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New Publication on "Predicting 21st-Century Polar Bear Habitat Distribution from Global Climate Models"

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Polar bear on sea ice
Above: Polar bear on sea ice in the Beaufort Sea near Barrow, Alaska, near the end of a U.S.-Canadian research cruise (see Joint U.S.-Canadian Icebreaker Surveys in the Arctic Ocean, this issue). Photograph by Jessica Robertson, USGS, taken September 29, 2008. [larger version]

In 2007, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Alaska Science Center conducted several modeling studies to inform the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision whether or not to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. One of the studies examined changes in polar bear sea-ice habitat in the recent past and projected the future distribution of such habitat by using global climate models. This study was recently published in the journal Ecological Monographs. The authors concluded that sea-ice habitat losses through the 21st century were expected to be the greatest in the southern seas of the Polar Basin and the least in areas north of Arctic Canada and Greenland. Findings from this study were considered by the Secretary of the Interior in listing the polar bear as threatened in May 2008.

The complete reference for the new publication is:

Durner, G.M., Douglas, D.C., Nielson, R.M., Amstrup, S.C., McDonald, T.L., Stirling, Ian, Mauritzen, Mette, Born, E.W., Wiig, Østein, DeWeaver, Eric, Serreze, M.C., Belikov, S.E., Holland, M.M., Maslanik, James, Aars, Jon, Bailey, D.A., and Derocher, A.E., 2009, Predicting 21st-century polar bear habitat distribution from global climate models: Ecological Monographs, v. 79, no. 1, p. 25-58, doi:10.1890/07-2089.1 [URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/07-2089.1].

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cover story:
Icebreaker Surveys in the Arctic Ocean

Modeling Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

Sediment Transport at Cape Hatteras

How Avian Influenza Spreads

Research Shorebird Recovery May Require Restrictions on Bait

Awards Research Achievements in Parasitology

Staff Woods Hole Science Center Hosts Delegation from India

Oceanographer Joins NOAA's Integrated Ocean Observing System Program

Publications Shifts in Killer Whale Diets

Polar Bear Habitat Distribution

April 2009 Publications List

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