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Global Warming Very Real to Baby Seals, Baby

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2012-01-31-WOE12_05BabySeals.gif
Climate change spares no one. Not even the adorable. Baby harp seals, for instance, can't catch a break. After centuries of looking over their shoulders to spot folks who plan to eat them or wear them, the cute little critters now have to worry about Mother Nature. As climate change warms the Arctic, it is reducing sea ice to historically low levels. Since stretches of thicker ice are getting harder to come by, baby seals are now more frequently drowning or getting crushed by broken-up chunks of ice. Though harp seal numbers remain strong, the pace of sea ice melt has hindered the survival of pups. Canada saw a 25 percent survival rate in 2007, and virtually no pups survived there in 2010.

One can only hope that a recent case of baby seal breaking and entering (BSB & E) will not prove to be the start of a trend: Rogue bands of thug baby seals, driven to lawlessness by the cruel dictates of global warming. Believe it or not, that premise is not as satirical as it sounds. Polar bears, like our cartoon friend Bebbo, find that global warming has decimated their opportunities to hunt, so starvation increasingly forces them into town garbage dumps for survival.

Not only are baby seals and polar bears feeling the brunt of climate change but Kito, the third character in today's comic strip, is in the line of fire as well -- puffins' numbers are going down as the temperature goes up.

But, to Kito's relief, there is currently no evidence that climate change has subjected puppies, kittens or baby chicks to great peril. But I'll keep you posted.

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