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< Back to question Will polar bears become extinct in the future? Show more Show less

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?

No, polar bears will not become extinct in the future Show more Show less

Polar bears are a well-known animal that are commo representatives of artic regions. Recently, there is a belief that polar bears are in danger of becoming extinct soon. However, with the right plan, polar bears won’t be lost to time.
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Polar bears will evolve to the changes in their habitat like they did before

Polar bears evolved from brown bears to withstand cold and freezing temperatures. Climate change is threatening to diminish the polar bear population by 2100. However, the polar bears could adapt like they did before.
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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. However, it should also be noted that organisms have evolved and adapted to habitat change for centuries. Aquatic dinosaurs have evolved into land animals.

The Argument

Polar bears are creatures that stay mostly in the artic regions of the world. To live in those places, polar bears evolved to have two coats of fur (1). They also have a layer of fat that can sustain them from starvation.[1] Polar bears are evolved for their environment. Polar bears weren’t always white and adapted for cold weather. At one point in time, polar bears were brown and in warmer temperatures. A group of these bears began moving north and adapted to their new habitat. They ate fatty foods, developed thick fur coats, and turned white to blend in with the snow.[2] Today, polar bears primarily live in areas like Greenland and a large majority of Canadian islands. As the climate starts warming up, polar bears are dwindling in the northernmost region of their global territory.[3] This is concerning because polar bears would suffer from extreme heat if they were pushed out of their territory. But polar bears have Canada. Considering that Canada is warmer than Greenland, it should also be noted that polar bears already live in Canada. The polar bears will migrate to Canada and simply adapt to the warmer temperature. It’s what polar bears did in the beginning. They could even integrate with grizzly bear populations and become brown again. Therefore, polar bears would be okay in the end if climate change forced them to move from their habitat.

Counter arguments

Climate change has become a big issue for polar bears. The melting ice they need to survive is rapidly melting, causing polar bears to either starve or be pushed further inland. The damage will become catastrophic in the future. Unfortunately, there is only one way to stop change. Halting climate change will save the polar bears. Polar bears are artic predators designed to exist in freezing temperatures. Scientists estimate that 150,000 years ago polar bears split from the brown bear population.[4] Even though it seems like polar bears could evolve again, it’s not that easy of a change. Climate change is happening at a rapid pace. With scientists believing that polar bears will be extinct or be close to extinction in 2100, that means polar bears won’t have enough time to adapt and evolve.[5] As far as polar bears migrating to Canada is concerned, Canada is suffering from climate change. Canada is at risk of flooding and extreme rain fall as the global temperature rise.[6] Polar bears are not going to be safe from climate change at the end of the day. The only way polar bears will be safe is if climate change is stopped.

Premises

[P1] Polar bears can evolve from climate change like they did in the past. [P2] Some polar bears already live in warmer climates/away from artic conditions

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] It took polar bears thousands of years to evolve and adapt. [Rejecting P2] Climate change affects even Canada.

References

  1. https://polarbearsinternational.org/polar-bears/adaptation/
  2. https://polarbearsinternational.org/polar-bears/name-evolution/
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/20/climate/polar-bear-extinction.amp.html
  4. https://www.livescience.com/amp/10956-polar-bears-evolved-150-000-years.html
  5. https://abcnews.go.com/US/polar-bears-extinct-2100-arctic-ice-melts-projected/story?id=71895289
  6. https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/how-climate-change-affecting-canada

This page was last edited on Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 13:20 UTC

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