Site: Polar Bear Science

Slant: Sceptic

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Recent Articles

Polar Bear Science: Southern Beaufort polar bear attack far from the Alaskan coast: another winter example

A man from Arctic Village (Alaska), out checking his trap-line, killed a polar bear at his cabin when it came after him: only odd things were it was the first week of January and the cabin was more than 100 …

2019-01-16 06:01   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Svalbard polar bears doing fine with much less sea ice say Norwegian biologists

“…despite the loss of good denning areas and a shrinking habitat for hunting, Svalbard’s bears seem to be doing fine.…The sea ice season is now several months shorter, and the ice edge typically lies several degrees further north than what …

2019-01-08 17:15   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Polar bear voted newsmaker of the year in Nunavut: A climate change emblem becomes a symbol of bitter conflict

This Nunatsiaq News editorial is worth a read (2 January 2019): Meet our newsmaker of the year: the polar bear. “But for this year, we’re not choosing a person. For 2018, our newsmaker of the year designation goes to an …

2019-01-02 22:37   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Heads up Newfoundland & Labrador: polar bear season has begun

There is now enough sea ice off southern Labrador and the northern tip of Newfoundland for Davis Strait polar bears to come ashore looking for food. Baby seals won’t be available for months yet. And since winter is the lean …

2019-01-02 18:17   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: May a polar bear not be something you are faced with in 2019

A polar bear can be too close: fat or thin, it can be deadly. Happy New Year. And condolences to those whose lives were torn apart by a polar bear encounter in 2018.

2019-01-01 04:07   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Derocher admits Western Hudson Bay polar bear population may not be declining

Earlier this year, I challenged a journalist to ask to see the data used by Andrew Derocher and his colleagues to support their repeated claims that Western Hudson Bay polar bears are having trouble surviving. It almost happened. David Rose, …

2018-12-30 16:33   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Biologists escalate conflict over Inuit management of polar bear populations

Yesterday, two polar bear specialists and an inept freelance journalist poured gasoline on the already-volatile issue of polar bear management in Nunavut. Quote of the day: “I think there’s a reasonable chance that the last polar bear in Canada will …

2018-12-21 05:04   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: CBC hypes “bleak” Churchill polar bear fate with unsupported claims & falsehoods

Over the weekend in Canada, the CBC ran a polar bear news feature that is now available online (“Polar bears in peril: the bleak future of Churchill bears,” The National, CBC, 3 December 2018). It gave polar bear biologist Nick …

2018-12-05 06:48   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Unfounded concern for polar bears from onshore oil exploration in Alaska

Canadian biologist Andrew Derocher was called upon to promote his particularly pessimistic viewpoint on polar bear survival in a story published in the New York Times yesterday (2 December 2018: “Drilling in the Arctic: Questions for a Polar Bear Expert”). …

2018-12-03 23:23   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Canadian polar bears still not threatened with extinction says conservation committee

At recent meeting of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), biologists decided to continue to list the polar bear as a species of ‘Special Concern.’ About 2/3 of the world’s polar bears live in Canada …

2018-12-03 22:24   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Inuit and Western science are far apart on polar bear issues in Nunavut

Interesting summary and informed perspective from Nunavut News that’s worth a read on the issue of polar bear management in Nunavut (29 November 2018: “Inuit, Western science far apart on polar bear issues”). “Nirlungayuk said the predictions made by Western …

2018-11-30 15:51   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: No extirpation looms for Svalbard polar bears: no pending catastrophe in Norway

Despite a wild claim that a “slow Arctic freeze” this year increases the risk that polar bears will become extinct, sea ice charts show ice returning earlier than it has for decades everywhere except the Svalbard area of the Barents …

2018-11-29 09:55   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Hudson Bay polar bear habitat is highest in more than two decades for this time of year

More ice in Hudson Bay and adjacent regions than we’ve seen at this time of year for more than two decades: not since 1993 has there been as much polar bear habitat in the 2nd-last week of November. The anomaly …

2018-11-22 18:07   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: My fabulous polar bear science book for kids now also available in Norwegian

Polar Bear Facts and Myths (for children aged 7 and up) is now avaiblable in Norwegian! The same day as a glowing review of the Dutch translation of my popular children’s science book appeared in de Telegraaf (front page and …

2018-11-20 04:16   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Chukchi Sea polar bears number almost 3000 according to new survey results: update

The Chukchi Sea finally has a polar bear population estimate! According to survey results from 2016 only recently made public, about 2937 bears (1522-5944) currently inhabit the region, making this the largest subpopulation in the Arctic. This is exciting news — …

2018-11-16 16:45   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Nunavut government has a draft plan to deal with unsafe numbers of polar bears

In the news today: “Nunavut Draft Plan Says There Are Actually Too Many Polar Bears In Territory” (CTV News via The Canadian Press, Bob Weber, 12 November 2018). From the Canadian Press story: “There are too many polar bears in …

2018-11-12 23:48   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: W Hudson Bay freeze-up earlier than average for 2nd year in a row, polar bear hunt resumes

This is the second year in a row that freeze-up of Western Hudson Bay ice has come earlier than average. Movement of tagged bears and reports by folks on the ground in WH show some polar bears are starting to …

2018-11-11 01:19   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Polar bears waiting for ice on Russian coast of Chukchi Sea threaten village residents

Ryrkaypiy on the Chukotka coast of Russia is similar to Churchill, Manitoba: both human settlements are of similar size and are close to where polar bears wait for sea ice to form in the fall and where some pregnant females …

2018-11-07 20:06   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Fall polar bear habitat update: 3 mkm2 Arctic sea ice increase in the last two weeks

What a difference two weeks make! When the seasonal minimum Arctic sea ice extent occurs in September, polar bear doom-mongers always forget to tell you that within two months, sea ice will return to virtually all regions where polar bears …

2018-11-06 22:05   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Fabulous polar bear science book for kids now available in Dutch

Given my strong Dutch heritage through my maternal grandfather (via Middelharnis), I am especially proud to announce that the Dutch translation of my popular science book, Polar Bear Facts and Myths (suitable for children aged seven and up), is now …

2018-11-05 08:30   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Churchill’s polar bear problems took time and money to resolve

Churchill, Manitoba is proud of it’s management of problem polar bears and rightly so. But it took time and money to implement the solutions that allowed Churchill to function as it does today, and that should be a lesson for …

2018-11-01 19:09   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Arctic sea ice habitat for polar bears is like a big pond that dries up partially in summer

What’s a good analogy for sea ice as essential polar bear habitat? Biologist Andrew Derocher claims that the soil in a forest is appropriate, because without the soil you can’t have the forest ecosystem. However, that’s a specious comparison because …

2018-10-31 05:35   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: New ice on Hudson Bay a week earlier than 2017: another early freeze-up ahead?

Last year, an early freeze-up of Western Hudson Bay sea ice almost ruined the Polar Bear Week campaign devised by Polar Bears International to drum up donation dollars and public sympathy for polar bear conservation. Many bears were on the …

2018-10-24 03:00   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Scientific study finds polar bears excel at diving, contradicting previous expert opinion

A recent study by Norwegian biologist Karen Lone and colleagues, who tagged 57 polar bear females with sensors around Svalbard, discovered that polar bears can dive to a maximum depth of 13.9m and can swim long distances across open water …

2018-10-15 07:10   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: New paper provides no evidence that polar bears ate whale carcasses to survive Eemian interglacial

Contrary to what the misleading press release implies, an entirely speculative new paper by polar bear specialists Kristin Laidre and Ian Stirling (among others) presents zero evidence that polar bear consumed whale carcasses during the last warm Interglacial (Eemian, ca. …

2018-10-10 16:13   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Now at least 10 years with sea ice at 2050-like levels yet polar bears are still abundant

We’ve hit the seasonal Arctic sea ice minimum for this year, called this morning by US NSIDC for 19th and 23rd of Septmeber: 4.59 mkm2, the same extent as 2008 and 2010. This is not a “ho-hum” year for polar …

2018-09-27 16:27   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Inuit hunters frustrated by polar bear conservation rules that put their lives at risk

‘The rules are taking over Inuit tradition and the bears are taking over Inuit. We’re just watching in the distance, afraid of these bears because they’re free to do whatever they want.’ says Brian Aglukark, after two fatal polar bear …

2018-09-24 16:43   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Polar bears that killed Foxe Basin hunter in August were in good condition, say officials

Just in from NunatsiaqNews (6 September 2018): The polar bears that killed Foxe Basin resident Darryl Kaunak were in good condition, as were the bears who approached the group of hunters after the fact. And the bear that mauled Arviat …

2018-09-06 19:09   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: The politics of starving polar bears: my op-ed in the National Post last week

In case you missed it: The real story behind the famous starving polar-bear video reveals more manipulation (29 August 2018). It was tragedy porn meant to provoke a visceral response — the gut-wrenching video of an emaciated polar bear struggling …

2018-09-05 08:38   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Chukchi Sea polar bears number almost 3000 according to new survey results

The Chukchi Sea finally has a polar bear population estimate! According to survey results from 2016 only recently made public, about 2937 bears (1522-5944) currently inhabit the region, making this the largest subpopulation in the Arctic. This is exciting news — …

2018-09-04 02:58   Click to comment


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