On the Brink of Extinction

-Bethany Imondi

If there was ever a symbol of climate change it would have to be the polar bear. Any time climate change is mentioned on television or in print, often a polar bear accompanies the message. Unfortunately, however, if climate change continues to affect the world’s ecosystems, polar bears may become a thing of the past.

Recent science suggests that the world is warming at a much faster pace than years prior. The rising temperature of the Earth in the upcoming years could have significant impact on the way many animals survive. A warmer climate would affect natural ecosystems, and thus affect animals’ habitats and food supplies. This especially  impacts the polar bears. In the Arctic, increased temperatures have caused the ice to melt. For the bears, this melting means less area for them to live, which impacts their population. Moreover, the rise in water temperature affects polar bears’ food sources. Since the warming trend, many scientists have noticed a new phenomenon: cannibalism among polar bears. All of these factors are directly related to climate change. According to a Washington Post article, a recent U.S. Geological survey predicts “that two-thirds of the world’s polar bears could die out in 50 years.” With this prediction, the potential likelihood of polar bears’ extinction is great.

But polar bears are not alone. Other animals, including walruses and certain birds, are threatened by climate change. The Earth’s warming has a significant impact on the animal kingdom, and it is time that something is done to protect the animals from the threat of extinction.

Currently, Congress has the opportunity to pass legislation regarding climate change. The climate bill would curb greenhouse emissions, which could slow the pace of global warming. There is much debate, however, on Capitol Hill between the major parties regarding the bill’s text. Some Republicans fear that climate change and global warming is not enough of a problem to introduce legislation.  These individuals need a reality check: climate change IS a serious problem that cannot be ignored. If nothing is done to reduce its consequences, polars bears and other animals will be among many of its victims.