How does Global Warming Affect the Arctic Animal?

Over the past years, global warming had slowly gotten worse and is now affecting the animals leaving them without a home to go to. Not only does climate change increases the chances of natural disaster but also destructing our natural habitat and creating an unfit environment to survive in. What’s worse is the rise in temperature leading a meltdown of ice among the arctic creating an extreme difficult condition and the struggle for species to make a living. Essentially, global warming is destroying the arctic animal’s habitat, endangering the the species, and creating a food shortage.

With temperature rising ice starts to melt along with homes of those species living in the arctic. As mentioned in an article, the Arctic has warmed at twice the global average and sea-ice extent and volume have decline markedly. Continued declines are expected to result in an ice-free Arctic Ocean as early as 2037 (Hamilton et al., 2015). This means that there can possibly be a huge mass extinction among the mammals and other species. One of the keystone species among the arctic is the polar bear that are know struggling to make a living since the ice is constantly melting and it forces them to move to another location. The article, Arctic’s Rapid Sea Loss Threatens Wildlife, mentions how the loss of ice can lead to an increase in genetic isolation [and] a greater chance that phocine distemper virus will spread from the eastern seals to the western population (Radford, 2013). This article identifies the greater affect that can happen to the species not only does it mention the disadvantage of habitat destruction but also the greater effect that can cause furthermore when ice continue to melt in the future.

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If the ice is slowly melting, it can also mean that the arctic species are in danger. An article stated that ringed seals is a keystone species not only to polar bear but also those people who reside in the arctic due to their high abundance (Hamilton et al., para. 3). The keystone species is what keeps the ecosystem from going in a cycle without them, the ecosystem can vary dramatically causing problems like food shortage and keeping a balance of the population among the species. In another article, the author Barkham talks about how ringed seal rest on sea ice, conceive beneath it, and give birth upon it. [He later explains how warm temperature can cause] snow dens to collapse and ice to break up ealy, separating young (Barkham, 2017). Because the young are being separated from their mothers, they aren’t able to keep themselves warm enough to survive which can lead them to death. And because of this, the birth rate of ringed seals continues to decline through the year due to this ice meltdown. Species that are not capable of swimming can also lead to deaths due to drowning due to the decrease of habitat and the amount of area they are able to make a living out of. In a another article titled, Late snowmelt can result in smaller eggs in Arctic shorebirds, the authors discuss about how snowmelt is causing birth decrease in egg size among the shorebirds.

The researchers believe that it’s the weather and the living condition of the species that caused the birth deficiency. Before they begin the experiment, the researcher hypothesized that date of snowmelt and spring temperature could affect clutches sizes in small shorebirds (Martin et al., 2018). The researcher selected an area somewhere North East among the Prince Charles Island. From there, they had to search for shorebird nests and constantly monitored them as often as once every four days. Among the days, they measure the size of the eggs and its weight, which they continued this process for about two years. And based on the measurements/data they collected, they were able to calculate the volume of the egg overall. To be more precise, the researchers had to record the temperatures in contrast and the snow depth patterns. Recap, the researchers recorded the egg’s volume, length, and breadth within the two years using a mixed-effect model (Martin et al., 2018). In their result, they were able to concluded that the American Golden Plover pluvialis dominica had indeed decrease in its egg size. Although what’s causing animal to become endangered is not only upon its birth defect due to climate change but also the lack of food resources.

Due to climate change, species are struggling in food shortage because they have to move constantly, which means moving away from their food resources. Because ice melting as it becomes thinner, animals such as polar bear has to migrate to a new location and further from their food source. In an article, the author Leahy talks about how because of the melting sea ice, it is likely that more polar bears will soon starve, [since] a new study [shows that] the large carnivores need to eat 60 percent more than anyone had realized (Leahy, 2018).

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