January 15th, 2010
By Melissa Segrest
Green Right Now
The polar bear is the high-profile furry face of animals threatened by climate change. With Arctic ice melting at an increasing pace — due to global warming — its range and habitat is disappearing.
But, the polar bear is just one of many species endangered by a warming planet and other man-made threats. Beyond the tragedy of extinction of a species is the chain reaction in the environment triggered by that loss.
That complex web of life that connects people, animals, plants and places is known as biodiversity, and is the underpinning of life on Earth. To raise awareness of its importance to the planet, the United Nations has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity.