At the moment, the planet is going through the second extinction event caused, partially, by humankind. As the planet is growing warmer due to climate change, the current mass extinction is claiming the lives of polar bears, reindeer, and other animals that rely on a steady climate in order to survive.
The small Arctic city of Kaktovik has already grown accustomed to the presence of polar bears. As the animals seek refuge on land due to rapid ice cap melting, the human inhabitants of the Inupiat village designate polar bear patrol officers that deploy firecrackers in the street, hoping to keep the wild animals away from their homes. But why are they in this situation?
Usually, polar bears are solitary creatures. They hunt seals and swim from ice cap to ice cap. When the season comes, the mammals seek a mate and produce a new generation of expert swimmers and deadly hunting machines. However, their plans are no longer running smoothly because the animals are forced to swim for miles. One polar bear is known to have swum for 21 days before being able to climb a stable ice cap.
Moreover, when the mating season comes, the males are so weak and malnourished that the bones from their penises break, leaving them incapable of reproducing.
The current mass extinction also affects Santa’s helpers. According to recent research, the animals’ numbers are rapidly decreasing due to climate change.
As opposed to polar bears who feed on seals, reindeer have a steady diet of grass. During the other seasons, the animals have no problem finding food sources, but now that winter has changed its nature, the animals are slowly dying of hunger.
Normally, reindeer eat the grass that hides underneath the winter snow, but climate change has changed the snow into rain. Then, the low temperatures freeze the rain water thus creating an impenetrable barrier between reindeer and grass. For an entire season, the animals are left searching for patches of grass to help them survive until spring.
As in the case of polar bears, reindeer’s mating habits are also affected by the changes in climate. Females are known to abort their cubs due to malnourishment, some of the animals losing their life in the process.
The current mass extinction is also claiming the lives of countless of rock ptarmigans and silver foxes.
Climate change effects can be dwindled by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. However, the current mass extinction event will probably cause the disappearance of a significant number of species before humanity manages to undo the damage that it has caused.
Image source: Pixabay