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Every time you see a picture of a polar bear on the ice, your heart breaks just a little as you're reminded of the effects of global warming.
We know that global warming and climate change are having an increasingly significant impact on our planet. We've seen it in our oceans, deserts, and rainforests worldwide - not to mention our beloved polar bears and other wildlife.
It's easy to be discouraged by the magnitude of this global issue—especially when it comes to our furry friends in northern climates—but there are ways that you can make a difference for them.
Learn how to save polar bears from global warming and climate change! In this article, we'll cover everything from understanding the impact of climate change on polar bears to what actions we can take right now to make a difference.
One of the main drivers of climate change and global warming is our massive commercial activity, which contributes directly to the drastic temperature change. The effects on polar bears are particularly severe as their natural habitats rapidly melt away.
Polar bears are an iconic species that we need to support and protect. These beautiful animals are the world's largest living land carnivores, mainly in the Arctic regions such as Russia, Alaska, Canada, Norway, Greenland, and more. They mostly rely on Ringed and Bearded seals for food—but their habitats have been drastically reduced due to global warming. This is threatening their already limited food sources and forcing them further away from where they need to be.
Polar bears require Arctic ice for their survival. It is a critical part of their habitat, as the bears use it for hunting for their main prey, seals. It supports the seals' breeding and birthing process, creating an essential food source for the bears.
Moreover, the ice provides a platform for bears to rest, breed, rear their young, and travel. However, climate change is causing arctic ice to melt at alarming rates, putting polar bears at risk of extinction. With the ice disappearing, the bears lose their hunting grounds and are forced to swim increasingly long distances for food. Additionally, ice loss negatively affects the bears' ability to mate and raise their young. Therefore, preserving Arctic ice is crucial to the survival of polar bears.
Scientists predict that sea ice will disappear from the Arctic before 2050. The polar bear, already an endangered species, depends on sea ice for survival. Polar bears use sea ice for hunting their primary food—seals. They retreat to land in the summer when the sea ice is gone. With the warming of the Arctic climate, the sea stays ice-free for much longer.
Previously, polar bears would live off their fat reserves while on shore waiting for the sea ice to reform. With more extended ice-free periods, polar bears are deprived of their primary food source and starve. Scientists say an ice-free four-month period will sharply decline the polar bear population.
To keep from starving, polar bears scavenge the towns and villages of the Arctic regions, looking for food anywhere they can find it, like in garbage dumps. They will also sometimes go after sled dogs. Human-polar bear encounters in these situations often don't end well for the bears.
The primary way to save the polar bear from extinction is to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Many scientists are also concerned about another threat to the polar bear—offshore drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic. An oil spill could pollute polar bear habitats and contaminate fish and animals in the whole Arctic food chain.
We can reduce our carbon footprint by using renewable energy or increasing energy efficiency in homes or public transport.
Education and awareness-raising are also essential to help people understand the importance of polar bears and their environment. Another measure could be to support policies and organizations that promote clean energy and wildlife conservation.
Finally, if we can influence our governments to focus on climate change, polar bear populations can be preserved. Taking action as individuals and a community can significantly save polar bears and their habitat.
Another way to do your part in saving the polar bears is to eat lower on the food chain. Eating meat-free meals and switching animal protein sources can reduce your carbon footprint and help protect marine life. Choosing organic produce, whenever possible, helps reduce pesticides, which can cause respiratory illnesses. And when buying seafood, look for labels marked "sustainably harvested" or "pole and line caught,"—which means they weren't netted and don't hurt the environment in any way.
Eating a more plant-based diet has a ton of benefits:
Plants require less water to produce than meat and don't use fertilizers like fish farming, so no runoff into ocean water can harm sea life.
Consuming fewer animal products helps reduce global demand, reducing fishing pressure on sensitive ecosystems.
Not to mention that nuts, legumes, and soy products provide more nutrition for fewer calories, so you'll be healthier too!
It is essential to save polar bears to prevent biodiversity loss and ensure the Arctic ecosystem's survival. We're all guilty of the world's current state and global climate, so we must volunteer in polar bear conservation.
Change into a healthy lifestyle and always recycle plastic bottles. Help reduce air pollution by taking public transportation instead of driving. You can also help fund charities devoted to solving problems polar bears face,
No, it's not yet too late to save the polar bears! Check out Polar Bears International for more information. You might save a polar bear's life today!
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