How Arctic Animals Are Affected by Climate Change | Teen Ink

How Arctic Animals Are Affected by Climate Change

May 23, 2018
By SKennedyno.19 GOLD, Hereford, Other
SKennedyno.19 GOLD, Hereford, Other
13 articles 0 photos 4 comments

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In the Modern day world, one of the most popular topics on the news, internet, and in books is climate change and global warming. In most of these sources, you’ll see them talk about what climate change and global warming is and how it’s impacting humans. Did you ever think of how it’s affecting the poor arctic animals though? This essay will cover the life of the arctic animals in a miserable environment.

          

Polar bears are dependent on ice sheets in the Arctic. They aren’t aquatic animals but they still go on the ice so they can hunt for other animals to eat. Over the last few years this arctic ice has been melting rapidly, and it seems possible that in summer in a few years the Arctic might be ice-free. Polar bears to have a lack of food which could lead to extinction which could lead to problems with the food chain ("What Would Happen If Polar Bears Went Extinct? - Polar Bear Habitat - Blog","POLAR BEARS AND CLIMATE CHANGE", Johnston).

This is the arctic food chain. Imagine taking the polar bear off this food chain because it went extinct. There would be a bigger population of the ringed seal which would mean more arctic cod would get eaten. This would eventually lead to the extinction of the Arctic cod which would disrupt the food chain even more (Polar Bears International).
          

Despite polar bears having a hard time adapting it is possible they might pull through, which is good for them as a species but causes humans a big problem. If polar bears adapt and spend more time on land as well as moving to a different part of the land they could come in closer contact with humans, which could potentially cause more deaths for both polar bears and humans ("POLAR BEARS AND CLIMATE CHANGE").
          

Another endangered species is the arctic fox. Back in 2008, researchers watched over fourteen arctic foxes over one winter where temperatures plummeted to -30?. At the end of winter, only three foxes managed to survive and they did so by travelling hundreds of miles on ice, feeding on animal carcases while the other foxes which died stayed on the mainland. This yet again shows how essential this ice is for arctic foxes and not just polar bears. The foxes travelled over 1 700 miles over the 5 months of winter just to survive. A graph shows that the modern day arctic now only measures from about -1.75? to 1? when not long ago it was always below freezing. As you can see these 3 foxes all had a hard time surviving that winter and as the ice in the Arctic decreases every year it means they’ll be more vulnerable to predators and have less food. Despite this, they aren’t under as much threat as the polar bear they too can get used to living on land more and they can do it quicker which also poses problems for humans again and more potential deaths (Pidcock, Taylor 66-67).
        

The walrus isn’t often put in the arctic category but it has some affiliation there and gets impacted by the climate change. If you were talking about walruses under threat a few years ago you would probably mention hunting as your main point but now a days the number 1 reason is climate change. Like the arctic foxes and the polar bears they too depend on those ice sheets. The ice sheets are where the walruses eat and rest and they are having to migrate because these ice sheets are slowly disappearing. The walruses can either choose to stay on land or move with the ice. Both options are risky but if they move with the ice they will have to swim further to find shallow water where they can get food. If walruses move on land however, food sources will quickly become depleted so adaptation to climate change is hard for walruses ("Walrus").


As you can see the Arctic is heating up rapidly, it’s a fact and these poor animals shouldn’t have to adapt to climate change caused by us humans. If these animals adapt and move on land and come in closer contact with humans causing deaths we can only blame ourselves because we have polluted this planet.

 

Works Cited

Barbara Taylor. Eyewitness Arctic & Antarctic. London: DK Pub., 2012. Print.

 

Pidcock, Roz. "Polar Bears And Climate Change: What Does The Science Say? | Carbon Brief." Carbon Brief. N.p., 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2017.

 

"POLAR BEARS AND CLIMATE CHANGE." World Wildlife Fund. Web. 12 Dec. 2017.

 

Polar Bears International. The Arctic Food Chain. Web. 8 Jan. 2018.

 

"The North Pole Is Doing Something It Should Never Do." The Independent. INDEPENDENT, 2016. Web. 12 Dec. 2017.

 

"Walrus." WWF. Web. 14 Dec. 2017.


"What Would Happen If Polar Bears Went Extinct? - Polar Bear Habitat - Blog." Polar Bear     Habitat. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Jan. 2018.


The author's comments:

This is all fact! I spent hours of research looking at highly trusted sources such as WWF.


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