Polar Bears And Climate Change Essay

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Earth’s climate has been changing over the last few decades, with the global temperatures rising at a high rate (Corell, 2006). Some of these climate changes are due to natural causes, although the strength at which temperatures are rising indicates human influences, such as increased carbon dioxide emission, as well as other greenhouse gases. Climate change particularly affects the Arctic region, where warmer temperatures are causing decrease in sea ice extent and thickness, permafrost thawing, coastal erosion, changes in ice sheets and shelves, and consequently, changes in the distribution and reproduction rates of Arctic species (Corell, 2006). Warmer temperatures have led to increased melting of glaciers and sea ice, and shortening of…show more content…
Climate change, specifically warmer temperatures, has extensively altered these habitats by reducing sea ice extent, thus affecting polar bears since they use it as a platform to travel, hunt, and rest. Changes in the timing of sea ice formation and break up limits the amount of time bears can feed off of seals during late and early summer, hence limiting the amount of fat they are able to store for later seasons. Lower rates of food intake and storage correlates to low reproductive rates, and since females do not have sufficient fat and mass required for successful parturition, they abstain from…show more content…
Warmer temperatures are rapidly melting seasonal ice cover in shallow continental shelf, which walruses need in order for them and their pups to rest. Additionally, mothers take advantage of the time their calves are resting to dive and feed off of bottom-dwelling animals such as crabs; inability to adapt to shallow waters with no ice cover could result in a significant population decline (“Walrus Calves Stranded”,

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