Polar bears may be breathing their last: This century could mark the end of many ice-dependent species

Fareeha Arshad

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The Arctic sea ice has been rapidly disappearing for a long time. However, recent studies hint at another aspect of this harsh reality. With the ice caps vanishing at such a fast pace, scientists have predicted that the Arctic sea ice may disappear altogether by the end of this century; and perhaps this would force many cold habitat dependent species, including the polar bears, to extinction.

With the increasing environmental changes and global warming, environmentalists have concluded that sea ice in the Arctic will dramatically decrease within a couple of decades. Regardless of how hard we work towards countering the effects of global warming by reducing carbon emissions immediately, scientists predict that only a portion of the Arctic ice may survive, a massive achievement for humanity. However, suppose we continue to exploit the environment at the current pace and release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In that case, we may lose the summer ice entirely by 2100, along with whales, seals, polar bears, walruses, and many other species homed by this place.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the past couple of decades have seen the lowest record of Arctic ice extents ever. Also, the old ices that had survived thus far have started to shrink at a swift pace. Because of these drastic changes, most ice-dependent ecosystems, especially polar bears, may be forced to extinction. Alternatively, they may survive by interbreeding with other species like grizzly bears. Thus more hybrid grizzly bears may become more common and may eliminate the polar bears from the ecosystem.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

Texas State
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