The town of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada, is known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World.” Tourists go out on the tundra to see them in the wild. Now, as climate change shrinks their natural habitat, more and more bears are going into town – about twice as many as last year. Warmer water is delaying the formation of the sea ice that the bears need to hunt for seals. The hungry bears now must spend more time searching for food on land. The region’s polar bear population has dropped 27% in the last five years.
Class discussion: Temperatures in the Arctic are rising much faster than in the rest of the world, making polar bears the chief poster animal for warnings about global warming. How is climate change endangering other animals on land and in the sea? Are animals, plant life, and sea creatures moving away from equatorial areas toward the world’s polar regions? How could these changes impact the food chain? Could these changes make it much harder to feed the world’s rapidly increasing human population?