Polar Passion: Dr. Steve Amstrup Dedicates Life to Saving the Polar Bear

Why chief scientist at Polar Bears International chills with Arctic predator.
4:01 | 11/18/13

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Transcript for Polar Passion: Dr. Steve Amstrup Dedicates Life to Saving the Polar Bear
I am -- after -- newsmakers for ABC news and Yahoo! News and greetings from beautiful Churchill Manitoba polar bear capital of the world and today. We're speaking with chief scientist with polar bear international doctors need and thank you for being with us today. -- doing well this is your backyard this is your laboratory right here. Yeah it's a pretty interesting place. -- coming up here for several years and observing the bears as they wait for the sea -- to -- sent my original. Laboratory was in northern. Alaska it was work that we did up there of that -- research team did that actually led to the listing polar bears as threatened species. Under the US -- species. Happening here's that that -- on the back kind of research. Well the secretary of interior and some 2007. And said what Gonzales. About. Polar bears looked at sea ice patterns we looked -- What we knew about former biology and made the best projection which which is that. We don't straighten out our greenhouse gas path that is stop. The rise in global. Patients will probably be without borders here. And across much of the rest of their arrangement of the century and take pegged to the beginning how did you get involved and -- It's interesting I wanted to study bears and says about that OK that's for five years old and I feel very fortunate -- one of the very few people -- -- We're actually ended up doing in life -- what they wanted to do ever since their little kids. In Alaska all might work was out on the -- -- so we would start out every day by flying out. Over the sea ice over this. From from the -- it looked kind of like cracked egg shells you know and fly around and you think how could anything live and you get down -- you realize that. There was all of us life and it had its beginnings -- underside of the sea ice and pull overs were living on top of that -- To capitalize on. I -- a 2008 -- -- was listed as an endangered species and obviously legislatively it was recognized as such but. What the public in general is the sentiment there. Polar bears weren't listed as threatened because of their currency to us. They were listed as threatened because of what we know is gonna happen if there's the ice habitat continues to decline if you look around here today you know we've seen lots of banners and out on the -- today. But modeling suggests that some these bears won't be able to persist here in Hudson today. When the CI's absence the period between break up and frees up reaches about a 160 days per year. Well last year we read a 143. Days and on average. That's period of sea -- absence has been increasing by about a day per year for the last thirty years so if you do the math. Straightforward it looks like there's only about seventeen years left of folders here and analysts and that's -- You've been -- recognized with awards and obviously with placements in the polar bears scientific community as well. You are published. Very thoroughly and you're part of a small group of scientists that are internationally recognized as the polar bear experts. The -- degree of pressure on you. I don't know if it's accurate to say I feel pressure but I do feel a great sense of concern. That's what I know tells me we need to do some things we don't want. Our children or grandchildren to think of polar bears like. Children nowadays -- of dinosaurs. The bottom line to me is that. We do have people there is the ability to save polar bears. We can act in time and if we do so we'll be benefiting the rest of life on earth including humans.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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