Polar Bears and Climate Change

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The coldest continent is melting. If Antarctica’s large ice sheets melted, the sea level would rise greatly. If all the ice covering Antarctica were to melt, sea level would rise about 230 feet. The ocean would cover all the coastal cities, and land area would decrease significantly. Did you know that Antarctica is getting warmer making ice sheets melt, causing the sea level to get higher? According to Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, The Antarctic is so vast and remote that its difficult to monitor all the time, and that climate change is negatively impacting Antarctica. But, since Antarctica is a big place climate change isn’t greatly impacting Antarctica yet, but definitely will over time. Lastly, Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition says that people should be more concerned about this than they really are. Another idea from, Discovering Antarctica is that, they have made many discoveries including signs of future change that could affect us all.

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A third writer, ABC News states that Antarctic sea rise is one of the greatest threats to the modern world. A fourth source, Science Daily writes, “Antarctica sheds an average of 40 billion tons of ice mass annually from 2009 to 2017. This author concludes that something needs to change, because in only 20 years from now the sea will be covering most of the coastal cities. Yet another idea from Science Daily is that warming has been partly caused by increasing human greenhouse gas emissions. This source concludes that the changing of temperatures wasn’t expected to happen so fast. The cause of all of this is because of climate change. Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time. Science Daily says “Melting sea ice is shown to be a major cause of warming in the arctic.” Science Daily also says that the cause of most ice loss is because of warm ocean water.

Cool Antarctica lists ways us humans can help Antarctica. Some are, “no Antarctic bird or animals can be killed without permit.”  This is because hunters go to Antarctica to kill polar bears for their fur and don’t even have permits, and a lot of polar bears are suffering enough and don’t need to be hunted, but luckily only 2% of polar bear hunts are successful. Also, most polar bears are starving to death because of climate change. They are starving because their main prey are seals and without enough sea ice they cant catch seals, which means they don’t have enough food to last them through their fast. Here is a picture that shows how bad climate change is affecting this animal. We want to keep Antarctica safe and its animals too. Another one is “The discharge of other wastes (such as sewage from ships and bases) is strictly regulated.”

Which means, so much waste from ships are being dumped in the Antarctic Ocean and that ends up on shore and can hurt the wildlife living there. Also, mining is not allowed in Antarctica. People have found solutions for some of these issues, including “Waste from Antarctic bases (ships) is packaged up and shipped out of Antarctica for disposal by licensed waste contractors. Dumping at sea or burning in Antarctica are now not permitted.” They have to ship it out of Antarctica because, they don’t have the technology or the people to dispose of waste properly. Recently, the news stated that a glacier has melted exposing frozen plants under an island that have said to be frozen in the ice for over 40,000 years. That means our world is changing and fast.

Also recently, a massive hole was found in a glacier in Antarctica said to be the size of Florida. Forbes states “The Thwaites Glacier contains enough ice to raise the global network of oceans by more than two feet.” They say that’s enough to displace over 2 million people from Florida and several more from other major cities like New York and New Orleans. Nobody knows because Antarctica is rarely talked about in the media. It is just now getting talked about even though it has been going on for decades. In conclusion, we must help Antarctica soon because it’s just a matter of time before the sea level is so high that it covers most of the coastal cities, we also need to help the animals in Antarctica as well.

Bibliography

  1. Slattery, Claire. “Decline in Biodiversity as Climate Change Increases Ice-Free Areas on Antarctica.” ABC News, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 29 Aug. 2017, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-29/biodiversity-antarctica-climate-change-increases-ice-free-areas/8662054
  2. https://www.asoc.org/
  3. https://discoveringantarctica.org.uk/
  4. Ward, Paul. “Protect the Antarctic Conservation and the Environment.” Arctic Foxes Facts and Adaptations – Vulpes Lagopus / Alopex Lagopus, 2019, https://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/science/conservation.php
  5. University of California – Irvine. ‘Antarctica losing six times more ice mass annually now than 40 years ago: Climate change-induced melting will raise global sea levels for decades to come.’ ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2019. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190114161150.htm
  6. Mack, Eric. “A Massive Hole Found In A Glacier In Antarctica Is Really Bad News For Beach Homes Everywhere.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 31 Jan. 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericmack/2019/01/31/a-massive-hole-found-in-a-glacier-in-antarctica-is-really-bad-news-for-beach-homes-everywhere/
  7. https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/11-facts-you-didnt-know-about-polar-bear
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