Site: Polar Bear Science

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Recent Articles

Polar Bear Science: Much more sea ice in NW Hudson Bay this year than 2016 or 2015 at 27 May

In recent years, sea ice loss over Hudson Bay has begun with open water in the NW corner (which is just as likely due to prevailing offshore winds as ice melt) rather than along the east coast but this year …

2017-05-28 16:29   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Just when I wasn’t paying attention: 1 million views surpassed

I knew it was coming up and then forgot to check, but sometime about 2 weeks ago blog views here at PolarBearScience passed the one million mark — more than two months ahead of my 5th anniversary. Over 1 million …

2017-05-26 19:36   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Southern Beaufort sea ice melt in May: good news for polar bears or catastrophe?

Last week biologist Andrew Derocher recently implied via twitter that less sea ice in the eastern portion of the Southern Beaufort (SB) this year at mid-May is harmful to polar bears (calling it “a hole in the ice where polar …

2017-05-23 03:39   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Polar bear mating season winds down with lots of sea ice habitat available

Habitat for polar bears is abundant worldwide as the prime feeding season passes its peak and mating season for sexually mature bears winds down. There is much more ice than usual around Svalbard in the Barents Sea and off Newfoundland …

2017-05-14 20:02   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: IUCN PBSG insists the 2015 Barents Sea polar bear count was not an increase

Similar to the spin on the 2013 Baffin Bay/Kane Basin polar bear population survey, the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group now insists the latest count of the Barents Sea subpopulation is not evidence of an increase in numbers since 2004, …

2017-05-02 06:38   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: IUCN Specialist Group now rejects polar bear numbers it used for 2015 IUCN Red List review

Is there a mutiny in the works between the IUCN Red List and the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) over polar bear population estimates or has there simply been a breach of ethics? What else explains the fact that …

2017-05-02 06:12   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Experts’ vision of an ice-free summer is already wrong & benefitting polar bears

Polar bear populations in most of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) must be booming, as they are elsewhere. That’s because the ‘experts’ were even more wrong in their predictions of future sea ice conditions than most people realize: they expected …

2017-04-26 17:46   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Sea ice off Newfoundland thickest ever yet another polar bear comes ashore

Amid reports that ice conditions between Newfoundland and southern Labrador are the worst in living memory, another polar bear was reported ashore in the area — just after biologist Andrew Derocher explained to the CBC that bears only come on …

2017-04-22 20:35   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Still lots of East Coast sea ice but prof tells CBC it doesn’t bode well for polar bears

Davis Strait polar bears around Newfoundland and Labrador are currently experiencing what one polar bear specialist refers to as “failed” sea ice conditions, causing bears to come ashore in droves. I’m not making this up. The ice was so thick …

2017-04-21 16:14   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: New genetics paper is not about whether climate change causes polar bear hybrids

A new paper on the evolutionary history of bears (Bears breed across species borders: Kumar et al. 2017) has concluded that hybridization is common and natural among all species of ursids. And while some media outlets (e.g. DailyMail) have framed …

2017-04-20 18:12   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Global polar bear population size is about 28,500 when updates are included

Polar bear numbers have risen since 2005, no matter how you look at it: USGS estimated 24,500 (average) polar bears in 2005. IUCN estimated 26,500 (average of 22,000-31,000) in 2015 (assessment completed in July, released in November). Subpopulation surveys completed …

2017-04-12 19:43   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Newfoundland conservation officers right to kill polar bear in hunting mode

Apparently, some locals were upset that a polar bear that refused to be scared away from a Newfoundland community over the weekend was shot as it advanced on conservation officers and a crowd of onlookers who refused to disperse (see …

2017-04-10 18:52   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Maclean’s blames global warming for polar bear visits to Newfoundland

Without a shred of evidence, Canada’s Maclean’s magazine claims recent polar bear sightings in Newfoundland and Labrador are due to global warming — and concludes that such incidents are bound to get worse. But since it’s likely that polar bear populations …

2017-04-10 06:45   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: East Coast crawling with polar bears since early March thanks to the pack ice

The  hot polar bear news right now is the large number of sightings of bears onshore in Newfoundland and Labrador – even the CBC is impressed. All the bears have been brought to land by the abundant pack ice that’s …

2017-04-04 06:05   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Recent incident in Foxe Basin shows the danger of hungry polar bears in winter

A late-night encounter with a thin and hungry polar bear in the northern Quebec community of Ivujivik in early March was a nightmare-inspiring event. Reported this morning by NunatsiaqOnline (Nunavik community receives some unwelcome guests, 28 March 2017), the thwarted …

2017-03-28 16:55   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Late winter polar bear habitat 2017 vs. 2006 and 2011 shows no trend

Here is a bit of historical perspective for rational readers trying to make sense of the doom-mongering of others that current sea ice conditions spell trouble for polar bears, given that the winter maximum extent for 2017 reached a new …

2017-03-27 19:54   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Another fat bear onshore in late winter, along Gulf of St. Lawrence north coast

Another fat bear onshore in late winter, this time along the Quebec shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence (22 March 2017) – and this time, one of the witnesses to the sighting took some great photos. Courtesy CBC News …

2017-03-27 09:02   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Exposing the failed polar bear scare to a an enthusiastic and influential audience

I’ve just returned from a few days in Washington DC, where I presented the details on the global warming icon that refused to die as modeled (see my slide #12 below) to an enthusiastic and influential audience at The Heartland …

2017-03-26 20:10   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Prehistoric polar bear find has elongated body type Inuit know as a ‘weasel bear’

A story that broke in Alaska newspapers a month ago made the UK press this weekend about the archaeological discovery of 1,300 year old polar bear skull that may be associated with an unusual body type known to Inuit hunters. …

2017-03-20 16:24   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Several fat polar bears sighted in southern Labrador early this week

Seven polar bears came ashore this week, either passing through or exploring, in Black Tickle, Labrador. It’s not that unusual an occurrence but the take home quote sure is: “They look really healthy … they have been eating good, these …

2017-03-08 22:59   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Report of Hudson Bay polar bear onshore in winter is rare indeed – here’s why

Late February is still the dead of winter in the Arctic, a time when most polar bears are at their leanest and out on the sea ice trying to find seals – and that means yesterday’s report of a “very …

2017-03-03 17:53   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Science behind the video Polar Bear Scare Unmasked – updated paper now available

Announcing the publication today of Version 2 of my paper that tests the hypothesis that polar bear population declines result from rapid declines in summer sea ice, updated with recently available data. Version 2 provides the scientific support for the …

2017-03-01 00:05   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Polar Bear Scare Unmasked: The Saga of a Toppled Global Warming Icon [video]

For more than ten years, we’ve endured the shrill media headlines, the hyperbole from conservation organizations, and the simplistic platitudes from scientists as summer sea ice declined dramatically while polar bear numbers rose. Now, just in time for International Polar …

2017-02-27 17:06   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Thriving numbers – & two great books – are ample reason to rejoice on Polar Bear Day

Ten years of summer sea ice levels expected to kill 2/3 of the world’s polar bears by 2050 instead saw polar bear numbers grow. And this year, there are also two fabulous books about polar bears and their outstanding success …

2017-02-27 04:27   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Global polar bear population larger than previous thought – almost 30,000

The results of three recently-released studies that were not included in the last IUCN Red List assessment add more than 2,050 bears (on average)1 to the official 2015 global polar bear estimate, a point you won’t likely hear next Monday …

2017-02-24 06:14   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Polar bear habitat update: Masie charts show more ice in 2017 than 2006

It’s just an observation but NSIDC Masie ice charts show 14.7 mkm2 of sea ice for 2017 at 19 February (Day 50) but only 14.3 mkm2 for 2006 (see them copied below). In contrast, the NSIDC interactive graph shows almost …

2017-02-20 22:31   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Baffin Bay and Kane Basin polar bears not ‘declining’ concludes new report

The 2016 Scientific Working Group report on Baffin Bay and Kane Basin polar bears was released online without fanfare last week, confirming what local Inuit have been saying for years: contrary to the assertions of Polar Bear Specialist Group scientists, …

2017-02-16 06:00   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Polar bear habitat update for Canada at mid-February

Mid-February is the tail end of the winter fast for polar bears. Sea ice is approaching it’s maximum global extent but local maximum extents may vary. Most of the sea ice in Canada is locked in already but two regions …

2017-02-16 00:40   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: New paper updates lack of trend in W Hudson Bay breakup/freeze-up dates to 2015

A newly-published paper shows that there has been no trend in the time Western Hudson Bay polar bears spent onshore between 2001-2015 due to sea ice conditions at breakup or freeze-up (previously available to 2010 only), despite the marked decline …

2017-02-09 21:06   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Svalbard polar bears thrive in part due to ringed seal pups in the spring pack ice

Few people know that Arctic ringed seals (Phoca hispida, aka Pusa hispida) give birth and breed in the offshore pack ice in the spring, as it is seldom mentioned by either seal or polar bear specialists. While it is true …

2017-02-08 04:59   Click to comment


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