If you want to know why are polar bears endangered than perhaps you should consider reading it. Global warming has left adverse effects not on the ecological environment but also on the living things that rely on temperature for their ultimate survival. This is particularly true in case of polar bears whose survival has been recently bookmarked by the scientists and classified it as an endangered species for the first time. This means that if we continue to deny global warming, polar bears may not exist by the upcoming few decades. Scientists are now becoming more concerned than ever as the population of polar bears faced extinction in less than 70 years. They have gathered some ice samples from Polar Regions. These samples showed the level of carbon dioxide which has not been experienced before. In the last 10,000 years, the level of carbon dioxide has stretched to 300 parts per million; making things worse, it has exceeded that range in the last few decades. It follows that there is more carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere than ever before. Because of this, the earth’s atmosphere is becoming denser thereby disallowing the heat of the sun to be discharged back into space. Greenhouse gases are maintaining heat and lifting the earth’s temperature.
More Information: Where Do Polar Bears Live
“The Arctic as we know it may soon be a thing of the past,” said Eric Post, associate professor of biology at Penn State University.
According to scientists, if the similar trend continues for about 40 – 50 years from now, we’d not be able to see neither polar bears nor Polar Regions. Polar bears for the most part rely on specific conditions without which their survival would remain threatened. These environmental changes have forced polar bears to stay ashore for longer periods of time as the ice shapes later in the year and it also lasts for a short time. Polar bears primarily hunt blubber-rich seals from the ice floes but this time they have less time to prey. We should now realize that it’s the global warming more than anything else that is responsible for the decline in population. This is the first time that the polar bears have been classified as endangered species by the IUCN possibly because of their habitat is threatened by global warming.
Another factor contributing to the polar bear extinction is that some other animals are beginning to move towards north thereby occupying polar bear’s territory, and pushing out native species. This movement is also due to the increasing temperature.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the global population of polar bears faced drastic decline with the total population of 20,000 to 25,000 recorded in the year 2008. The decline is primarily due to sudden climatic change and increased pollution.
Perhaps the major climate change lead to starvation or malnutrition due to habitat loss. Polar bears are known to prey seals from a platform of sea ice. The rising temperature triggers ice to melt earlier in the year, thereby forcing polar bears to leave the shore before allowing them to gather some food for the upcoming summer. Besides, as the ice-cover begins to diminish the polar bears need to swim longer distances which often exhaust them. The thinner ice-cover makes difficult for the polar bears to hunt
Apart from global warming, oil and gas development also affects polar bears habitats in a number of ways. An oil spill in the Arctic or Polar Regions will probably ponder on areas where polar bears and their prey exist including sea ice leads. Since polar bears rely fairly on their fur for insulation and soiling of the fur by oil diminishes its insulative worth, oil spills leave polar bears at risk of dying of hypothermia.
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