This file photo taken on Aug. 22, 2015 and handout by the European Geosciences Union on Sept. 13, 2016 shows a polar bear testing the strength of thin sea ice in the Arctic. / AFP / European Geosciences Union / Mario HOPPMANN /
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There's good and bad news for people, and polar bears, threatened by the Arctic's vanishing sea ice, scientists said Monday.First the good news: summer ice cover is "virtually certain" to survive if average global warming does not rise more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial era levels, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.A 2 C rise would give humanity a coin-toss chance – "about as likely as not" – of keeping the North Pole white, Williamson and Screen reported.The researchers compared different climate models of sea ice loss with actual changes over the last decade, using only those that provided the best match for their projections.Sea ice today covers about 14 million square kilometers at its winter maximum, and five million at its summer minimum.The Arctic's surface temperature has gone up by more than 2 C – twice the global average.
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