the record for lowest arctic ice coverage (at 3.41 million square kilometers) and largest melt of the greenland ice sheet (at 97% melted) was set in 2012. in 2008, the u.s. classified the polar bear as a threatened species, the first with its survival at risk due to global warming. “it’s a fact that early sea ice breakup, late ice freeze-up and the overall reduction in ice pack…could erase half of a population in a single year.” - andrew derocher, co author, “rapid ecosystem change and polar bear conservation.” | Photos by Flip Nicklen and Ole Jorgen Liodden