Polar undergo sea ice habitat replace at 15 November & drawback bears in Western Hudson Bay • Watts Up With That?


From Polar Undergo Science

Susan Crockford

Plentiful polar undergo habitat this autumn around the Arctic up to now, with simplest Hudson Bay sea ice formation just a little at the back of time table. Alternatively, Churchill has now not noticed the expected spike in drawback undergo stories, given the vocal pronouncement via polar undergo experts that it must be experiencing increasingly more issues of bears after they spent greater than 4 months ashore in summer season and fall.


Information of essentially the most egregious assault via a undergo I may just to find around the globe this autumn is proven within the video underneath, filmed 14 November 2023: it appears, the offending undergo had spent a number of days showing this offending behaviour.

Arctic total consistent with NSIDC Masie

Sea ice is forming a minimum of as speedy this 12 months because it has for the final two years, in spite of doubtful claims that this 12 months was once the warmest within the final 125,000 years.

Present sea ice protection around the Arctic looks as if this:

With regard to thickness, within the chart underneath darkish blue, inexperienced, yellow and crimson point out perennial ice 1-5m or extra that resisted soften this summer season whilst the red is newly-formed ice this autumn, authentic right here:

Hudson Bay

This 12 months maximum bears got here ashore via 17 June when the ice broke up, so via 15 November the bears were onshore for 152 days or about 5 months.

The video underneath was once recorded 9 November from a Tundra Buggy and printed Martinmas 2023, appearing that a minimum of one undergo should have made a seal kill (even though the kill itself was once now not stuck on digicam):

If the bears have to attend some other 3 weeks for sufficient ice to do a little severe ice-based searching, that might put them at 173 days or so with out meals, which is past their theoretic restrict of staying power of 170-171 days consistent with the fashions (Molnar et al. 2020). In keeping with those predictions, the professionals say we must see wide-spread hunger of grownup men and women with cubs close to Churchill if freeze-up is not on time till 7 December.

Alternatively, that now appears not likely, as the elements has grew to become very chilly in Churchill and that implies the ocean ice will begin to shape slightly temporarily over the following week.

And as of 16 November, gray ice (darkish red) were forming effectively alongside the northwest coast and in puts in Southern Hudson Bay. It kind of feels most likely that bears will start to depart via subsequent week as the brand new ice (crimson) thickens and expands — at maximum every week a few week past the typical for the Eighties (i.e., 23 November) after having been ashore for 159 days or so. Nonetheless, 5 months plus one week is an outstanding duration of time to move with out meals and with out inflicting a lot hassle.

In 2022, bears had been launched from the Churchill prison on 10 November, as early as within the Eighties, as a result of there was once sufficient ice for them to depart. That’s the most important metric that the Churchill Alert other folks generally announce however now not all the time. They appear to stay additional info to themselves than they did a couple of years in the past, together with now not publishing stories promptly each and every week as they as soon as did, leaving out weeks price of news (e.g. 2022), and now not bothering to put up the ultimate few stories of the season (e.g., 2021, 2022).

Experiences this 12 months have now not been up to date since 23 October, so whether or not we’ll see to any extent further is still noticed. If the bears were inflicting havoc over the previous couple of weeks I’m positive the ones stories would were produced promptly and the media alerted: it’s when the bears behave themselves and fail to stroll round ravenous that we don’t pay attention about it.

May it’s that the Churchill drawback undergo other folks are as invested in keeping up the most popular local weather alternate narrative as activist polar undergo experts and keep away from publishing stories that appear to be excellent information?

In 2021, freeze-up got here a pair weeks later, round 26 November, however as famous above, no drawback undergo stories had been issued after 24 October that 12 months. Inside a 2-3 day lee-way, freeze-up was once as early in 2020 as one of the most earliest years on file (i.e., about 4-7 November, with 1993 the earliest); freeze-up dates in 2017, 2018, and 2019 had been about the similar as the typical within the Eighties or 16 November (de l. a. Guardia et al. 2017; Miller et al. 2022). Considerably Miller and co-workers discovered no development in freeze-up dates of their research of freeze-up dates to 2020.

This implies WH sea ice protection within the fall has now not been “incessantly declining” over the past 30 years and polar undergo have now not been departing for the ice later and later within the season over that length, as many falsely state or suggest.

Take into account that fall is the second-most necessary feeding season for polar bears, because of the truth that seals are strongly drawn to newly-forming sea ice. It’s the bears’ probability to regain some or all the weight misplaced over the summer season, prior to the lengthy iciness speedy starts (whilst bears certainly hunt when they are able to whilst they’re at the ice, they aren’t steadily a hit all the way through the depths of the Arctic iciness and maximum bears are at their lowest weight via March).

This 12 months a litter of triplet cubs was once noticed via Discover.org webcams and on 9 November, the circle of relatives interacted with 3 different bears close to Tundra Buggies stuffed with vacationers:


Castro de l. a. Guardia, L., Myers, P.G., Derocher, A.E., Lunn, N.J., Terwisscha van Scheltinga, A.D. 2017. Sea ice cycle in western Hudson Bay, Canada, from a polar undergo point of view. Marine Ecology Growth Collection 564: 225–233. http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v564/p225-233/

Miller, E.N., Lunn, N.J., McGeachy, D., and Derocher, A.E. 2022. Autumn migration phenology of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in Hudson Bay, Canada. Polar Biology 45:1023-1034. https://hyperlink.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00300-022-03050-3

Molnár, P.Okay., Bitz, C.M., Holland, M.M., Kay, J.E., Penk, S.R. and Amstrup, S.C. 2020. Fasting season duration units temporal limits for international polar undergo endurance. Nature Local weather Alternate 10:732-738. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-0818-9



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