The Polar Bear, which has long been one of the most coveted and well-loved creatures on the planet; ubiquitous in pop culture and synonymous with cold weather and the arctic, has become the poster child for the devastating effects of a warming earth.
They are currently listed as a Vulnerable species under the ICUN’s Red List - a vulnerable standing being defined as “considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction” and are the first vertebrate species to be listed as threatened in the U.S. Endangered Species Act. They are imperiled by anthropogenic climate change - global warming due to greenhouse emissions as a result of human influence. These heat-trapping gases are at the highest levels they’ve ever been in history and are causing environmental warming in the Arctic twice as fast as any other region in the world.