Thursday, June 10, 2010

Polar Bear Habitat Melting Rapidly

Things are going from bad to worse for Ursus maritimus

The rapid melting of Arctic sea ice due to anthropogenic global warming has been well documented. The current sea ice extent is 50% of what it was in the 1950s.

Without the ice, polar bears cannot find food. Many of them drown miles away from the shore in search of something to eat.

Though polar bears are the object of trophy hunters and also have to compete with industrial fishing, global warming has become their single biggest threat.

In 2007, the extent of the ice reached a record low. And now, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has reported that the sea ice is at its lowest level ever for this time of year and is on track to break the previous record.

At this rate, two-thirds of the world's polar bears will be gone by 2050.

  • Sign a Nature Canada petition telling the Canadian government to protect the polar bear's habitat and slow the effects of global warming in Canada's treasured Far North
  • Sign a National Wildlife Federation Action Fund letter urging Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to deny Shell Oil the permits to drill in the critical polar bear habitat before the end of May (U.S. citizens)
  • Sign a Defenders of Wildlife letter urging Congress to support the the Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act (H.R. 39) which will permanently protect the Arctic refuge (U.S. citizens)
  • Sign a Defenders of Wildlife letter urging Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper to support an international ban on the trade of polar bear products
  • Analyze and reduce your impact on the environment with the National Grid Floe
image: Alastair Rae

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