The Effects Of Global Warming Essay

2226 words - 9 pages

The effects of global warming have caused humans to open their eyes to the ecosystems’ vulnerability as well the inhabitants housed there. The cause of global warming can be attributed to greenhouse gases (Robinson et al 2009). Greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere allow the Earth to remain warm by providing a blanket like cover. However since the nineteenth century humans have caused an increase in the production of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to the growing oil and coal economy (Robinson et al 2009). The increase in greenhouse gases as a result of burning fossil fuels is like throwing a second blanket on top of the Earth. Consequently, the increase in greenhouse gases ...view middle of the document...

Polar bears remain in the north where temperatures range from 10 degrees Celsius in the summer to -30 degrees Celsius in the winter (Derocher 2004).
A polar bears body is covered in fur which acts as a water repellent and conserves heat. Under the thick fur coat, polar bears have black skin, which aids in the absorption of rays coming from the sun. A fat layer is present under the black skin provides insulation for the bears with a typical thickness of 11 centimeters (Derocher and Andrew 2012). Oil spills in the Artic have had a substantial impact on polar bears, decreasing the insulated value of their pelts (Hurst 1982). Polar bears absorb the oil through their skin through their gastrointestinal tract or even inhaling the oil fumes (Engelhardt 1983). The oil is then dispersed to all tissues in varying amounts (Engelhardt 1983). Oil absorption through the skin or ingestion produces severe but latent hematological and renal abnormalities as well as pathological changes (Engelhardt 1983).
A typical adult male polar bear measures 200-250 centimeters weighing 400 to 600 kg (Stirling 1988). However female polar bears are about half the size. Polar bears possess huge paws allowing them to even out their weight keeping them from breaking through ice and snow as they walk on dangerous artic waters. Their feet contain pads which are encompassed with papillae, allowing an increase in friction between their paws and the ice (Derocher and Andew 2012). The papillae reduce the chance of the polar bears slipping on the ice. Without the pads on their feet the bears would continuously glide on the ice never being able to hold ground. Their claws have evolved from their brown bear ancestor to a shorter size in order to help them adapt to their environment where they walk on ice. Polar bears have “sharp, jagged back teeth, and canines that are larger and sharper than grizzly teeth (Stirling 1988).” Polar bears teeth arrangement allow them swallow their food in large chunks rather than chew them into smaller pieces. They can also hold on to their prey using their canine teeth which provide for excellent grip.
Polar bears migrate throughout the year depending upon the season and availability of resources including food, mates, and dens. Some polar bears trail the southern edge of the ice pack throughout the year continuously migrating depending upon when the ice packs recede or advances. However other polar bears like those found in the southern shores close to Hudson Bay travel onto land for summer and scatter over ice for the winter (Parks et al 2008) “Since 1979, sea ice cover has declined by about 30 percent in the Arctic (Barcus 2013).” This has been caused due to global warming and the increase of greenhouse gases. Global warming has caused polar bears to stay on land an around 30 days longer than usual (Barcus 2013). The consequence of them staying on land longer is that their body weight drops around two pounds each day they stay on land as opposed to...

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