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Will polar bears become extinct in the future? Show more Show less
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Polar bears live in Antarctica and artic regions. Their fur coats keep them warm in these frigid areas. This means they can only function in those areas. But their habitat is threatened by global warming. Global warming is melting the glaciers and ice plains, minimizing the amount of territory polar bears and their prey’s territory. At this rate, will polar bears be extinct in the future?

Yes, polar bears will become extinct in the future Show more Show less

Polar bears are very sensitive organisms. They can only survive in artic regions of the world like Antarctica. As time passes by, they are in danger of becoming extinct.
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Global warming is melting the polar bear's habitat, making it hard to survive

Global warming is a problem that is affecting the environment. Polar bears are currently suffering the most from it. The prey they eat and the amount of ice they need to migrate is diminishing.

Context

In 1975, scientists found trace amounts of airplane fuel gas in the ozone layer. Because of the gases, the ozone layer surrounding earth was believed to be in danger. The ozone layer is a part of the earth’s atmosphere that keeps a large amount of the sun’s heat and ultraviolet rays from negatively affecting humans and the environment. To try and reduce emissions, scientists and activists have tried to find solutions. Polar bears are artic predators that live exclusively in artic regions such as Alaska, Russia, Antarctica, and Greenland. Due to rising global temperatures, scientists have noticed that artic regions are melting and causing polar bears to decline.

The Argument

Polar bears are in danger of extinction. Global warming has caused a lot of damage to their habitat. Because of the increased temperature, the ice they live on has started melting. The consequences of the melting ice have been astounding. Because of the melting, polar bears have been forced to make changes to their livelihood. For instance, hunting, traveling, and nesting. Because of the depleting habitat, polar bear mothers have had to move inland to make homes.[1] Hunting has also become difficult. Just like polar bears, seals, caribou, and other small prey animals that polar bears eat rely on the ice and snow. Without it, they too deplete in numbers, starving the polar bears.[2] By 2100, scientists predict that all but a few polar bears living in the Artic will be gone.[3] At the rate that greenhouse gases and carbon emissions are ripping apart the ozone layer, that’s not enough time. Action to stop the extinction of polar bears should be swift. Otherwise, time will slip through everyone’s hands, losing the polar bears entirely.

Counter arguments

Polar bears aren’t in as much danger as scientists say. Recently, polar bear numbers have been increasing. Compared to 1950s, the population has risen five times more until 2008.[4] In fact, the reason why the numbers started rising was because of the push to stop excessive hunting. The only reason why the push to help polar bears started was because of a video of an emaciated polar bear uploaded by National Geographic in 2017. Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen, the ones who shot the video, explained that the polar bear was not supposed to represent the dangers of habitat loss. Instead, the interpretation was misguided. The polar bear was supposed to provoke thought as to what if climate change made polar bears look like the polar bear in the video.[5] As far as habitat loss goes, yes, habitat loss is a problem for polar bears. It is proven that the ice is melting and forcing them away from familiar territory. However, polar bears are very resilient. They store fat so that they don’t starve and become dehydrated as easily. If there is still some prey around, they will be alright. With, every piece of information about the polar bear decline should be taken with a grain of salt. The polar bears aren’t dying as rapidly as scientists make it seem. In fact, the animal has been doing much better since the mid-20th century. It should be noted that, yes, climate change should be monitored to prevent a horrible future. But the polar bears aren’t going extinct anytime soon.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Artic areas are melting which causes polar bears to lose housing and hunting grounds, causing them to starve. [P2] Artic areas are melting which causes polar bears to lose housing causing a decrease in numbers [P3] Scientists believe that polar bears will become extinct in year 2100.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Polar bear are resilient creatures that can use fat storage to keep them from starving. [Rejecting P2] The population has grown a lot more since the 1950s. [Rejecting P3] Scientists are overestimating because they want climate change to be controlled properly.

References

  1. https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/5-species-that-stand-to-lose-the-most-if-the-us-allows-drilling-in-the-arctic-refuge
  2. https://news.ucsc.edu/2018/02/polar-bears.html
  3. https://earth.org/polar-bears-to-become-extinct-by-2100/
  4. https://fee.org/articles/the-myth-that-the-polar-bear-population-is-declining/
  5. https://www.dailywire.com/news/fake-news-nat-geo-admits-viral-photo-polar-bear-amanda-prestigiacomo

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This page was last edited on Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 13:17 UTC

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