The artic threatens polar bear existence


Jaslene Raphael and Laila Quallis

“Glaciers are melting, hearts are frozen, ”says Neha Gaier.

The Arctic is melting due to global warming and climate change. This means the temperature of the Arctic is rapidly increasing and sea levels are rising. While icebergs represent one highly visible aspect of rising sea levels, more than half of the Arctic water pouring into the ocean comes from runoff from melted snow and glacial ice. Climate change has removed at least 75 percent of Arctic summer sea ice volume at rates never before experienced in human history. This is dangerous for all the animals that live there. Animals like polar bears whose natural habitats are cold areas are at risk for becoming endangered. A lot of people don’t seem to be doing anything to help the Arctic and the animals that live there. This leads people to wonder: Can the Arctic be saved?

We can’t be certain of what will happen to the Arctic based on what we do or don’t do. Mr. Christopher Wiley, an eighth grade science teacher here at Edison Intermediate School shared some of his thoughts and predictions. Mr. Wiley stated, “I can’t predict what will happen if we don’t do anything, but even if we were to stop all the emissions for the United States tomorrow, it wouldn’t make a difference. There’s already so much carbon in the atmosphere, and both China and India are pumping so much more carbon dioxide up that nothing we do will stop it.” 

This proves that even if we try and do something to stop something so tragic, it wouldn’t make that much of a difference and could possibly continue. We can still try and change some things in our environment to at least help out especially to help the animals. Mr. Wiley declared, “It will certainly make it difficult for the polar bears to get around so they will have to swim in open ocean for longer than they’re used to.” 

The polar bears that live in these areas will soon be dead because they get their food from the water and no organism can live without food. To improve things, he said, “There are many things we can do to alleviate our impact. We can start using energy sources such as nuclear power.  You can also use a process called geo-engineering to alter the chemical balance in our atmosphere.” 

The next predictions and thoughts come from science teacher, Mrs. Jessica Herrera. Mrs. Herrera has a positive attitude towards saving the Arctic. “It will still take some time for all the ice in the Arctic to disappear so we still have time to make positive changes. Luckily, I think that most people are trying to make changes in their lifestyle that will help slow the warming trend on our planet. If we were to do nothing, the ice will continue to disappear and this will cause animals to become extinct and sea levels to increase very quickly,” she explained. 

This shows that if people continue with a positive outlook on things, we are more likely to see a difference in the Arctic. It seems that Mrs. Herrera believes that the more people who make changes to their lifestyles, the better outcome there will be. Mrs. Herrera also has some ideas on how to properly help the Arctic. “I believe there is always more that can be done, but helping to save the Arctic is something that each and every person can contribute to. It is really important to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being released into our atmosphere. This is what is causing the warming trend.  We can help by recycling, walking instead of driving, and using sources of renewable energy like solar and wind power.”

To conclude, the more efforts people try to make to save the Arctic, the stronger the outcomes can be. It is clear that both Mr. Wiley and Mrs. Herrera agreed that if people do nothing, the ice will continue to melt. Therefore, people need to change their habits. For example, having a better use of energy (electricity) and pollution. There are many things people can do to at least try, which is better than doing nothing. People also need to think about the wildlife there. Polar bears and other species could go extinct because their habitat is melting and that’s where they get the food and shelter. Although there are unknowns of what can happen, that doesn’t mean not to attempt to help out. Think of ways to help and support life in the Arctic and our climate.

Save the Arctic