Climate action could save polar bears | Science News


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Climate action could save polar bears

Cutting fossil fuel emissions would retain enough sea ice habitat, study concludes

3:18pm, December 15, 2010

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions enough over the next few decades may stabilize the rapidly shrinking Arctic sea ice sufficiently to provide a sustainable habitat for polar bears, a paper in the Dec. 16 Nature reports. And if emissions do keep rising, another new study finds, the only species that has officially been declared threatened by the U.S. government due to global warming may still be able to hang on for a while in a few pockets of the northern Arctic.

Polar bears need sea ice to hunt their prey, but the frozen skin that floats atop the Arctic Ocean has been thinning and shrinking in recent decades as global temperatures rise. Between 1979 and 2010, Arctic sea ice cover at the e

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