Oh… cuts to the heart… let me just collect myself for a moment…

Yes indeed, today is International Polar Bear Day. I’m not sure when the holiday officially started or why, but here it is. If you know or have some incredible research skills then feel free to enlighten us. Either way, it’s stinking International Polar Bear Day! …and there’s a Polar Bear in this comic. If you’re at work tell your boss and head home, it’s a holiday! Do it for Wally!

Bonus Polar Bear Day Comic at PVP Online

That’s right; I did another Polar Bear day comic for you to read over at PVP Online. If you are not a regular reader of that comic, there is a recurring gag where a panda randomly attacks one of the main characters; I thought it was time for a polar bear to get in on some of that action. Click here to go read it. (If you’ve only followed my On the Rocks work then yeah.. the first thing you’ll notice is the different style.)

Polar Bears & Global Warming In the News Review

With the threat of global warming, and it being a topic in the news a lot lately, polar bears also have made several headlines as it threatens there habitat in an immediate way. I always try link these when they happen, but being Polar Bear Day and all, here’s a review of polar bears and global warming news (kind of reminds us the seriousness of the issue):

December 9, 2005: “The United States found itself alone Friday in resisting any new international talks to address Earth’s warming climate…”
— Washington Post

The US is responsible for 25% of the world’s harmful greenhouse gas emissions. I’ve read that nearly 30% of that can be attributed to our vehicles.

December 11, 2005: “Killer whales – or orcas, as they are sometimes known – have overtaken polar bears at the head of the toxic table.”
— BBC News

You’re at high risk of contamination when you’re at the top of the food chain in a polluted environment.

December 15, 2005: “Three environmental groups sued the federal government Thursday, seeking to protect polar bears from extinction because of disappearing Arctic sea ice.”
— Associated Press

The article is no longer available to the general public, but it happened, I was there!… in spirit.

December 19, 2005: “Drowning Polar Bears worry researchers.”
— Nature.com

Polar bears can swim great distances, and have to as spring comes to get the most of their hunting season in on the ice, but with less ice those gaps become too great.

January 11, 2006: “Frog Killer Is Linked to Global Warming”
— NY Times

Guess it’s not just the polar bears seeing an immediate threat.

January 19, 2006: “Whale birth decline tied to global warming.”
— National Geographic

This is due to rising sea surface temperature, which can also end up having a more global impact. The ocean is an important part of the environment on a planet that’s 71% covered with water.

January 30, 2006: “It can no longer be denied: A rapidly growing world population and the industrialization and economic growth that comes with it is setting the stage for an environmental catastrophe…”
— Wired News

Yikes!

February 3, 2006: “Global Warming Boosting Greenland glacier flow.”
— CNN

Greenland’s ice sheet contains one-tenth of the world’s freshwater reserves. “Even a rise of three degrees could result in cataclysmic species loss, melting polar icecaps raising sea levels by many meters and wholescale famine and disease.”

February 10, 2006: “Polar Bears Being Considered For US Endangered List”
— National Geographic

When an animal is listed as endangered then there habitat must be protected. That means pollution contributing to global warming would have to be curbed, and that’s good for all of us.

February 11, 2006: “Greenhouse gas market to slow global warming.”
— CNN

At least we are ending on good notes… an international treaty to curb global warming: the Kyoto Protocol. Unfortunately the US and Australia still don’t think it’s worth it and are not participating.

February 22, 2006: “Greenland starts hunting quota to save polar bears.”
— Associated Press

Well there you go, not hunting so many of them would be one way to help keep their numbers. The brilliance of it!

Polar Bear Cam

Okay, after all that lets end it with a fun link to San Diego Zoo’s Polar Bear cam as well as a reposting of that home video with the swimming polar bear and music. I just love how he looks over at that seal tank. Have a great Polar Bear Day and I’ll see you tomorrow.