The Extinction Of The Polar Bear

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The Extinction of the Polar Bear What Greenhouse gases are, how they work, and why they are threatening the very existence of the polar bear. “If a warming world melts nearly all sea ice during summers, as computer models predict will happen by the end of the century, scientists warn that the polar bear is unlikely to survive as a species.” Jordan Sherry 05-30-06 The Problem Carbon dioxide is what’s know as a “greenhouse gas” meaning it is able to keep the Earth warm by trapping some of the heat it produces within the Earth’s atmosphere. But if too much of the gas is trapped in the atmosphere it can get too hot, and according to scientists that is what is happening now. Starting during Industrial Revolution to concentration of carbon dioxide has increased by nearly 35 percent, which is more than the Earth has experienced in more than 650,000 years and more than the natural variability would allow. This in turn has cause the average temperature over the past century to raise about 1 degree, and another 4 degree increase is expected during the 21st century. But average temperatures in the Arctic increased at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the world meaning that a temperature rise of 5 to 9 degrees is expected over land and up to a 13-degree change over the ocean. Also over the past century tidal gauges have shown nearly a 7-inch rise in ocean levels cause by the melting ice. Scientist predict that by the year 2090 the water will have risen 11-inches to well over 3 feet. Due to the actions of man the packed ice that serves as the key part of the polar bear’s existence is being melted away which could leave the great white bear literally out to sea. The World Conservation Union came to the conclusion that polar bear should now be considered a vulnerable species due to an expected 30 percent decrease in polar bear populations over the next 40-50

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