Animals, Environment

Dwindling Sea Ice Hurting Polar Bear Population

polar-bear-404314_960_720Polar bears need to be really fat in order to have healthy babies. But because of global warming, the bears aren’t as fat as they used to be, and they aren’t having as many babies.

Polar bears get fat when they can hunt a lot of seals. They can only hunt seals when there is sea ice for them to hunt from.

Global warming is making the sea ice melt. The bears don’t have as much time to hunt because the ice melts too early. Once the ice is gone for the year, the bears have to go to the shore.

When they get to the shore, if they are very fat, their body can let them get pregnant and have babies. If they are very healthy and fat, they can have up to three cubs. If they are too skinny, they will not be able to have any babies.

In the past, the bears have been able to stay on the sea ice and hunt until August. Now, the sea ice starts to disappear by about July. That’s not enough time to let them eat enough seals to get fat enough.

There are about 900 polar bears in the Hudson’s Bay region now. If the ice continues to melt too fast, the population of polar bears will drop.

Scientists are continuing to watch this situation.


Writing/Discussion Prompt
Global warming is when the earth, the oceans and the air get warmer.  One cause of global warming is pollution.
Brainstorm a list of all of the ways that people pollute the earth.  Can you think of ways that we can reduce this pollution?  What do you do at home and at school to help our earth?

Reading Prompt
Explain the polar bear’s problem to a friend.  Make sure you tell your friend the most important ideas from this article.

Demonstrate understanding of a text by retelling the story or restating information from the text, with the inclusion of a few interesting details (OME, Reading: 1.4)

Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4)

Grammar Feature: Preposition (for Junior students)
A preposition tells us when something is happening (e.x. I am never going to finish my dinner) or where something is happening (e.g. The dog is on the bed).  Some prepositions are: on, from, in, behind, always.
One rule of grammar is that prepositions aren’t allowed to be at the end of a sentence.  The journalist broke this rule in the following sentence: “They can only hunt seals when there is sea ice for them to hunt from.”  The word from is a preposition so it shouldn’t be at the end of the sentence.  The sentence should actually say: “They can only hunt seals when there is sea ice from which they can hunt.”  The journalist decided to write it the first way because it is closer to how we speak, and it is easier to understand.