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What humans and polar bears have in common

Today is International Polar Bear Day, and climate change is making it tough out there to be a polar bear. But while ice melts, sea levels rise, and polar bears' homes are swallowed up by the ocean, it’s also endangering people and communities right here on our coasts.

For more than a decade, polar bears have been one of the most recognizable symbols of the effects of climate change. But it's more clear than ever that they aren't alone in bearing the brunt of this threat.

Climate change causes sea levels to rise, and as our oceans warm, melting glaciers and polar ice expand. Sea levels have already risen almost a foot since the 1880s, and scientists project that they will rise an additional two to seven feet by 2100.

We’ve already seen how rising sea levels can affect our coastal communities, making storm damage worse, and causing more frequent coastal flooding. Researchers found that when Hurricane Sandy hit, 27 square miles—and 83,000 people’s homes—were exposed to flooding.

If we don’t act, millions that live near the coasts will be put at risk. In the coming years, Miami, Houston, New Orleans, Boston, Tampa, and significant parts of Northern and Southern California face serious challenges.

Climate change has cost us enough already, and it will get worse if we don’t act. Make a difference this International Polar Bear Day: support President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and help your community switch to clean energy.

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