming and vanishing sea ice. The polar bear has become the iconic image of this threat, but all of us know that the polar bear is literally the tip of the iceberg. Climate change is threatening flora and fauna of all types—and that includes we humans. The heat is on. The time is now.”

About PBI

Polar Bears International is a non-profit organization devoted to worldwide conservation of the polar bear through support of research and education. World headquarters are in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, at 550-5 Donald Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3L-2T4, Canada. U.S. headquarters are in Sebastopol, California. For more information, visit www.polarbearsinternational.org.

 

 


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