February 27 is Polar Bear Day! This day celebrates these large majestic carnivores who inhabit both of Earth’s polar areas.
Polar bears are the world’s largest carnivorous creatures and are a popular attraction at zoos around the globe. They can grow up to 10 feet tall when standing on their hind legs and can weigh up to 1,500 pounds. They mostly survive on marine animals, as they are not usually fast enough to catch prey on land. Polar bears have adapted to the cold weather climates they live in and usually can’t survive well in temperatures that are above 50 degrees.
Because of this climate adaptation, the polar bear population is heavily affected by human carbon emissions. Carbon emissions lead to climate change, and as climates raise, the polar ice caps, also known as the polar bear’s home, starts to disappear. Polar bears need the icy climates to survive, and without these colder conditions in the polar regions of Earth, the polar bear may cease to exist.
Polar Bears International has taken it upon themselves to help spread awareness concerning these issues. Every February 27th, they use Polar Bear Day as a way to call people to action, and help reduce their carbon emissions. They ask people to reduce their footprint by taking the Thermostat Challenge. This challenge requires that you either turn your thermostat up or down (depending on where you live and what the weather is like) to decrease the amount of harmful greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere. The Thermostat Challenge is part of PBI’s SOS! (Save Our Sea Ice) campaign. PBI encourages us to make the Thermostat Challenge part of our normal routine by keeping our thermostats properly adjusted and making other energy saving efforts like insulating your home. They also ask that we speak with our representatives about reducing the price of carbon. If we can slow or reverse the global warming, we can keep sea ice from melting and keep polar bears alive and well.
Celebrate today by brushing up on polar bear facts and participating in environmentally friendly activities like SOS! Happy Polar Bear Day!