I have the sad memory of long ago watching the polar bear at Springfield’s Forest Park walking back and forth in his small cage, rubbing against its black bars Tragically, he lived far from his native land, the earth’s polar regions. While these regions may seem remote, they’re an integral part of the entire Earth system.
The fourth International Polar Year (IPY) was a 2007–2008 international campaign to advance polar science and better understand global climate change through an interdisciplinary approach. With Polar Sciences: Science Resources Celebrating Polar Science Year, you and students can learn about the importance of studying the poles through these media resources, adapted from a variety of sources, exploring the polar regions, the changes they’re experiencing, and their connections to the rest of the world.
Another PBS LearningMedia resource on polar bears and their region is Global Warming Warning. While it’s alarming to watch this video from Nature as a polar bear struggles to keep its footing on its fragile pack ice habitat, it’s provides a powerful lesson on how rising temperatures are reducing this ecosystem by 11% per decade, with consequently dire impact on polar bears’ overall health and population.