The Warming Arctic

Arctic sea ice is melting at an alarming rate. Canada’s Hudson Bay, which is known as the polar bear capital of the world, was ice-free in November 2016. The landscape was green and brown, and the polar bears paced the land like they were captive in a zoo, waiting for the ice to freeze so they could hunt seals. Without ice, polar bears can’t hunt seals, and when polar bears don’t eat seals, they lose weight. Canadian scientists say that the weight of female polar bears dropped 10 percent from 1984 and 2009. Some insist that polar bears could be extinct in Hudson Bay by mid-century because of climate change.

 

The rise in global temperatures isn’t just affecting Hudson Bay’s polar bear colony. The warming effect is wreaking havoc on Greenland’s ice sheet, too. From 2012 to 2016, Greenland lost more than a trillion tons of ice. To put it another way: the country is slowly sinking. Vanishing sea ice also affects indigenous people in Alaska. In many arctic communities, environmental change is taking a toll on food security and transportation. Traditional ways of life are being upended by warming temperatures. In some cases, entire villages and communities have been forced to move because of climate change. They’re considered the world’s first climate immigrants. The incoming U.S. president might think climate change is a hoax or conspiracy theory, but he hasn’t been forced out of Trump Tower because of rising temperatures.

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