2100 is on the rise, and you’re sitting in your smart house. The newly released version of Alexa prepares dinner, and you make yourself comfortable on the sofa. You turn on your TV set to watch a favorite traveling program on The National Geographic. And all of a sudden, the TV show is interrupted by dreadful news: polar bears and reindeer are extinct, and you’ll never see them. Ice shields and icebergs have melted near the North Pole as well, which poses a significant threat to other species as well.
At this moment, you realize you can’t explore amazing arctic wildlife and marvel at mesmerizing nature anymore. It’s what the near future holds for us. And if humanity doesn’t unite to undertake effective measures, this terrible story may turn into reality. Rarely do we think how much harm global warming causes to our planet.
For decades, many scientists viewed climate change as a far away future. But they were wrong: in 2019, a heat wave arrived in Europe by storm and as a result, it caused a rapid rise of temperatures (+25 °C, according to Xavier Fettweis, a Belgian climate scientist).
So, let us explain why global warming is a big danger for the Arctic in this article.
The Arctic and Global Warming: Key Facts
In the 1970s, the first signs of global warming arrived — world temperatures increased by 2.3 degrees in the Arctic. Melting ice and increased sea levels are among the most dangerous perils for our planet. Look what adverse consequences they might have for the Arctic area:
- Melting arctic ice accelerates climate change
Global warming is the main reason why ice melts in the Arctic. Excessive emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases are negative implications of human activity caused by higher temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. When the arctic ice melts, the water absorbs more light from the sun, making the ocean warmer. This process creates ‘a window of opportunity’ for fish traveling in the Arctic.
- Arctic ice melting leads to higher sea levels in the world
Melting ice speeds up a global sea-level rise. Some experts predict that the Arctic ice will disappear in 20-25 years or even sooner. And as a result, sea levels will increase by 23 feet in 2100, submerging numerous small islands and major coastal cities like Los Angeles underwater. Just imagine that you can’t travel to Los Angeles and surf on the blue waves as it went underneath the Atlantic Ocean.
Global Warming is a Big Danger For Arctic Wildlife
Let’s get back to 2100. You hear a traveling podcast where a host tells you about a beautiful arctic reindeer graciously strolling down the snowy hills or how majestic walruses sit on the floating ice shields. But it’s 2100 now. And the Northern Hemisphere has stopped its existence and became ice-free thanks to global warming in 2050 (as NASA Global Climate Change reported). Stories about arctic animals are just reminiscent of the past. For your better understanding of global warming and its detrimental effects on arctic wildlife, read our list of animals below:
Global warming also influences these crowned arctic heirs. One of the recent reports found out that the reindeer population decreased from 5 million to 2.1 million in the Arctic area.
Arctic reindeer migrate so often to find a suitable location for grazing yummy grass to feed their lovely babies – calves. But climate change causes more precipitation in the Arctic realm, covering the land with ice instead of snow. This way, grazing becomes harder for reindeer, and they die of extreme hunger.
- Polar Bears
Polar bears suffer from the terrible consequences of global warming as well. They use ice shields for hunting seals or walruses. As the ice melts so quickly in the ocean, polar bears are forced to travel further or stay on land to find food.
Extended migration negatively affects polar bears’ health. Being on the frozen ground for a long time extends the fasting season (an 8-months life without food during pregnancy) for females. Also, there is a high chance of meeting poachers and being trapped in the maze.
Polar bears are not the only animals that experience negative implications of ice melting in the Arctic. Walruses experience the same problems as they have to come to earth more often than they used to..
More and more walruses occupy shorelines in the Arctic region. The residents of the Russian village – Enurmino – witness thousands of these amazing creatures sitting on the Chukchi Sea coast every year. This phenomenon is called ‘haulout’ – when female walruses have a rest together with their calves. But hauling out usually takes place on ice shields rather than on the seashore. And resting on the coastline also puts walruses in danger as poachers may kill them easier there.
- Arctic Fox
Tiny yet cute arctic foxes struggle for survival in the Arctic domain. Climate change opens the door to red foxes, close relatives of the arctic ones. As their paths cross in the Arctic, the fight for food becomes more fierce for these two species.
Red foxes are twice bigger than arctic ones. So, they not only compete for resources but also can chase arctic foxes and ruin their dens. These lovely creatures with white fur belong to endangered species, which means they require protection. And stopping harsh effects of global warming is one of the key steps in this process.
Visit the Arctic Kingdom on the Eco-Friendly Yacht from Ragnar!
Visiting the Arctic realm is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hardly do we know when we may have another chance to breathe the icy-cold air, marvel at breathtaking nature, or observe how a polar bear hunts for a walrus in our lives.
Global warming is the biggest peril of the Arctic Circle area. Increased sea levels and extinct arctic animals are among a few scary consequences, waiting for us soon. Thus, we should decrease the amount of fossil fuels and gas emissions in the atmosphere as it looks like one of the feasible solutions now.
Ragnar collaborates with scientific centers and supports their contribution to environmental protection of the Arctic Circle. We understand that global warming poses a real danger for our blue planet.
This way, Ragnar has eco-friendly yachts, and thus, they don’t pollute the Arctic Ocean with gas emissions. Embark on your arctic adventure without burdens and capture unique experiences with us!