Article On Thin Ice Essay

855 words - 4 pages

On Thin Ice written by Susan McGrath explains the negative affects of global warming on polar bears. Green house gases being emitted into the atmosphere is causing the earth to become hotter. The ice that the polar bears live on continues to shrink because of rising temperatures. In 1979, there was approximately thirty percent more ice in the summer compared to now. Polar bears spend almost their entire life on the sea ice (McGrath). The only time that they go to land is to build maternal birthing dens. After the birth has occurred, the cub and mother need to make the swim back to the ice. Since the ice is melting, the polar bears swimming distance continues to grow. Polar bears are strong swimmers but these long swims can be fatal. A tracker on a mother polar bear showed that she and her cub had to swim 427 miles to reach the ice. The cub died during the swim (McGrath). The ice melting is also causing the polar bears to become skinnier. Polar bears losing weight is caused because of the long swims they have to make to reach the ice. Losing weight has a negative affect on their health. The health decline then causes polar bears to reproduce less and fewer of the cubs survive. Polar bears are no longer growing to be as big (McGrath). Since they are not as big, they cannot catch as much food. When males are hungry and malnourished they can turn into cannibals. They kill the cubs and sometimes females for food (McGrath). The question that arises is will polar bears be able to survive if temperatures continue to rise? Scientists believe that they would be able to survive in the short run but after a few years of not being able to live on the ice they would die. Polar bears dying will completely change the ecosystems that they live in (McGrath). Although the polar bears are currently struggling; it is not too late to save them. Polar bears have been making adaptations to their new environment. If the world can lower the production of greenhouse gases and reverse the gradual heating of the world, the polar bears will be saved (McGrath).
Polar bears have had to make adaptations to their living conditions. They use to be custom to living on the ice year around. Living on the ice the polar bears mainly hunted seals. It is said that a polar bear can smell a seal from over a mile away, making them a great hunter. They also occasionally hunt walruses and beluga whales (McGrath)....

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