As Time Melts Away, So Does the Ice
Inhabiting frosty, arctic regions, the polar bears are accustomed to the biting cold and the white, wintery wonderlands. Yet, with each passing year, their homes are gradually melting away, victim to the clasps of climate change. Seasons are morphing together-- the lines between summer and winter are blurry and hazy, and while their adaptive capacity is relatively high, polar bears' dependence on sea ice places them in an extremely vulnerable position against global warming. Once freely roaming frigid lands, this beautiful species is now marked as "threatened" on the endangered species list; their ways of life are being completely stripped away and tossed into thin air, and it won't be long until they become a figment of the past.
If climate change continues to go ignored and set aside, majestic animals will perish-- polar bears are expected to go extinct by 2100, as sea ice is rapidly evaporating from greenhouse gas emissions. Even in the peak of winter, the Arctic is melting twice as fast as the rest of the globe; the fleeting cold and the endless summer is transforming white landscapes into deep blue seas. When ice melts, the darker land and sea absorb more heat, and as the ice continues dripping away, it becomes thinner and younger, thus triggering a domino effect of increased melting, additional heating, and alarming Arctic fire seasons.
Losing polar bears equates to losing an emblem of the Arctic. How can we fathom a place of pure ice and snow without our minds drifting off to the polar bears? The seemingly impossible is undoubtedly becoming very possible at an alarming rate, so the time to act is NOW. Homes are washed away in front of our eyes, bears are starving without access to their main food source, and, most devastatingly, mothers are being torn away from their cubs. A polar bear's existence acts as an equilibrium; their extinction will echo throughout the entire ecosystem and other animal populations will go unchecked.
For us, the winter is when the leaves fall and the grounds become barren. For the polar bears, winter is when the ice returns for them to roam and explore. We need to identify and preserve the areas that are expected to retain the most ice for the future and monitor populations to prepare for increased human-polar bear interaction. Hope and promise are quickly melting away; it's as if the ice is cracking underneath a ticking time bomb. Even if we somehow all agreed to enact new policies to curb climate change, it is nearly impossible to revive the Arctic we once knew. Still, we aren't completely submerged; let's not be the generation that witnesses the extinction of one of the most enchanting species.