Due to climate change, a temperature rise of 1.8-2 degrees Celsius would threaten the existence of more than a million different species with extinction. This includes the polar bears! Climate change is slowly, but surely, decimating various habitats throughout the earth. Inhabitants of different ecosystems are being depleted of food provided by the habitat due to fluctuations in temperature. The tiniest change in climate would alter the “way of life” of various organisms ubiquitously. Climate change is detrimental to the inhabitants of various habitats due to a myriad number of factors which can be prevented by implementing certain environmentally-friendly procedures.

Of all the environments, the Polar Regions have been greatly impacted by changes in climate. These changes are the difference between the survival and death of Arctic organisms. Unfortunately, polar bears have been indirectly affected by the increasing temperature. Polar ice caps and glaciers have started to melt as ice shelves deteriorate. This means trouble for the Arctic animals, whose homes are daintily dripping into the ocean. For example, polar bears rely on the sea ice as their hunting grounds of their prey, the seal. These sea ice losses means reduced access to food for the polar bears, drops in body condition, an increase in drowning, an increase in cannibalism, and a loss of access to denning areas. As a result, numbers in polar bear population are steadily depleting.

Loss of sea ice results in habitat loss for Arctic animals.

How is climate change affecting various habitats such as that of the Arctic? Unfortunately, most of the causes are due to human intervention. Greenhouse gases – such as carbon dioxide – that are found in the atmosphere have a similar role to that of a blanket, trapping in heat and keeping the earth warm. This layer is what helps make our planet habitable. However, the use of fossil fuels pollute the earth’s atmosphere and has greatly increased the level of greenhouse gases found in the upper layers of the earth. Unfortunately, this is similar to throwing on another blanket and causing the earth’s temperature to rise. Factory emissions release vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, heavily contributing to the accumulation of greenhouse gases. Industry and electrical factories are found to contribute slightly more than fifty percent of greenhouse gases. We, as individuals, also pollute the atmosphere on a daily basis. As we drive from one location to the other, we’re indirectly destroying the habitats of various species. The utilization of petroleum-powered automobiles releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which continues to pollute the air we breathe; in turn polluting the ecosystems of the earth due to toxic greenhouse gases.

Not only are we polluting the air, humans are also killing two birds with one stone with a process called deforestation. Deforestation is furthering the influx of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and is also destroying the habitats of different species at the same time. Trees soak up carbon dioxide, slowing down the rate at which greenhouse gases are accumulating. However, since greenhouse gases are slowly increasing and deforestation is occurring rapidly, there are fewer trees to remove carbon dioxide from the air. Trees are the life of a tropical rain forest ecosystem, and when deforestation occurs in these regions, so many different species lose their homes to the whims of humans. Therefore, deforestation decreases the amount of carbon dioxide filtered from the air, which results in the accumulation of greenhouse gases that then lead to the melting of ice caps, and destroys the habitats of tree-loving organisms all in one chop. Although human intervention is the main cause of climate change, it isn’t just caused by by-products of the human mind; nature also has its own hands in this slow destruction of the earth’s natural habitats. As it’s rotating, the earth is ever so slowly inching towards the sun. It may be a very miniscule movement, millimeters even, but that tiny movement towards the sun can cause serious changes in temperature.

To preserve our natural ecosystems, we must try and prevent climate change at all costs. The main goal is to minimize the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It will be a gradual change, but it will most definitely prevent further melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, as well as preserving further damage inflicted upon various ecosystems. One way to prevent further climate change is to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Instead of utilizing petroleum-powered automobiles, the increased use of, or even replacement of gasoline cars with battery-powered cars will be much more environmentally-friendly. This would also help solve our problem with the degeneration of fossil fuels. The lowered use of gasoline-driven automobiles would drastically decrease the use of fossil fuels, also preserving certain ecosystems as a whole. Instead of using fossil fuels as a source of energy, the utilization of nuclear power as a source of energy will dramatically decrease the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. However, if we resort to this type of energy source, it must be used with great caution, seeing how the Fukushima Diaichi plant explosion affected Japan with great health and environment dangers. There are solutions to fix these factors leading to climate change, and they should be utilized.

Climate change is a deadly factor in eroding the earth’s atmosphere and destroying the habitats of various species. In the case of the polar bears, scientists predict that as the Arctic continues to warm, two-thirds of the world’s polar bears could disappear in this century. However, with the unification of the human race dedicated to putting a stop to the accumulation of greenhouse gases, we may just save the earth’s natural habitats in time before a nuclear war breaks out and we’d have to branch out to other planets and save our species.