Global Warming and the Plight of the Polar Bear

It has been verified recently that the Northeast region of the United States has recorded the three hottest temperatures on record recently.  Our winters have been a little wimpy compared to winters when I grew up.  In my lifetime I have gone from wearing long johns a few times a winter to wondering if I might need them again.  This week, after a somewhat cold Monday, we will see three days in the fifties.  We did have some snow two weekends ago.  I cannot see any in the extended forecast.  I used to dream of a White Christmas.  I would take just one major snowstorm to think that global warming is just a figment of my imagination.

I have some friends that live on the West Coast.  Fifty degrees in January might cause them to don heavy overcoats.  We had fifty five degrees here and people were wearing shorts and sweaters.  I had a friend recently who just visited Africa.  Many of his pictures were of a safari and rhinos and giraffes.  Many of the lands that these game animals have been used to are shrinking also.  They might not be used to the cold weather in some African countries, but they feel the effects of global warming in coastal areas as the sea level rises.

Polar bears are magnificent animals.  They dominated the North and South Poles and the Arctic.  The chief threat to the polar bear is the loss of sea ice.  It is hard for me to believe that the polar bear is actually a marine mammal that spends more time at sea than it does on land.  This information is from the National Wildlife Federation website (www.nwf.org):

In southern portions of their range, like Hudson Bay, Canada, there is no sea ice during the summer, and the Polar Bear must live on land until the Bay freezes in the fall, wherupon they can hunt on the ice.  In just 20 years, the ice-free period in Hudson Bay has increased by an average of 20 days, cutting short polar bears seal hunting season by nearly three weeks.
Image result for polar bear
The earlier spring ice melt is especially difficult on the bears.  Our melting ice caps will also lead to a decline in habitat for seals.  This is their number one source of food in the food chain.  I don't know much about the life of Eskimos other than what I see on television but I am quite sure that these events do not bode well for the way of life for people that live in these harsh environments.  In Norway, polar bears have had to resort to eating dolphins and goose eggs.  They are also more inclined to forage for food in people's garbage.  People could be on the menu in the worst case scenario.

Climate change scientists point to the build up in greenhouse gases as one of the main culprits in global warming.  One person would say that global warming is a myth made up by the Chinese.  An Executive Order was just signed by our President to muzzle Tweets by the EPA.  Go figure out the motive behind this move.  Polar bears are going hungry for longer periods of time and their population is expected to decrease by 66% in 2050.  I feel so sorry for these beautiful animals as some would try to decrease regulations meant to decrease the use of fossil fuels.  Where in the world are we headed as temperatures world wide continue to rise?


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