Rapid loss of sea ice is leading a plummeting polar bear population. Why should we care?

1)    Polar Bears are at the top of the artic food chain.  If they become extinct then the food web will alter drastically.  Certain species, free of competition for food and/or no longer with a main predator, will flourish.  However, the environment, as a whole, will suffer.  Anthony Ives, a zoologist from the University of Wisconsin, has shown through experimentation that, in general, when a species becomes extinct, the community’s ability to tolerate environmental degradation lessens.

2)    So, the extinction of polar bears would prove bad for the overall artic biosphere.  Unfortunately, scientists estimate only 20,000 to 25,000 bears are currently living.  That number is expected to shrink to as low as 6,500 by 2050.

3)    And most importantly, polar bears are not only adorable but they manufacture 30% of the entire world’s supply of Coca-Cola.

Leading scientists hope that if the melting of sea ice is slowed significantly then the polar bear population will stabilize and even start to increase.  Unfortunately, slowing the melting of sea ice will require drastic measures.

Comment! What can be done to stop the melting of sea ice? How will dying polar bears affect the artic ecosystem? How much more efficient would polar bears be at manufacturing Coca-Cola products if they had opposable thumbs?

4 thoughts on “Polar Bears are Dying. EVERY COMMENT SAVES 1,000 POLAR BEAR CUBS!

  1. The extinction of polar bears would be truly tragic. This poses an interesting problem because unlike most cases of habitat loss such as the clear cutting of forests, the loss of polar ice is much harder to prevent. Ive done some other research on the topic and one of the problems that is becoming more and more common is that as the polar ice melts, polar bears are moving south into canada and encountering more and more human populations.

    On another note one of the cool aspects of this problem is that polar bear grizzly bear mixes have been found in the wild as the two species’ habitats become smaller and smaller their interactions become more frequent.

  2. In many ways the loss of polar bears has become one of the chief rallying cries to warn of the dangers of global warming. I saw a discovery channel show a little while back where they were discussing the intra-breeding between polar bears ad grizzly bears, they predicted that these bears will eventually become there own species as the polar bears begin to die out and the ones that are living are mating with grizzly bears instead of polar bears. This is interesting because polar bears are descendants of grizzly bears and now full blood grizzly bears are mating with full blood polar bears. It is an interesting evolutionary process.

  3. I find your mentioning of Coca Cola and its relationship to polar bears very interesting considering Coca Cola has recently teamed up with the WWF and created a new charity, Arctic Home. People can purchase coca cola products with white caps that have polar bears and a percentage of those profits go to Arctic Home. arctichome.com can you you a clear idea of the preservation and research that Coca Cola is sponsoring in order to help this endangered species they hold so dear.

    As heartbreaking as it may be that Polar Bears face extinction, it is interesting to see what companies and the general public can do to help. Hopefully with research and commitment the species can be saved.

  4. Polar bears seem to be the animal mascot for global climate change because they are beautiful, majestic, and inspiring creatures. If polar bears ever become extinct then I think it will be safe to say that humans have lost the battle against global warming. We must protect species that are so crucial to the environment that they life in and that are so crucial to human beings in general!

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