2003 - Updated October 2008
LGVN Animals - Global Warming
Ice Cap Melting Faster than Predicted
ice covering the Arctic ocean has reduced by 40% in the past 40
years, recent research by British scientists has revealed.
during 2008 has revealed that the ice could be completely melted
Polar bears are now under increasing threat as global warming continues.
The bears live on the floating ice platform of the Arctic ocean,
with its cracks and holes. There they hunt for seals and fish which
is their main diet, and without the ice the bears can't find food.
In some regions polar bears become more frequently stranded on dry
land as the ice retreats further north, cutting off their frozen
In these areas, stranded bears can be actually be seen looking for
food in local towns. Authorities have to catch the bears and airlift
them back to the what is left of their ice habitats. The temperatures
in western Hudson Bay, where Canada meets the Arctic seas, have
been steadily rising 0.3 to 0.4 degrees every decade since 1950
and the ice is now believed to be retreating at a rate of 9 percent
Each autumn, polar bears in this part of Canada migrate north to
the ice floes. The floes are forming later each year as global warming
delays the freezing process. Polar bears become starved as they
are trapped on dry land unable to reach the floes where they feed.
The floes are also melting much earlier each spring, which also
threatens the bears as they become stranded on the thinning ice.
This continual rise in temperature and depletion of the Arctic ice
means that the Polar bear will be extinct in a few score years.
The study of
the melting Arctic is based on ice thickness measurements from two
European Space Agency (Esa) satellites. The US National Snow and
Ice Data Centre say that the spead of the ice melt id due to bnow
being so thin because the thinner the ice the faster it melts.
for global warming are dramatic, because as the ice melts more sunlight
is absorbed instead of being reflected back into space. This greatly
accelerates the effects of global warming.
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