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Unformatted text preview: Scott Choe 09/20/07 English165 Polar Bears Two-thirds of the worlds polar bears will be killed off by 2050 (1). The grim statistic introducing John Heilprins article immediately perks our attention and introduces us to the Arctic situation along with the resulting challenges facing polar bears. The surprising fact is that this upcoming holocaust is not a result of human hunting trips or a deadly virus, but from changes in the atmosphere affecting their environment. Every polar bear in Alaska and Russia will lose its home, and 42 percent of the Arctic range they need to live is estimated to disappear by that time (1). Melting ice poses a huge danger to polar bears because they depend on sea ice as a platform for hunting seals, much like bees depend on flowers for pollen and nutrients (1). Most of these changes can be attributed to a reduction in the amount of ice, according to the article, in which it states: 83 percent of the scientific variables affecting the polar bears fate was tied to changes in sea ice (1). At the date the article was written, levels of Arctic sea ice were the lowest on record. However, there does not seem to be a possibility of reversing the current trends; even if greenhouses gases fall to low levels, it would make no discernable difference in the pattern for at least the next few decades. US and Canadian scientists came to the articles conclusions after half a year of studies linking the health of polar bears and the Arctic sea ice around them. The US Geological Survey released nine surveys intended to influence Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthornes decision to possibly add polar bears to the endangered species list. However, the USGS did not release estimates of polar bear population in the future. However, the USGS did not release estimates of polar bear population in the future....
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2008 for the course ENG 1 taught by Professor Wormer during the Spring '08 term at UC Davis.
- Spring '08