Is global warming endangering Arctic whales?

Global warming is a current problem of important proportions. It does not only affect humans and certain regions of our planet but animals as well. It does not matter if animals live on land or in our oceans, what really matter is how it affects their natural habitat and their life.

If you look at specific species, one question may come to mind: "Is global warming endangering Arctic whales?"

Well, global warming affects Arctic whales such as Bowheads, Belugas and Narwhals in various ways. These effects do not include Inuit's hunting them. You see, Belugas and Narwhals are both popular targets for their meat and blubber.

Narwhals are also hunted for their tusk. Belugas, on the other hand, are also wanted by Southern regions seeking to fill the tanks of their aquariums to attract tourists.

Other factors that affect Arctic whales negatively besides global warming are pollution and noise. You see, now that the Northwest Passage is open, whale watching tours, industrial and military activities contribute to carbon dioxide emissions as well as producing a lot of noise in a once silent Arctic Ocean.

Disturbance of their natural habitat has forced Arctic whales to flee humans as soon as they notice their presence. Bowheads and Belugas have been known to flee humans as far as 35 kilometers away from their actual position.

Global warming also causes several problems to Arctic whales. You see, since the 1970's, 14 percent of the sea ice covered areas have melted away as the water temperature has risen.

Such a change affects species such as Belugas and Narwhals as their annual migration areas are always the same. Also, due to sea ice disappearance, their food supply diminishes greatly as these two species heavily depend on the life blooming on sea-ice edge of specific areas.

Both Narwhals and Belugas depend on these areas for survival purposes as, like clockwork, they always visit the same places.

Another problem resulting from global warming is the fact that whale species usually living in temperate waters are moving up North, decreasing the Arctic whales food supplies and forcing them to move up to colder waters, near the North Pole, which has more sea ice.

In a way, more sea-ice areas means more food for the Arctic whales but it also means there are less open water areas, allowing them to surface for a breath of fresh air. More ice capped areas could trap whales underneath, sentencing them do death by drowning.

Can such effects and changes endanger some whale species? Will Bowheads, Belugas and Narwhals soon be written down on the endangered species list? Will the Beluga and the Narwhal become two species on their way to extinction in a near future? Is global warming bringing the environmental crisis up to a boil?

There are some things in life that are better when left alone but this is not one of them. Activities in the Arctic Ocean must be reduced and closely monitored. Global warming must be taken care of!

Humans are responsible for this mess! Isn't it time for us to clean it up and prevent the worse? After all, isn't it the right thing to do?

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