Sci Sun: Slushies for Everyone!   Leave a comment

Hey Hey, tomorrow, February 27, is International Polar Bear Day! That means that all across the world, Polar Bears will be having parades down the Main Streets of cities and towns, and playing carnival games (they’re very good at hitting-the-ball-and-make-the-bell-ring), and enjoying snacks like deep-fried candy bars, and…..Oh, that’s NOT what happens?

International Polar Bear Day is a day to remember that the Polar Bear (Ursus martimus) actually has a difficult life, and it’s not getting any easier. These big bears – actually the largest bear of them all, even bigger than the Grizzly Bear – live on the ice in the Arctic Ocean at the top of the world. There is actually NO LAND up there – just thick, frozen ice. Polar Bears live on the ice, and sleep on the ice, and eat on the ice, and raise their babies (cubs) on the ice, and know nothing else but ice. And water. When they’re not on the ice, Polar Bears dive and swim in the cold ocean looking for the fish and seals they eat. There are some bears who live where there’s land, at the far Northern edges where land meets water – but these strong bears are used to snow and ice and cold. Now, much of their ice world is melting and the bears have nowhere to go. They are expert swimmers and can stay in the ocean for days or longer if they must, but eventually they need ice to sleep and rest on, and if the ice is melted or too weak to support the bears, there’s no place else for them in the thousands of miles of open water.

Many scientists believe the Earth is warming and that’s what’s causing the ice to melt. Sadly, what we’re doing in our day-to-day lives might be what’s causing the increase in temperature. The cars we drive and energy we use and products we buy, even though each of us only uses very little, might be adding up and changing the environment. The research of scientists show, even though they don’t want to see this happen, that the Polar Bear might become extinct from its’ home in just a few years. That means there will only be a very few left in Zoos and Aquariums, and none in the far North where they’ve lived for thousands of years.

So there probably won’t be any parades on Polar Bear Day. But each of us can remember and help the Polar Bear but just taking some easy steps like using less energy in your house by turning the heat down a few degrees, or using less air conditioning; by not letting your car idle when you’re in a parking lot or waiting for someone; by helping organize neighborhood awareness and positive actions; and encouraging others to take these, and other little steps that can add up to big differences.

If you do decide to have a Polar Bear party, we’re certain the bears will appreciate it. (But you might not want to invite any actual bears unless you have a LOT of ice cubes). We all can enjoy our slushies and other treats – but for the Polar Bear, we have to try and keep their entire icy world from turning into one giant slushy.

Polar Bear arrive early USFWS

“What a GREAT great place to watch the parade. Hope there's no clowns. I don't like clowns."

Cool Down and learn more about the Polar Bear:

http://www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/t-polar_bear.html

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/polar-bear/

http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/

Posted February 26, 2012 by ECOVIA eco-adventure® in SciSun

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