"Soul-crushing" footage has emerged of a starving wild polar bear scouring a desolate landscape for food.
In heartbreaking scenes, which brought the cameraman who captured them to tears, the emaciated creature can be seen scavenging for sustenance, stumbling over terrain devoid of ice.
Rummaging in a rubbish bin for a life-saving morsel he comes up empty, before slumping to the ground waiting for death, reports Daily Mail.
Loss of ice due to climate change is known to directly affect the ability of polar bears to feed and survive, as they rely on platforms of ice to reach their prey of ringed and bearded seals - and, Baffin Island, where the footage was captured, has been particularly hard hit by the warming climate.
The clip, taken on Canada's Baffin Island, was recorded by photographer Paul Nicklen, who is part of conservation group Sea Legacy.
The former biologist, who has now turned his hand to wildlife photography has seen over 3,000 bears in the wild, but this particular encounter will no doubt linger in Mr Nicklen's memory.
It is illegal to feed wild polar bears in Canada, but even if he had been able to, he would only have been delaying the inevitable.
Speaking to National Geographic, he said: "We stood there crying, filming with tears rolling down our cheeks.
"Of course, that crossed my mind, But it's not like I walk around with a tranquilliser gun or 400 pounds of seal meat.'
The photographer shared the haunting moment with his Instagram followers, attracting over one million views at the time of publication.
One of the bear's back legs can be seen dragging behind it as it walks, likely due to muscle atrophy from lack of food.
The bear in the clip is likely to have died "within hours or days of this moment", Mr Nicklen said on the photo sharing site.
Writing in the accompanying caption, he said: "My entire Sea Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear.
"It's a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy.
"This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It's a slow, painful death."
The wildlife photographer says he captured the creature's lingering agony because he didn't want its death to be in vain.
By raising awareness of the death of this particular polar bear, Mr Nicklen hopes to bring home the reality of global warming for the entire species.
As home to the Barnes Ice Cap, Baffin Island has been particularly hard hit by the warming climate.
The cap is around the size of Delaware or or four times the size of Greater London, and is the last piece of an ice sheet that once blanketed much of North America.
Although the ice cap is still 500 meters (1,600 feet) thick, it's melting at a rapid pace driven by increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that have elevated Arctic temperatures.
In March, scientists announced that, under a "business-as-usual" greenhouse gas emissions scenario, the last remnant of the North American ice sheet is set to melt in about 300 years.
"There is no band aid solution. There was no saving this individual bear. People think that we can put platforms in the ocean or we can feed the odd starving bear.
"The simple truth is this — if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems. This large male bear was not old, and he certainly died within hours or days of this moment.
"But there are solutions. We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth — our home — first."
This is not the first time that starving polar bears have made the headlines.
In September 2015, nature photographer Kerstin Langenberger captured on camera an emaciated female polar bear dragging an injured leg.
It is thought the bear was hurt while hunting a walrus and the injury had led to a struggle to find food.
Miss Langenberger, who is based in Germany, posted the image of the "horribly thin" injured bear on Facebook month, where it was shared more than 41,000 times.
The photo was taken in Norway's Svalbard region, a group of islands in the Arctic Ocean where tourists often go to see polar bears in their natural habitat.
Miss Langenberger claims the picture is also evidence of the retreating sea ice, which she thinks is affected by global warming.
Females are particularly affected as they tend to stay on the pack ice with their young and have an increasing struggle to find food, she wrote.
In February 2016, a photographer captured a heartbreaking image of a dead polar bear which he claims starved to death as a result of climate change.
Sebastian Copeland was trekking in the Canadian Arctic when he came across the animal's corpse surrounded by fur on a patch of rocky ground.
Mr Copeland believes it serves as a graphic illustration of the plight facing polar bears as the sea ice retreats, making it harder to hunt seals and forcing them further inland for food.
A third of the world's polar bears 'will disppear in the next 40 years becase of melting sea ice'
Polar bear numbers are expected to collapse by a third in as little as 35 years as ice melts in the Arctic, a 2016 study found.
The drop in numbers will reduce the world population of the bears from around 26,000 to 17,000.
Researchers put the probability off a steep fall of around 30 per cent over the next three generations of bears at 71 per cent.
The researchers put the time frame of between 35 and 41 years.
The findings are consistent with polar bears being listed as 'vulnerable' on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened and endangered species.
Scientists have divided polar bears into 19 sub-populations, two of which have already experienced population declines due to shrinking sea ice.
Others have shown signs of 'nutritional stress' or are currently said to be 'stable' or 'productive', according to the study authors.
The researchers combined polar bear generational length with sea ice projections based on satellite data and computer simulations.
They worked out the probability that reductions in the mean global population size of polar bears will be greater than 30 per cent, 50 per cent and 80 per cent in the space of three generations.
While the likelihood of a more than 30 per cent loss was high, there was little chance of populations crashing to near-extinction levels.
Writing in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, the team, led by Dr Eric Regehr from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, concluded: 'Our findings support the potential for large declines in polar bear numbers owing to sea ice loss.'
Why polar bears need ice to survive
Loss of ice due to climate change has a direct impact on the ability of polar bears to feed and survive.
The bears need platforms of ice to reach their prey of ringed and bearded seals. Some sea ice lies over more productive hunting areas than others.
Like other predators at the top of the food chain, polar bears have a low reproductive rate. One or two cubs are born in midwinter and stay with their mother for two years.
Consequently, females breed only every three years. The bears don't reproduce until they are five or six years old.
From late fall until spring, mothers with new cubs den in snowdrifts on land or on pack ice. They emerge from their dens, with the new cubs, in the spring to hunt seals from floating sea ice.
Simply put, if there isn't enough sea ice, seals can't haul out on the ice, and polar bears can't continue to hunt.
End of summer measurements of sea ice in the Arctic in September revealed that the region has hit the eighth lowest extent in modern record keeping.
Satellite data showed the Arctic reached its yearly lowest extent on September 13, at 1.79 million square miles (4.64 million square kilometres).
While the Arctic hits its summertime minimum around this time every year, the experts say the extent has been decreasing rapidly as a result of climate change, seeing dramatic declines since the late 1970s.