Polar bear cub walking on snowless ridge, Svalbard, Norway | © Duane Miller | Getty Images

Polar bear cub walking on snowless ridge, Svalbard, Norway (© Duane Miller/Getty Images)

A 16-year-old male polar bear was found dead in Northern Svalbard, Norway and experts say climate change is to blame. According to a report in The Guardian, the polar bear died due to a record Arctic ice melt that severely reduced its normal hunting grounds.

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Dr. Ian Stirling of Polar Bears International says the lack of ice forced the bear to travel further to find food. "From his lying position in death, the bear appears to simply have starved and died where he dropped," Stirling said. "He had no external suggestion of any remaining fat, having been reduced to little more than skin and bone."

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Lack of sea ice is a big problem for polar bears. Research shows that diminishing sea ice is seriously harming polar bear populations. While it's controversial to blame a single event on climate change, experts say the problem is affecting a lot more than just one bear. Of the 12 polar bear populations currently being observed, eight are declining.

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"The threat of habitat loss from climate change ... could lead to the demise of one of the world's most iconic animals," said Jeff Flocken, of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. "This would be a true tragedy."

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