Polar Bears Starve Due to Global Warming

September 14, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. cope / koʊp / (v.) – to deal with a difficult situation
Example: Some children have to cope with pressure from school, family, and friends.

2. scarce / skɛərs / (adj.) – not many or not enough
Example: Fruits and vegetables have become scarce because of the drought.

3. icebreaker / ˈaɪsˌbreɪ kər / (n.) – a ship used to break and pass through ice
Example: The icebreaker is heading toward the Arctic Ocean.

4. physiological / ˌfɪz i əˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl / (adj.) – referring to the body parts and their functions           
Example: The researchers studied the physiological changes in the bear.

5. starve /stɑrv/ (v.) – to be very hungry
Example: You must feed your pets regularly, or they will starve.


Read the text below.
According to new research, polar bears cannot cope with the scarce availability of food sources caused by global warming.

This is according to a study from the University of Wyoming [wahy-OH-ming]. In this study, scientists hired around 200 people and used icebreakers and helicopters to monitor more than two dozen bears in the Beaufort [BOH-fert] Sea of North Alaska. Scientists tracked the bears’ movements and collected data on the animals’ physiological information by attaching satellite collars and implanting logging devices into the polar bears.

The research found that polar bears cannot even go through walking hibernation when they are short on food. Walking hibernation is when bears do low-energy activities to cope with their low intake of food. Scientists found that polar bears just simply starve when they do not have enough prey to catch.

Before food became scarce, hunting seals on sea ice was the polar bears’ main method of survival. Because of global warming, more and more portions of the Arctic ice are now melting. This has resulted in less access to areas where there are seals, thus reducing the available food supply.

Aside from decreasing the bears’ food sources, global warming has also led to polar bears becoming endangered. This is according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service report released in July. This report suggests that the emission of greenhouse gases currently puts about one-third of the polar bears’ population in danger. It also estimates that if global warming continues to worsen, some populations of polar bears may already become extinct by 2025.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What steps can people take to protect endangered species like polar bears?
·         What do you think will happen to the animal population 50 years from now? Please discuss your answer.

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the causes of global warming/climate change?
·         How can people reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions? 

September 14, 2015