This week a viral photo of an emaciated female polar bear on a melting shard of ice took the online world by storm. The disturbing image, captured in the Svalbard archipelago between Norway and the North Pole by nature guide and photographer Kerstin Langenberger, sparked yet more worries that polar bears face an uncertain future in a world where climate change is melting Arctic ice at an increasing pace. Polar bears depend almost entirely on sea ice for their habitat and hunting, so its disappearance spells trouble for the species.

Langenberger and I were guests on radio station KCRW’s “To The Point” program to discuss the image and the plight of the world’s polar bears:

For more on this issue, read my article about Svalbard’s polar bears from earlier this year.

Photo by Kerstin Langenberger