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  • Maria Pundik

The Arctic will cease to exist if we don’t take serious action





The breakdown:

It’s no secret that global warming and climate change has affected all of us. However, it is a surprise to see how little is being done to help the Arctic. World WildLife states, “Polar ice caps are melting as global warming causes climate change. We lose Arctic sea ice at a rate of almost 13% per decade, and over the past 30 years, the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic has declined by a stunning 95%.” This significant decrease in sea ice has a dangerous domino effect on us, our environment, and the animals in the Arctic.

Now it may seem like having some ice melt will not affect us, but we have already felt some extreme changes happen to us. The Arctic is crucial to our planet as it’s basically Earth’s refrigerator; Its massive sheets of ice help reflect the sun's beaming light back into space. As this ice melts away, less of the light will be reflected, and it’ll be absorbed onto our planet. The reason we may be seeing almost 60-degree temperatures in late December is the effect of global warming.


Sea Levels ARE Rising:

Furthermore, having this ice melt away causes a significant rise in sea levels and possible new shipping routes through the Arctic. World WildLife also states, “These routes will be tempting time-savers, but incredibly dangerous.” The possibility of shipwrecks and oil spills will be catastrophic to the environment and wildlife of the Arctic. Additionally, not only are oil spills dangerous but the lack of sea ice disturbs the wildlife as the animals must find new ways to adapt without ice. Many species such as polar bears, walruses, arctic foxes, snowy owls, and reindeer can face extinction due to this lack of food and new adaptation.


Methane in the atmosphere:

Also, because arctic ice and permafrost store large amounts of methane inside them, having them warmed up and turn to liquid will in turn release the methane into the atmosphere. It is already known to be a greenhouse cap that contributes to climate change, so having it in our atmosphere will just make climate change steadily worse.


What we can do:

It may seem like the Arctic has no chance of survival, but we can’t lose hope yet. Raising awareness about this problem is key, but it’s more important to get involved and get government officials involved. If people can get the government on our side, we see hope for the Arctic and its wildlife. Signing petitions, raising money for the cause, and practicing sustainability are all simple things one can do to help. We CAN prevent the extinction of our beloved polar bears and cease to see a winter with “normal” temperatures. Our generation has the power to make a change, so let’s make sure we put that power to use.