North Atlantic sea ice in areas where harp seals breed has declined as much as 6 percent every 10 years since 1979, according to scientists from Duke University and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. As a result, in low-ice years, entire populations of brand-new seal pups die, reports Yale e360.

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According to Canada’s Fisheries and Oceans department, as many as 80 percent of seal pups born in 2011 may have died because of a lack of sea ice.

Seal, moping, by Peter Hedger

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