It’s more than just polar bears being affected. The rapidly changing climate threatens our own future.
An overview of the key facts and figures about climate change and how it is affecting the Arctic.
A warming climate is having significant effects on our world.
A closer look at changes to sea ice shows an unsettling trend.
Polar bear numbers are diminishing, how long do they have left?
Our chief scientist responds to frequently asked questions.
A changing climate combined with human impact is creating a different Arctic landscape.
Sea ice loss is affecting the polar bear’s way of life.
Polar bears rarely deal with disease, there are exceptions.
More Arctic human activity means more threat for the polar bears.
Hunting is now carefully regulated to help protect their future.
It's not too late. Act now to effect change.
Your actions today will help prevent potentially catastrophic changes from taking place—not only helping polar bears, but also preserving the climate that has allowed humans to flourish.Act Now
Aren’t scientists still debating climate change?
Not at all. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists, the experts in their field, have reached a consensus that climate change is real and is human-caused.
Haven’t polar bears faced warmer times in the past and survived?
Polar bears never have faced periods as warm as we could see in the next 50 years. There have been warmer periods in the past, but they were not only cooler than what we will experience if we don’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they were part of natural cycles of warming and cooling. These cycles were driven mainly by the variations in the earth’s orbit around the sun and by events like massive volcanic eruptions. The current warming is not part of a cycle, and there can be no cooling unless humans take action.
Aren’t there more polar bears now than ever?
We have never had firm numbers on the global population of polar bears. We do know that some polar bear populations, like those that I studied in Alaska for 30 years, were known to have grown after excessive hunting was controlled in the early 1970s. But we only recently have developed estimates of several populations and still have no estimates for others. Regardless of how many bears may have been around at times past, however, as long as temperatures warm and sea ice habitat continues to decline, polar bears ultimately can only decline. Wild polar bears will become extinct unless we take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.