AD BUST: This Is What Extinction Looks Like

[Video: Your flight has an impact. Plane Stupid’s new cinema ad, written and commissioned by creative agency Mother and made by production company Rattling Stick. Director Daniel Kleinman.]

EDITOR’S NOTE: No polar bears were harmed in the making of this PSA.

DISCOVER: In May the U.S. Department of the Interior classified polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Documented declines in sea ice and anticipation of massive melting that threatens the bears’ habitat prompted the action. MORE

RELATED: Unless the pace of global warming slows or stops, polar bears could disappear within a century, polarbear.gifsays a University of Alberta expert in Arctic ecosystems. While it has been known for some time that the polar bear is in trouble, new research shows that Arctic ice — the polar bear’s primary habitat — is melting much faster than scientists had believed, says U of A biologist Dr. Andrew Derocher. “The climate predictions coming out are showing massive changes in sea-ice distribution,” said Derocher, who follows polar bears to see how they adapt to changing conditions. If the predictions are correct, he says, “we’ll certainly lose polar bears in a lot of areas where we currently have them.”MORE

RELATED: “The Arctic as we know it may soon be a thing of the past,” said Eric Post, associate professor of biology at Penn State University, who led the latest study, published in the journal Science. “Recent projections suggest polar bears could be extinct within 70 years. “But we think this could be a very conservative estimate. polarbear.gifThe outlook is very bleak for them and other creatures such as ringed seals.” He added: “The rate at which sea ice is disappearing is accelerating and these creatures rely on it for shelter, hunting and breeding. If this goes, so do they.” MORE

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