The Polar Bear
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The biggest threat to the polar bear is climate change. As a result of rising temperatures, the sea ice which they live on is melting rapidly. At this rate, within one generation, most of the North Pole will be ice-free in summer. Despite the fact that polar bears are good swimmers, they cannot survive without ice.
Year after year, ominous heat records are broken. The fight against climate change is gaining momentum, but it still falls short. With the current international climate plans, we are heading towards a global warming of 3.2 degrees Celsius. Such a rise in temperature has major consequences for people and nature.
The rise of temperatures
Temperatures have been rising throughout the world since 1950 at a pace that mankind has never experienced before. The destructive effects of this change in climate are perceptible everywhere. In 2013, the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change came up with a joint conclusion; the most prominent reason for the disaster, which is happening at a rapid pace, is human intervention.
The various effects of global warming have been visible to scientists for some time now. In addition to global warming, the weather around the world is becoming increasingly difficult to predict. The greatest predicted effects of global warming are already visible worldwide.
Centuries-old glaciers are shrinking, and sea ice is disappearing rapidly. The polar bear is one of the animals that lives in the areas where the effects of global warming are first clearly visible; the North Pole. This makes it increasingly difficult for polar bears to gain access to food. But the threat to the polar bear is by no means the only problem posed by global warming.
The effects caused by climate change
NASA published a research-study predicting the greatest effects of climate change. Precipitation patterns will change to a large extent, causing some parts of the earth to have major problems with precipitation, while other parts are in danger of drying out completely. Seasons will change as well, affecting natural ecosystems and global agriculture. Sea levels are expected to rise exponentially between 30 and 120 cm over the next 50 years. This is on top of the 20 cm increase observed since 1880.
As temperatures rise, the ocean heats up. As well as affecting water ecosystems, the warmer oceans also accelerate the melting of land and Arctic ice. Even if we follow the most conservative calculations, if nothing changes, the Arctic Ocean will be completely ice-free by 2050. The CO2 stored in this centuries-old ice will also be released, making the heating process even harder.
It is therefore essential to work together to fight global warming. Not just for the polar bear, but for all of us.