Climate change has led to awful effects on our environment and wildlife which can seem very remote or abstract to us when we hear or read about it.
However, this becomes real very quickly once we see what has happened to animals such as polar bears.
Even though there is no proof that polar bears are starving because of climate change, however, there is plenty of evidence that shows with global warming, the sea ice is melting, causing the main hunting ground of polar bears to become nonexistent.
A study was made in 2015 which shows that the population of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea has been lowered by 40% because of the loss of sea ice.
An additional study in 2017 was made by the US Geological Survey and the University of Wyoming and it showed that bears are wasting a lot of their energy by walking across “treadmills” of drifting sea ice which was caused by global warming, thus needing more food in order to get that energy back.
Paul Nicklen, a biologist that grew up in Canada’s far north became a photographer of wildlife. He has also been in presence of bears before so he is no stranger to them. He has seen more than 3,000 bears in his lifetime.
He and filmmakers from the conservation group Sea Legacy had arrived close the larger Baffin Island, on the Somerset Island in the Canadian Arctic. Together they witnessed one of the most awful sights that they have experienced in their lives.
In front of them stood a polar bear that was starving to death. The crew stood there crying as they were filming it. The fur on the bear was so thin that they could barely see the white of it.
The structure of the bear’s body was very bony and it dragged one of the back legs as it walked. This was probably due to muscle atrophy.
In the video, the polar bear is searching for food, closing in on a trashcan that was used by Inuit fishers. However, when it found nothing in it, it tiredly fell back down onto the ground.
This video is very painful to watch, however, Nicklen wanted to share it to get the awareness of what people are doing to the environment and what the scientists that are saying that bears are going extinct and the way they are going to starve to death.