Polar bears live around the coast of the Arctic Ocean, near the North Pole. They can survive in such a cold weather thanks to their white fur coat that isolates them from the low external temperature. Under that coat their skin is black and we all know that black colour is said to absorb more heat than any other colour. In addition to all that, polar bears have a very thick layer of fat under their skin. Its purpose is to keep them warm too.
During the winter season these bears withdraw in caves dug in the ice. There, they stay in a state similar to lethargy in order to save up some energy without having anything to eat. And speaking of eating, you should know that polar bears’ favourite meal is seals and fish. They know very well how to catch them by making holes in the thick ice and waiting patiently for the prey to come.
Male polar bears weigh about 680 kg, whereas the females’ weight is just half of this number. Polar bears can reach the speed of 10 km/h swimming! Curious fact to mention is that they have 42 teeth and that males and females spend separate lives. However, when the cubs are born in mid-December, they remain in the company of their moms until the spring comes.
Unfortunately, these beautiful and majestic animals are an endangered species. Scientists say that there are only about 20 000 of them today.
The reason why polar bears are in danger of extinction is the global warming. The climate changes cause the ice in the Arctic to melt which directly affects polar bears’ natural habitat ! Although they are great swimmers, nowadays polar bears are forced to cover greater and greater distances in order to reach land. Sadly, not all of them make it and that is why more and more die of exhaustion from swimming.
The good news is that there are plenty of non-profit organizations which are trying to save their habitat!!!
lethargy – some animals fall into deep sleep for a long period of time having low body temperature in order to save energy
Nowadays, our life is very different from what it used to be 200, 100 or even 50 years ago. All the achievements of modern society make people’s days much easier and give us plenty of choices and possibilities. However, they have a negative side as well. We produce too much carbon dioxide (CO2) which remains in the atmosphere, does not allow heat to escape and little by little warms up the Earth. The average temperature on the planet is rising and unfortunately, this leads to disastrous and sometimes even irreversible consequences.
There are a lot of causes for the global warming. The main one is burning coal and oil as energy supplies. During this process carbon dioxide is emitted and acts as a blanket, slowly raising the temperature on Earth. Another factor contributing to climate change is all the industries that we rely on today. Not only the factories but also all means of transportation – cars, trucks and planes – produce greenhouse gases like CO2. To make matters worse, we cut down entire forests because we need the trees to make paper of; and the land to build on. Bur trees can absorb CO2 from the air which can really help reducing the pollution.
What are the global warming effects? Temperature of not only the air but also the oceans, rivers and lakes rises. This causes ice to melt, ocean levels to rise and at the same time, less fresh water to drink in some parts of the world. Another effect is the large number of natural disasters, occurring all over the planet – forest fires, hurricanes and heat waves. Also very disturbing is the fact that the natural habitat of a lot of species is altered or disappears completely. For example, animals have to migrate to another place because they can not find enough food, the polar bears and penguins can lose their habitat altogether, the coral reef and sea life change as well.
So what can we do? It comes without saying that we need to find a way to reduce CO2 emissions produced by the industries, commercial farmers and cars. Fortunately, nowadays there are cars that use less gasoline or cars powered by hybrid or even electric engines! A very good source of energy is the sun. This is why the use of solar panels has become very common. There are a lot of little things we all can do – from taking shorter showers to save water, walking or riding a bike instead of driving, planting trees; to recycling or using recycled things – they can all add up to help us reduce global warming!!!
CO2 – carbon dioxide, a gas without colour or smell, one of the components of the atmosphere of the Earth