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Global warming presents scary future

Global warming is a worldwide problem that has far-reaching effects. Seas and oceans are rising, which may lead to flooding and underwater cities in a few years. Global warming causes disasters such as tornadoes and fires, which ruin homes and land.

Besides affecting people, global warming also affects animals. One animal that is particularly affected is the polar bear. These large animals used to flourish in Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland and Norway, but as the years progress, the population of polar bears has decreased because of many factors, one of which is global warming.

Humans may have first started altering the world's weather around 8,000 years ago. However, dramatic changes have recently begun around 2003. Some examples of these changes include the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland quickly melting and the population of polar bears decreasing rapidly. Global warming is an international predicament that affects almost all living creatures. In fact, about 20 to 30 percent of animals and plants have a risk of becoming extinct, and by 2020,75 million to 250 million Africans will suffer from dehydration.

There are many other dangers to the globe if global warming were to continue. The progress of this disaster may lead to life-threatening events. If Greenland and the North and South poles were to melt completely, the oceans would rise up 20 feet, which (would) cause cities near the ocean (to end up) underwater. If this were to happen, thousands or possibly millions of homes and people would be lost. However, the melting ice caps affects polar bears more than it affects people.

Polar bears need ice sheets for many reasons. First, they use ice to give birth to pups. A pregnant polar bear spends most of her life living on sea ice, but if this ice were to disappear because of global warming, females would be unable to give birth to pups, which would lead to the extinction of this species. Females also need sea ice to build their dens in which they give birth.

They also need this solid ice sheet to catch their favorite food: Seals. These large bears need ice to catch food for seals are too fast in water, and although polar bears are capable of swimming for a long time, they are large and can only doggy-paddle in water, and since seals stay underwater for most of their day, it is difficult for polar bears to catch their prey. They achieve this tricky task by waiting for a seal to pop up to the surface for air, and then attacking it. As you can see, this seemingly simple job would be even more complicated if polar bears didn't even have ice to stand on. This would then lead to starvation and the death of all polar bears.

Polar bears would also suffer other painful deaths such as drowning. This may happen because even though polar bears are capable of swimming, they are incapable of swimming for hours or even days. This is why they need the ice. Overall, if we do not try to prevent ice caps from melting, polar bears will suffer greatly from this.

All in all, every person must help to prevent global warming from getting into its extremes or else humans and animals will suffer greatly. If global warming goes too far, thousands, or possibly millions, of people will lose their homes because the oceans have risen tremendously. In addition to the loss of homes, some types of animals, such as polar bears, will become extinct because the ice caps that they depend on so much will melt. Overall, we must prevent global warming form getting even worse if we want to save the homes of both animals and people.

Adele Zawada, Lake Oswego, is a seventh grader at Waluga Junior High School.