Everyone knows that global warming is a serious environmental health problem with its effects reflecting on nature and all of mankind on Earth since the mid-twentieth century – emission of concentrated greenhouse gases, rise of sea levels, melting of polar ice caps, and increase in global surface air temperature. The rise in global surface air temperature causes frequent droughts in dry areas and accelerated ocean warming and hence the rapid increase in sea levels and melting of the polar ice caps. Natural disasters from the unpredictable weather patterns were also observed over the past few years. With these effects in mind, we know that the biodiversity of wildlife is greatly affected. But how exactly does global warming present a threat to the loss of wildlife species? Its effect is much greater than what people are aware of.
Science surrounds us and is part of our daily lives. We may be oblivious to our surroundings but what we do and what we eat has a great impact on the environment. Our choice of food, fashion and lifestyle affects the natural environment. Humans indiscriminately kill animals for raw materials such as fur and tusk for ivory; deforest for land; slash and burn for agriculture; mass production of goods resulting in release of chemical waste and harmful pollutants that is detrimental to the air quality as well as the health of the earth’s water bodies.
Cold regions such as the north and south poles as well as the mountainous regions of Central Asia are such areas where global warming poses a threat to the species that inhabit the area. The arctic marine ecosystem is a very specific ecosystem which is intended and adapted for the sea ice environment and by the characteristic mammals that thrive in the ecosystem. Sea ice is an essential building block for both "pagophilic mammals and epontic marine communities", where any major climate change could drastically affect its marine ecosystem; specifically the melting of sea ice from the "biologically productive areas of the continental shelf or the inter-island channels of the various archipelagos". (Derocher, Lunn and Stirling 163-164).
Based on the United States Geological Survey (USGS) studies, species such as the polar bear is an example of pagophilic mammals. Polar bears prefer habitats near the continental shelf and with sea ice partially covered, “likely due to higher biological productivity (qtd. in Dunton et al. 2005 2 ), and greater accessibility to prey in near shore shear zones and polynyas” (qtd. in Stirling 1997 2).
These species are in danger because their habitat is affected by the change in climate which is melting the sea ice. Not only are their homes being melted away, this also means that there are warmer waters which affect their productivity in its marine environment. Global warming causes a longer duration of summer season in the North, where polar bears are restricted to relatively unproductive warmer Arctic waters which reduce its survival rate and may...