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The Effect of Climate Change on Polar Bears
Transcript of The Effect of Climate Change on Polar Bears
By Imogen Moore
All About Polar Bears
- 60% of the world's polar bear population live in Canada
- they live in a habitat of snow and ice
- they are so well insulated that they overheat easily
- polar bears
on the Arctic Sea ice to survive
- global warming is a very severe
to this species
What is Global Warming?
The Earth is surrounded by green house gases (GHG), that act as a blanket, trapping the sun's heat to keep the Earth warm enough to be habitable for humans, plants and animals.
These GHG's include Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Water Vapor, Ozone and Nitrogen. The most dangerous GHG for our environment is Carbon Dioxide. Unlike the other greenhouse gases that come and go (water vapor is part of the water cycle), CO2 can remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years.
The more GHG's in the atmosphere = higher temperatures
Global Warming in the Arctic and the Albedo Effect
Arctic temperatures are increasing at a rate twice as fast the global average. This is because that as the snow and ice melt, the sun's energy that is usually reflected back into the atmosphere is now absorbed by the bare rocks and water and heating them up. Scientists have named this the Albedo Effect.
As the temperatures increases, sea ice melts and ocean levels rise, altering the natural Arctic ecosystem.
According to an article by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) "Arctic sea ice has decreased 14% since the 1970's" and "By 2040, summer sea ice could be limited to the northern coast of Greenland and Canada."
How Polar Bears are Affected by Global Warming
Arctic ice melt is causing:
-difficulties with accessing food
-low survival rate of cubs
-increase in drowning
-increase in cannibalism
-fewer accessible areas to make dens
these factors are causing the general population of polar bears to
How You Can Make a Big Difference
If we continue to destroy their habitat, this magnificent species will become completely
extinct in the next 100 years.
There are many things you can do to help protect polar bears and it can be as simple as carpooling, walking to school, and instead of cranking up the heating, putting on another layer.
You can also make a donation to organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund. Another program this organization offers is the option to adopt a polar bear, and by doing this the funds will be used to try and save the species from extinction. A polar bear adoption package can make a fantastic gift!
Carbon Dioxide Increase
Between the years 1900 and 2000 the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 290 parts per million (ppm) to 369 ppm. This dramatic increase is caused by things we do in our everyday lives such as driving cars, or riding on a plane.
This video provides further information on the significant impact of ice melt on polar bear cubs
This chart shows the increase in concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmopsphere between 1975 and 2010
This quick 15 second video captures the melting sea ice between 2009 and 2012.
"Arctic climate change." WWF. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. <http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/arctic/what_we_do/climate/>.
"Climate Timeline Tool: Climate History for 100 Years." Climate Timeline Tool: Climate History for 100 Years. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. <http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/cliihis100.html>.
"Down To Earth Climate Change - Resources." Down To Earth Climate Change - Resources. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. <http://globalclimate.ucr.edu/resources.html>.
"How much has the global temperature risen in the last 100 years? | UCAR - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research." How much has the global temperature risen in the last 100 years? | UCAR - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2014. <https://www2.ucar.edu/climate/faq/how-much-has-global-temperature-risen-last-100-years>.
"Melting Sea Ice Forces Polar Bears to Swim Longer." YouTube. N.p., 2 Aug. 2011. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. <
"View the NASA animation of the 2009 melt season (through 12 September) for Arctic sea." YouTube. N.p., 7 Oct. 2009. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. <