Hungry, Hungry Polar Bears

Temperatures in many regions of the world are changing due to high concentrations of greenhouse gases that warm the Earth’s atmosphere. One particular region is getting hit the hardest: the Arctic. Arctic Sea ice requires colder temperatures to freeze than freshwater and with warmer winter in the region, ice that is melted in the summer does not refreeze. Sea ice also melts at a cooler temperature than freshwater.

How does this impact polar bears?

Bearded seals make their homes in sea ice. Without the sea ice, there are no seals, which means that the polar bear’s meals have migrated. The bears are forced inward on land which creates more difficulty hunting for food and difficulties in reproduction. Polar bears are natural predators—but without any predators.

Polar Bears will starve to death as seals leave historical habitats
Photo by Kerstin Langenberger

These conditions have labelled the polar bears a “globally threatened species.”

This is a drastic and self-evident example of what effect our decisions have on the Earth as a whole. There are fewer square miles of ice in the Arctic, there is less food, which puts the bears at risk of becoming endangered. If we don’t act in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions we will continue to see photos similar to this one.

Though we may never be able to reserve the effects of climate change, you can start to make changes today to lead a more sustainable life. Get active today by contributing to the Billion Act of Green Campaign and bring one us step close to a cleaner, safer world.

Paula Reser, Intern