Climate Change and Polar Bears

Over 97% of climate scientists that are experts in the field agree that human related activity, specifically fossil fuel consumption, has been the cause of the recent global warming trend and environmental chaos worldwide.

polar bear on sparse sea ice.

Polar bear navigating melting sea ice. Stuart Yates photo.

The increase in natural weather disasters over the past decade can be linked to the increase in temperature across the globe as a result of increasing greenhouse gasses. These gasses naturally act as a blanket to help keep our planet warm enough to inhabit. With the increase in carbon due to the unnatural burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil we as humans are adding another layer of insulation or second blanket to the atmosphere.

Other contributing factors to the warming trend are deforestation across the globe and permafrost thawing in the Arctic. When trees are cut down and not reforested the ability of the planet to store carbon dioxide is limited. When the atmosphere absorbs more carbon dioxide temperatures rise. This phenomena then causes the northern regions to experience thawing in sea ice as well as gradual permafrost depletion.  This will continue the trend of rising temperatures by adding carbon to the atmosphere and warming air.

Pack ice on the Hudson Bay.

Pack ice forms on the Hudson Bay. Karen Walker photo.


For polar bears, sea ice loss resulting from global warming increasingly affects their sustenance and lifespan. Polar bears have evolved hunting seals on pack ice as the mainstay of their diet. Seal hunting equates to survival for the polar bear population in the Hudson Bay. As sea ice loss continues, the polar bear population will suffer losses as well. Cub survival rates due to many factors will plunge as competition for food increases. The simple cycle of global warming can be changed by humans if we put our minds and energy to it. Each of us individually can make changes in the way we utilize energy especially in the form of fossil fuels. There is time now to reverse the affects of global warming. Changes we make now according to scientists will reap results in about a decade. If we fail to act the timeline continues to expand for positive changes.

Conservation – minded groups such as World Wildlife Fund and Polar Bears International are working diligently to inform and educate the world on the imminent dangers to our planet from global warming and resource depletion.


Learn More About Conservation

World Wildlife Fund

Polar Bears International

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