As his boat came around a corner last August, Paul Nicklen spotted what at first resembled a white blanket over a rock. And even he stayed away, it soon turned out to be clear the blanket was not really a blanket at all; it was a polar bear — one Mr. Nicklen thought was dead.

He needed to show people what a starving polar bear truly look like — he needed to make a scientific data point something real!

So he and a few members of his conservation organization, returned to the spot in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago two days after the fact. At that point they watched: as the polar bear rummaged through a rusted trash can, as it snacked at an old snowmobile seat, as its eyes turned downcast, its soul defeated.

“It rips your heart out of your chest,” Mr. Nicklen said in an interview on Sunday. “When he did a slow stand on his feet, everyone on the group just began crying.”

Polar bears rely upon ocean ice as a platform for hunting seals. As the planet warms, that ice cover melts too earlier, restricting the measure of time polar bears need to hunt and develop their fat reserves before moving to land. If not, they can wind up thin and in poor physical wellbeing before the finish of long ice-free summers.

Biologists concur that as ice cover keeps on diminishing, there will be a noteworthy drop in the polar bear populace, which as indicated by wildlife officials stands at around 26,000 worldwide. A 2015 evaluation anticipated a decrease of more than 30% in the number of polar bears by 2050.

In January, federal wildlife authorities issued a report that called climate change the greatest risk to the survival of the polar bear. The best way to stop this is to reduce the present levels of global greenhouse gas emissions in order to change global warming.