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Polar Bears Moving Farther North In Search Of Ice

A female polar bear with cubs near Churchill, Canada

A new study finds groups of polar bears have been slowly moving to islands north of Canada where Arctic ice is melting more slowly.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, was based on DNA taken from nearly 2,800 polar bears in countries where the animals live -- the United States, Russia, Canada, Greenland, and Norway.

Bear clusters from Canada's eastern Arctic area and a marine area off eastern Greenland and Siberia are journeying to the Canadian Archipelago, also known as the Arctic Archipelago, where ice is more abundant, the study found.

Since 1979, the area of Arctic sea-ice in autumn has declined by over 9 percent per decade through 2010, the researchers said, adding that recent modeling predicts that nearly ice-free summers will characterize the Arctic before mid-century.

Based on reporting by Reuters