Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Mark Huber

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The issue of climate change has wreaked havoc on Arctic climates. Among those directly affected are polar bears. Global temperature rise melts sea ice, the primary hunting and mating ground for the Arctic predators. Employing mathematical models aimed at quantifying the effects that climate change has on the polar bear population is a key step in identifying solutions and receiving conservation efforts. In this paper, we analyze the mathematical models of two different research groups. The models examine changes in the carrying capacity of polar bear habitats, key stressors on the population, and anticipated extinction based on changes in energy demands and starvation. All of the findings point towards a decline in the health and prosperity of the polar bear populations. Declining sea ice has detrimental effects on polar bears hunting, mating, and livelihood that will contribute to their probable extinction in the next century. Understanding the severity of the effects that climate change has on polar bears is critical for humans to have any chance at rectifying the damage to the Arctic environment.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.