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Published: Thursday 12 September, 2013

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Thats the simple message behind a modeling study unveiled Wednesday by a team of federal and university scientists specializing in Arctic climate and polarbear ecology.



In some respects, the conclusion isnt surprising, say some researchers who were not involved in the study. But, they add, buried in the studys details is a change in expectations for how the Arctic Oceans sea ice is likely to behave as the climate warms. This change, if born out in the real world, could give Ursus maritimus more ice rafts to clamber over than might otherwise be the case.



This is hopeful news for polar bears, says Walt Meier, a researcher with the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder.



IN PICTURES: Climate change and animals



The study is being released even as environmentalists and scientists are pressing the federal government to list the bears as endangered. In November, a US district court ruled that the Interior Department had to take a second look at its 2008 decision to list the bears a lv handbags s threatened, rather than the moredire endangered. The department must turn its latest evaluation over to the court by Dec. 23.



Perched at the top of the Arctic food chain, polar bears are seen as key indicators of the overall health of the marine environment above the Arctic Circle.



Three years ago, summer sea ice that the bears rely on as platforms for hunting seals, as well as for breeding, receded the furthest since satellites first began monitoring seaice coverage in the Arctic Ocean in 1979.



Many specialists attributed the decline to the effects of global warming, as well as to changes in seasonal wind patters that drove broken sea ice out of the Arctic basin and into the N lv handbags orth Atlantic, researchers noted.



The dramatic retreat of Arctic sea ice in the summer of 2007 prompted some researchers to warn that the system may have reached a tipping point that would lead to the disappearance of summer sea ice within the next several decades, regardless of actions humans took to reduce greenhousegas emissions.



That concern, in turn, helped elevate the polar bear to climateicon status and reportedly fed into thenPresident George W. Bushs decision in 2008 to list the bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.



No tipping pointThe new study, however, finds no tipping point now or in this century in Arctic seaice decline, but rather a relatively steady falloff in ice extent as average temperatures increase.



Polar bears do not appear to be doomed by what we have contributed already to atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, says Cecilia Bitz, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle and a member of the team reporting its results in Thursdays issue of the lv handbags journal Nature. lv handbags

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