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Conservation of Polar Bears Due to Climate Change

Autor:   •  April 11, 2013  •  Essay  •  1,674 Words (7 Pages)  •  594 Views

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The Conservation of Polar Bears due to Climate Change

Global warming is one of the most acute environmental issues facing the world today. Global warming has affected the climate change in the artic so much that it is causing a huge reduction in sea ice habitat, leading to the threat of extinction on polar bears in the future. The International Panel of Climate Control (IPCC) states, "The average global temperature is predicted to increase by 1.1-6.4 degrees C during the 21st century. The temperatures will likely rise at a particularly high rate in the artic". (Wiig para.3)The rise in temperature is melting the sea ice, which will impact the ecology, distribution, and reproduction of polar bears. Polar bears use sea ice to help them hunt and rest. They use the ice as a platform for hunting, meaning they sit on the ice and stalk their prey. Once their prey is captured, they use the ice as a plate for their food. The sea ice also helps the polar bears swim by giving them points to rest on. A polar bear can't swim continually in the arctic; they need the blocks of ice as pit stops. With little ice, the polar bears could drown. Without sea ice, the polar bears can't hunt, which leads to starvation or malnutrition, therefore making death inevitable. Both America and Canada's polar bears face the same fate, the question is what is being done to conserve these polar bears, and most important, what are we doing to reduce the speed of climate change due to global warming. Dealing with and effects of climate change on polar bears in the United States and Canada are similar, but also differ in ways in which Canada's approach may be more effective.

There are many similarities to the ways in which United States and Canada are dealing with conserving the polar bears. Both countries agree that the change in climate is the polar bears worst enemy, and although global warming is a worldwide problem, the reduction on greenhouse gases can defiantly slow down the process of climate change due to global warming. Canada and the United States have come together to form the Clean Energy Dialogue, "which is enhancing joint collaboration on the development of clean energy science and technologies to reduce greenhouse gasses and combat climate change" Candian Gov, para. 7)). The Clean Energy and Dialogue allows development and research of clean energy technologies, and building a more efficient electricity grid based on clean and renewable energy (Canadian Gov, para. 8). The United States and Canada both signed the International Agreement on Conservation of Polar Bears and their Habitat, 1973 (Wiig, para. 69). This agreement means both countries will protect the habitat; their migration routes, feeding spots, and denning areas. Aircraft and large motorized boats will be banned from hunting, and research will be done and shared between all participating countries ( ). Together, Canada and the United States developed the Polar Bear Management Agreement for the Southern Beaufort Sea, 1988 (Branigan, para. 9). This agreement set annual quotas; regulated hunting seasons; protection on females with cubs; protecting polar bears building, or in their dens; and research and management of the bears including killed ones (Branigan, para. 10). Both The United States and Canada get help from organizations such as The World Wildlife, Polar Bears International, and the National Wildlife Federation. These organizations help with the conservation by doing research, and making the public aware of the issues and efforts being done. It is agreed that neither country wants the polar bears to become extinct; the bigger issue is dealing with conserving them due to the rapid change in climate. The polar bear population is dwindling because the artic sea ice is melting at an alarming rate. The ice is melting due to climate change, a form of global warming. The most effective way to conserve the polar bears would be to deal with the climate change issue; this is where Canada and the United States have the majority of differences.

Although the United States and Canada work together on the conservation of polar bears, there are differences between the two countries that can make an impact on the survival of these mammals. First, the Kyoto Protocol, which is an international agreement targeted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, was joined by Canada, but not

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