Fat polar bears (Ursus Maritimus Obesus) -vs- CFACT

The press release below is from Wiley, where they worry that the polar bear can’t find enough sea ice. Meanwhile, billboards proclaim the uptick in polar bear numbers thanks to conservation efforts and other factors. See below for 10 reasons to consider why we shouldn’t worry. – Anthony


For polar bears, it’s survival of the fattest 

One of the most southerly populations of polar bears in the world – and the best studied – is struggling to cope with climate-induced changes to sea ice, new research reveals. Based on over 10 years’ data the study, published in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Animal Ecology, sheds new light on how sea ice conditions drive polar bears’ annual migration on and off the ice.  

Caption: An adult female polar bear wearing a GPS-satellite linked collar with her two 10-month-old cubs waits for the sea ice to re-form onshore in western Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada. Credit: Copyright Andrew Derocher, Univeristy of Alberta.

Lead by Dr Seth Cherry of the University of Alberta, the team studied polar bears in western Hudson Bay, where sea ice melts completely each summer and typically re-freezes from late November to early December. “This poses an interesting challenge for a species that has evolved as a highly efficient predator of ice-associated seals,” he explains. “Because although polar bears are excellent swimmers compared with other bear species, they use the sea ice to travel, hunt, mate and rest.”

Polar bears have adapted to the annual loss of sea ice by migrating onto land each summer. While there, they cannot hunt seals and must rely on fat reserves to see them through until the ice returns.

Dr Cherry and colleagues wanted to discover how earlier thawing and later freezing of sea ice affects the bears’ migration. “At first glance, sea ice may look like a barren, uniform environment, but in reality, it’s remarkably complex and polar bears manage to cope, and even thrive, in a habitat that moves beneath their feet and even disappears for part of the year. This is an extraordinary biological feat and biologist still don’t fully understand it,” he says.

From 1991-97 and 2004-09, they monitored movements of 109 female polar bears fitted with satellite tracking collars. They tagged only females because males’ necks are wider than their heads, so they cannot wear a collar. During the same period, the team also monitored the position and concentration of sea ice using satellite images.

“Defining precisely what aspects of sea ice break-up and freeze-up affect polar bear migration, and when these conditions occur, is a vital part of monitoring how potential climate-induced changes to sea ice freeze-thaw cycles may affect the bears,” he says.

The results reveal the timing of polar bears’ migration can be predicted by how fast the sea ice melts and freezes, and by when specific sea ice concentrations occur within a given area of Hudson Bay.

According to Dr Cherry: “The data suggest that in recent years, polar bears are arriving on shore earlier in the summer and leaving later in the autumn. These are precisely the kind of changes one would expect to see as a result of a warming climate and may help explain some other studies that are showing declines in body condition and cub production.”

Recent estimates put the western Hudson Bay polar bear population at around 900 individuals. The population has declined since the 1990s, as has the bears’ body condition and the number of cubs surviving to adulthood.

Because polar bears’ main food source is seals, and these are hunted almost exclusively on sea ice, the longer bears spend on land, the longer they must go without energy-rich seals. “Climate-induced changes that cause sea ice to melt earlier, form later, or both, likely affect the overall health of polar bears in the area. Ultimately, for polar bears, it’s survival of the fattest,” says Dr Cherry.

He hopes the results will enable other scientists and wildlife managers to predict how potential climate-induced changes to sea ice freeze-thaw cycles will affect the ecology, particularly the migration patterns, of this iconic species.


Seth Cherry et al (2013). ‘Migration phenology and seasonal fidelity of an Arctic marine predator in relation to sea ice dynamics’, doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12050, is published in the Journal of Animal Ecology on Wednesday 20 March 2013.


CFACT writes on their webpage:

The polar bear invasion

While many people believe that polar bears are in danger because of global warming, it might surprise them to learn that polar bear numbers have actually quadrupled in recent decades. Such news is no surprise to residents of Churchill, Manitoba, however, who are experiencing an invasion of polar bears in their town. According to reports, polar bears are commonly seen walking down Churchill’s main street, and people have learned to leave their cars unlocked so they can quickly duck inside if one approaches. It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that dogs are routinely being eaten, a polar bear hotline has been created, and kids cannot go out trick or treating without a parent packing a shotgun for protection.


So in a sense, the Wiley article is correct, and polar bears are coming on land, due to Hudson Bay sea ice melt. But, hasn’t this always happened?

Four diagrams showing seasonal sea ice patterns in Hudson Bay, Canada

These four diagrams show the seasonal patterns of sea ice concentration in Hudson Bay, on the northern Canadian coast. White areas contain nearly solid sea ice; grays indicate lower concentrations of ice; blue indicates open water. (Courtesy G. Durner)

Jeff Condon did a post on Hudson Bay ice here and notes:

Lower edge of Hudson Bay Region Sea ice Area.

Since we know that this region definitely melts 100% (should hit zero every year) and we can see the same step pattern in the lower edge.  This appears to be another indication of a definite bias in the sea ice satellite data.  How this is handled by the pro’s is an unexplored matter but this data is the final published version from the NSIDC.

Biologist Susan Crockford gives us ten good reasons not to worry about polar bears:

1) Polar bears are a conservation success story. Their numbers have rebounded remarkably since 1973 and we can say for sure that there are more polar bears now than there were 40 years ago. Although we cannot state the precise amount that populations have increased (which is true for many species – counts are usually undertaken only after a major decline is noticeable), polar bears join a long list of other marine mammals whose populations rebounded spectacularly after unregulated hunting stopped: sea otters, all eight species of fur seals, walrus, both species of elephant seal, and whales of all kinds (including grey, right, bowhead, humpback, sei, fin, blue and sperm whales). Once surveys have been completed for the four subpopulations  of polar bears whose numbers are currently listed as zero (how about funding that, WWF?), the total world population will almost certainly rise to well above the current official estimate of 20,000-25,000 (perhaps to 27,000-32,000?).

2) The only polar bear subpopulation that has had a statistically significant decline in recent years is the one in Western Hudson Bay (WH)(Fig. 1). A few others have been presumed to be decreasing, based on suspicions of over-harvesting, assumed repercussions of reduced sea ice and/or statistically insignificant declines in body condition (see 3, below) – not actual population declines.

Figure 1. A map of the 19 polar bear subpopulations (courtesy the Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG), with a few additional labels).

Figure 1. A map of the 19 polar bear subpopulations (courtesy the Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG), with a few additional labels).

3) Polar bears in the US portion of the Chukchi Sea are in good condition and reproducing well, while sea ice in the Bering Sea has rebounded from record lows over the last ten years – good reasons not to be worried about polar bears in the Chukchi. The Chukchi subpopulation (which includes bears in the Bering Sea) was formerly assumed to be decreasing due to suspected over-harvesting and past declines in sea ice – even though no population survey had ever been done (see 2, above) – but preliminary reports about a recent survey suggest that Chukchi polar bears are doing very well. While there is still no official population estimate for the Chukchi (currently listed as zero), sea ice coverage in the Bering Sea has been higher than average over the last ten years and 2012 didn’t just break the satellite-era record set in 1999, it exceeded it by almost 100,000 square kilometers.

4) A survey by the Nunavut government in 2011 showed that polar bear numbers in Western Hudson Bay have not declined since 2004 as predicted and all available evidence indicates that Hudson Bay sea ice is not on a steadily precipitous decline – good reasons not to be worried about Hudson Bay bears. While polar bear biologists Ian Stirling and Andrew Derocher continue to insist that the modest decline in numbers of Western Hudson Bay polar bears recorded between 1998 and 2004 was due to earlier breakup of sea ice – and continues on that trend to this day – it turns out that much of the data used to support that claim is either unpublished, woefully out of date, or both. Although Stirling and colleagues have not yet published comparable dates of sea ice breakup since 2007 (they use a particular computation of satellite data), Canadian Ice Service data suggests that over the last 10 years we have not seen another very early breakup in Hudson Bay like the one that occurred in 2003. Surprisingly, 2009 was a late breakup year: the Port of Churchill experienced the latest breakup of sea ice since 1974 (three weeks later than average). All of which suggests that in Western Hudson Bay, some years have been good for polar bears and others have been not so good, but there has not been a relentless decline in sea ice breakup dates over the last thirty years.

5) Population decreases in polar bear numbers attributed to earlier sea ice breakup in Western Hudson Bay (see 4, above) have not been anywhere near as severe as the catastrophic decline that took place in 1974 in the eastern Beaufort Sea, which was associated with exceptionally thick sea ice. The modest decline in the Western Hudson Bay population that took place between 1998 and 2004 (down 22%) pales in comparison to the 1974 Beaufort event, when ringed seals numbers (i.e. polar bear food) dropped by 80% or more and numbers of polar bears plummeted. Similar events took place in 1984 and 1992, which means that three precipitous population declines due to heavy ice have taken place in this polar bear population over the last 40 years – but each time, numbers rebounded a few years later. In other words, due to entirely natural causes, polar bear numbers can fluctuate quite dramatically over relatively short periods because of the highly variable sea ice habitat they live in.

6) Polar bears need spring and early summer ice (March through June) for gorging on young, fat seals and documented declines in sea ice have rarely impinged on that critical feeding period (except for a few isolated years in Hudson Bay, see 4, above). A new study suggests that while some Western Hudson Bay bears will likely perish if the ice-free period extends to six months (from its current four-to-four+), many will survive because of their exceptional fat storage abilities.

7) There is no plausible evidence that regulated subsistence hunting is causing polar bear numbers to decline, despite suspicions harbored by the Polar Bear Specialist Group.

8) Global temperatures have not risen in a statistically-significant way in the last 16 years (see Fig. 2) – a standstill not predicted by climate models and a phenomenon even the chairman of the IPCC has acknowledged – which suggests that the record sea ice lows of the last few years are probably not primarily due to CO2-caused increases in global temperatures. Such changes in Arctic sea ice appear to be normal habitat variations that polar bears have survived before (see 9, below) and are likely due to a combination of natural and man-made processes we do not yet fully understand (including the effects of black carbon).[see footnote below]

Figure 2. LEFT - There has not been any statistically significant increase in global temperatures over the last 16 years (1997-2013), even though CO2 levels have continued to rise (Graph modified from David Evans, using Hadley UK Met Office data (HadCrut4). RIGHT – Sea ice extent in September (the yearly minimum) has declined significantly since 1997, even while global temperatures have barely changed (Graph from NSIDC).

Figure 2. LEFT – There has not been any statistically significant increase in global temperatures over the last 16 years (1997-2013), even though CO2 levels have continued to rise (Graph modified from David Evans, using Hadley UK Met Office data (HadCrut4). RIGHT – Sea ice extent in September (the yearly minimum) has declined quite a bit since 1997 – although nowhere near zero – while global temperatures have barely changed overall (Graph from NSIDC) Click to enlarge.

9) Survival of polar bears over a hundred thousand years (at least) of highly variable sea ice coverage indicates that those biologists who portend a doomed future for the polar bear have grossly underestimated its ability to survive vastly different conditions than those that existed in the late 1970s when Ian Stirling began his polar bear research. Sea ice has varied – countless dozens of times – over the short term (decades-long climate oscillations) and the long term (glacial-to-interglacial cycles of thousands of years). Over the last 100,000 years, there have been periods of much less ice than today, but also much, much more. Polar bear population numbers probably fluctuated up and down in conjunction with some of these sea ice changes but the polar bear as a species survived – and so did all of the Arctic seal species it depends on for food. Such survival indicates that these Arctic species, in an evolutionary sense, are very well-adapted to their highly-variable habitat.

10) Polar bears today are well distributed throughout their available territory, which is a recognized characteristic of a healthy species.

These are all good reasons to feel good about the current status of the polar bear. It is plain to see that these ice-dwelling bears are not currently threatened with extinction due to declining sea ice, despite the hue and cry from activist scientists and environmental organizations. Indeed, because the polar bear is doing so well, those who would like to see polar bears listed as “threatened” depend entirely upon dramatic declines in sea ice prophesied to occur decades from now to make their case.

Footnote: Updated Feb. 28, 2013. I have amended the last sentence of #8 to reflect the possibility that man-made influences (such as soot) may have contributed to recent sea ice declines.


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The Glorification of the Artificial Future by the Agenda 21 program is the key to their scam. If we can teach everyone how the scam works, we can all use the scam to scam each other and everyone can make money on it.


So this is kind of like the Goldilocks story. The ice can’t be to thin and the ice can’t be to thick it can only be just right for polar bears to survive. And in the end just like humans, it is the fattest ones that will survive.

Doug Proctor

“The population has declined since the 1990s,”
Really? 1995 estimated at 1200, next data “2009 but based on data from 2004” is 935.
Based on 2004 data? So most recent data is ten years old?

Laurie Bowen

Very interesting . . . . but, I always wonder why we accept the (misleading at least to me) optical anomoly when it comes to looking at this part of our maps (globe) . . . .
for an example comparison . . .

John Tillman

Cherry, et al, cite Regehr, et al, 2007, to the effect that the WHB population fell from ~1194 to 935 between 1987 & 2004. To quote Zac Unger (WSJ & elsewhere), “After that 2004 count, scientists predicted that the population would crater to 676 bears by 2011. But a recent survey found more than 1000 bears there, leading some government scientists to enthusiastically endorse increased hunting quotas.”
Recent studies have found that polar bears, while still rapidly evolving, are a much more ancient species than previously thought. Evidence suggests that they did suffer a stark decline around 500,000 years ago, during the strange interglacial of MIS 13.
That interglacial appears on average cooler than succeeding ones, including the two most recent, the Eemian & present, but it seems to have suffered a split personality, with a warm NH & cool SH, according to a recent paper funded by the Chinese government (I know, I know…right up there with the Bros. Koch, Heartland Institute, Big Oil & all the other villains who sustain Anthony & Kenji’s lavish, rich, famous, jet-setting, high carbon-footprint lifestyle). Worth reading for its heretical conclusions re. CO2:
So maybe a hot northern climate did harm polar bears, but so far the Modern Warm Period hasn’t significantly done so.


Can I stick this here for fun
Borrowed this from Big Ape of a CBC blog
Al Gore press conference this morning:
Good morning ladies and gentlemen
As you all know, I have made my vast personal fortune selling people on the idea that global climate change is a very real danger, threatening all life on this planet. I have been able to sell my driv…..I mean my views to people throughout this great land and beyond. I have become so rich that I can keep all the lights on in my mansion 24/7.
The last ice age and the years of the dust bowl 30’s was not climate change..just minor weather anomalies. However, a Texas snowstorm, caused by a Canadian cold front forced further south than usual by the jet stream, is clear evidence of man’s dastardly deeds. Let’s not forget that. The fact that it has snowed on rare occasions in Texas since the time of Moses is irrelevant. We are talking now.
Last year’s warm spring followed by an extremely dry and hot summer brought me untold riches as I told my story over and over again to the willing of mind. However, this latest news of a cold and rather normal spring is indeed disturbing and, I have come to the conclusion that…..I have no idea what I’m talking about.
Thank you for listening and now I must go home. I left the lights on in the kitchen, den, bathroom,…….

Mark Bofill

(rant alert!)
Holy Moses. All things being equal, I’m vaguely glad the polar bears are doing OK. That’s really very nice that their numbers aren’t in danger. But if saying this makes me an evil, inferior sort of person, so be it. On the scale of the problems surrounding the AGW and fossil fuel issues, I don’t care about the darn polar bears. At ALL. They don’t register. We’re talking about the difference between prosperity and life and misery and death for generations in developing nations. Trillions of dollars difference in developed nations. Species have gone extinct before, life goes on for the rest.
If there are people out there who really believe polar bears are in danger due to AGW and who really care, they ought to focus on coming up with a solution that doesn’t involve sending humanity back to the dark ages. I’m sure resourceful and determined people could come up with an effective answer that’d be a lot more effective, cheap and workable than that.
(end of rant)

John B

Why do you think now that the authors of this paper Seth Cherry et al chose the Western Hudson Bay polar bear population to do their study. It is well known that out of all the searate populations of polar bears that this is the ONLY population that MAY be declining.
It wouldn’t be anything to do with going after the quick media headlines hoping that no one notices that the number of polar bears have risen from 5,000 – 10,000 bears in the 1960’s to anything up to 25,000 – 32,000 today.
If you want accurate reporting on polar bears Susan Crockfords blog at Polar Bear Science is excellent. No spin just facts. If you prefer spin with little facts anything written by Andrew Derocher should do the trick.

I can’t resist. The researcher[?]’s name is Cherry as in cherry picking??

Mike Hebb

City streets are a high risk area for bears. They avoid such areas unless pressed. This indicates the food availability is in decline or there is an overpopulation outside the high risk area. Does anyone know what Churchill was like 30 or 40 years ago in this regard?

O Olson

I would like one of the above billboards to be put up outside the San Diego zoo. On a recent visit, the spiel they gave at the polar bear exhibit was so wrong and so sickening I just had to walk away. Later I had to tell the relatives we were visiting what’s really happening with the polar bear population. They seemed stunned, and actually a little disappointed !


The sea ice has not totally disappeared recently. How many bears live year-round on the ice? How many researchers are out there looking where it is not convenient to look?


they use the sea ice to travel, hunt, mate and rest.”
and they use land to not travel, hunt, mate and rest?
Must be hell only being able to do those things in the dead of winter……….


“declines in body condition and cub production”

A study of penguins in Antarctica a years ago discovered a dramtic reduction in chick production, which was of course reported as being due to global warming.
This was later discovered to only apply to penguins wearing GPS collars. Others were doing fine.
I wonder if these “researchers” considered the possible effects of collars on the polar bears?

Reblogged this on Johnsono ne'Blog'as.

Hmmmm. Reminds me of the record Salmon runs in the last few years when the environmentalists are trying to get everything that lives in the rivers listed as endangered due to human activities. Specifically dredging and other forms of recreational mining…

Chuck Nolan

Yes, finally they got it right.
That’s the right billboard.

Laurie Bowen

@ Mark Bofill:
They did . . . . that’s why you can’t “legally” eat them anymore.

Reblogged this on Truth, Lies and In Between and commented:
Great ad! Global warming scam exposed.


I’ve not managed to read the post in full yet but have been reading some info & looking at polar bear population density recently. IIRC then there was only one population amongst the world’s bear groups that has been in decline, and this was somewhere around the Hudson bay I believe. That is considered to be a condition problem in the animals and not yet understood. All other population groups across the Northern Hemisphere are increasing in numbers.
I’m always amused that people think polar bears will be unable to survive without sea ice. Of course they will survive, they will just adapt as they have before. Obviously the alarmists and ecologists forget that the polar bear is just a grizzly bear who gained a taste for sushi up North. Perhaps they think the process irreversible. It may be if people keep killing them as they move south ( in this hypothetical scenario) but if not they will simply breed into the brown bear populations they come from.

Big D in TX

Mark Bofill says:
March 20, 2013 at 11:48 am
Mark, I appreciate the sentiment, but with all respect, you have missed the boat on this one.
Beyond any CAGW worries, there is an ecological concern. In simple terms, when you remove the apex predator from an area, everything else goes to hell. I encourage you to do some reading on the re-introduction of wolves to Yellowstone; it is a great case study.
A healthy and growing polar bear population can only be supported by a healthy ecosystem that supports it.
Therefore, our improved stewardship of the arctic (through reduced hunting, etc.) is not just good for the polar bears, but by proxy the whole of the area and all its denizens. That polar bears are flourishing is excellent evidence that anthropogenic activities are not damaging the environment in the way they are purported to do so, and may be used as a hallmark argument against further policies, so we can get back to focusing on the “prosperity and life and misery and death for generations in developing nations”, and the “trillions of dollars” churned through green schemes.


Matt Ridley had a commentary about this a few days ago.
We Should Be Listening To Susan Crockford


Does anyone know what Churchill was like 30 or 40 years ago in this [polar bear sightings]regard?
I can’t go back 40 years, but when my company had a construction project up there in the early 90s polar bears were seen frequently, and were quite a hazard. I recall documentaries from the time that indicated that polar bears were a long-standing problem, since Churchill is on their normal migration route.

son of mulder

I’m getting confused, so is this good news for my friends the seals or not?

Recent research indicates that polar bears do best on first year ice as that is where the seals are. The make their blow holes and bring their young out on thin first year ice. Multi-year ice is a problem as it it too thick. Since we have lots of first year ice, the research (and seal counts) indicates that this is good for seals and polar bears. Comments above make the same observation. Polar Bears still eat in the summer on land, just not fat rich seals. Like all bears, they are omnivores and will eat anything – plants, roots, bearberries, carrion, eggs, animals, seaweed and anything else that is edible.

Mark Bofill

Laurie Bowen says:
March 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm
@ Mark Bofill:
They did . . . . that’s why you can’t “legally” eat them anymore.
Right, but then why do they come up in the context of AGW all the time, that’s my point. Why isn’t it Michelle Obama’s purview instead, to explain to all the obese little American kids why polar bears aren’t a healthy choice for a snack? ‘Lets Move! A—Way! from — EaTiNgPoLaRbEaRs!!!’

Laurie Bowen

Beats me Mark . . . Not MY marketing campaign! Maybe it has something to do with “Teddy” Bears or “Smokey” the Bear, or Yogi Bear and his sidekick “Boo Boo”!


Pathway says (11.10 am)
” And in the end like humans only the fattest ones survive”,
Now that is really really depressing, no more Heidi Klumms 🙁

Mark Bofill

Big D in TX says:
March 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm
Mark Bofill says:
March 20, 2013 at 11:48 am
Thanks Big D. Respectfully, seriously, I understand the benefits of conservationism. My point remains that a discussion of polar bears and their beneficial impact on their ecosystem is several orders of magnitude less important than the other issues involved in AGW policy, and that therefore concerns about the impact of the burning of fossil fuels on polar bear populations is bizarrely out of place.
I point this out because when people seriously discuss the well-being of polar bears in this context, they implicitly accept the idea of elevating the importance of this, and it’s a mistake.


Since seals are air breathers, where do they go to rest when there is no sea ice?

‘According to reports, polar bears are commonly seen walking down Churchill’s main street, and people have learned to leave their cars unlocked so they can quickly duck inside if one approaches. It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that dogs are routinely being eaten, a polar bear hotline has been created, and kids cannot go out trick or treating without a parent packing a shotgun for protection.’
That’s funny. Try ‘According to complete and utter bullshit…’

1) Polar bears are a conservation success story.
When you stop shooting them, they do pretty well.

Rhoda R

Kels, what about the statement is “…complete and utter bullshit”? I’m not challenging you so much as asking for info — do bears not walk down the center of Churchill or is that unlocked cars are no solution to suddenly coming face to face with a polar bear?


An adult female polar bear wearing a GPS-satellite linked collar with her two 10-month-old cubs waits for the sea ice to re-form onshore in western Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada.

Sure. Absolutely. The bear, which has just completed a day of seeking pick-a-nick baskets, is now “waiting” for the sea ice to re-form. Yep. That’s what she’s doing.
This is such a common ploy for “activists” that by now I expect people to have caught on. Except, of course, for the younger ones that haven’t yet learned to be sufficiently cynical. That bear could be doing virtually anything, but the caption is designed to evoke an emotional response. Just like the lonely bear floating around on a chunk of ice, or poor victim swimming bear.
Anyone familiar with Internet Memes recognizes Grumpy Cat and Sad Keanu, and now it’s “Sad Overheated Polar Bear”.
Anthropomorphizing wild animal activities is about as dishonest as it gets when pleading for a cause.

Does anyone know what Churchill was like 30 or 40 years ago in this [polar bear sightings]regard?
There were not a lot of bears seen around Churchill until the 1960s. Going back to the 1930s/40s, there does not seem to have been much thought of bears, kids played in the rocks, etc. Bears were first attracted by the garbage dumps associated with the military base, Fort Churchill, then when that shut down, bears started coming closer to town, etc. In the early 1970s, people used to go and picnic across from the dump to watch bears. It seems that the late 1960s and early 70s were likely the peak for numbers of bears around town… really hard to say.
Basically, a lot of the ‘encounters’ are influenced not just by sea ice but also by who is baiting and where, the garbage situation (since the dump finally closed in 2004) encounters have declined and the approach by Polar Bear Alert officers (currently, they are quite aggressive).


Are the stories about “polar bear welcome mats” true?
Enquiring minds want to know…

Myron Mesecke

The results reveal the timing of polar bears’ migration can be predicted by how fast the sea ice melts and freezes, and by when specific sea ice concentrations occur within a given area of Hudson Bay.
Imagine that! Polar Bears are smart enough to learn from the condition of the ice.
And in Germany the birds are smart enough to head back south since winter won’t quit.

James at 48

The elephant in the room is garbage addiction. We are developing bears into monsters. Nothing good can come of this. This is a problem throughout North America affecting both Black and Brown/Polar bear sub species.


Imagine how this would be playing out….if, instead of warm fuzzy polar bears……it was brutal bloodthirsty baby seal killers


I always figured less I would benefit the Polar bears. Seeing that they prey on seals that have to go to a solid surface as some time, wouldn’t that make the concentration of available food go up? The baby seals that they gorge upon do not spend the early part of their life at sea. The seals also aren’t going to wait a couple extra months to have the babies. So they will find ice/land or anywhere they can to have these babies which means food for the bears. How is this most basic concept continuously ignored?

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

It sure sounds like the decline in sea ice is good news for the seals, as they can more easily avoid polar bears. Personally, I find seals to be cuter than polar bears, so I think this is actually a climate change success story. Why is nobody else concerned about the poor seals?


James at 48 says:
March 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm
The elephant in the room is garbage addiction. We are developing bears into monsters. Nothing good can come of this. This is a problem throughout North America affecting both Black and Brown/Polar bear sub species.

Bears are already monsters aka omnivores. Doesn’t include the evolutionary dead-end that is the bamboo eating Panda.

John Tillman

This recent study, Chambellant, et al., finds that the main prey species of polar bears, ringed seals, increased in Hudson Bay during the 2000s vs. the 1990s. Female polar bears eat ringed seal pups in their snow lairs on land-fast ice or floes, while males catch adults at their breathing holes:
We related temporal variation in the environment to demographic parameters and body condition of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) in Hudson Bay, near the southern limit of the species’ geographic range. Ringed seals harvested by Inuit hunters for subsistence purposes in Arviat, Nunavut, Canada, from 1991 to 2006 were measured and sampled. Ringed seal ovulation rate did not change over time, but pregnancy rate and percent pups in the fall harvest increased in the 2000s, compared to the 1990s. Ringed seals grew faster and attained sexual maturity earlier in life, and the population age structure shifted to younger age classes in the 2000s compared to the 1990s. Ringed seal demographic parameters were characteristic of a population in decline in the 1990s and a growing population in the 2000s. A quadratic polynomial regression best described the relationship between percent pups in the harvest and snow depth, and between pup and adult female body condition index and date of spring breakup, suggesting that ringed seals have evolved to do best within a relatively limited range of environmental conditions. We propose that the decline of ringed seal reproductive parameters and pup survival in the 1990s could have been triggered by unusually cold winters and heavy ice conditions that prevailed in Hudson Bay in the early 1990s, through nutritional stress and increased predation pressure. The recovery in the 2000s may have been augmented by immigration of pups, juveniles, and young adult ringed seals into the study area. We discuss the possibility of a decadal-scale biological cycle that reflects fluctuations in climatic variables, and particularly in the sea ice regime.
(Apologies if this comment has already been posted. I have limited Net connectivity.)


Polar bears have adapted to the annual loss of sea ice by migrating onto land each summer. While there, they cannot hunt seals and must rely on fat reserves to see them through until the ice returns.
[My bold]

Oh really?

Estimating the Energetic Contribution of Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Summer Diets to the Total Energy Budget
The analysis indicated that it is possible for polar bears to maintain their body mass while on shore by feeding on arctic charr and seal blubber. Polar bears of body masses up to 280 kg could gain sufficient energy from blueberries to match the daily energy loss.
Food habits of polar bears on land during the ice-free period in western Hudson Bay were examined between 1986 and 1992. In contrast to previous studies, feeding on vegetation during the ice-free period was common……
Analyses were made of 233 scats collected from islands in James Bay and 212 scats gathered on the southwest coast of Hudson Bay. Birds, primarily Anatidae, were the most commonly used summer and autumn food of bears in James Bay. Marine algae and grasses were the foods most often eaten by bears on the mainland….
Bears which fed in the dump were significantly heavier than those which did not. There was no evidence that bears using the dump gained either reproductive or survival advantages….


Polar bears are just a thing fo the past.

We therefore conclude that for a priod in the Early Holocene, probably for a millenium or more, the Arctic Ocean was free of sea ice at least for shorter periods in the summer. This may serve as an analogue to the predicted “greenhouse situation” expected to appear within our century.
Arctic sea ice cover was strongly reduced during most of the early Holocene and there appear to have been periods of ice free summers in the central Arctic Ocean. This has important consequences for our understanding of the recent trend of declining sea ice, and calls for further research on causal links between Arctic climate and sea ice.
Calcareous nannofossils from approximately the past 7000 yr of the Holocene and from oxygen isotope stage 5 are present at 39 analyzed sites in the central Arctic Ocean. This indicates partly ice-free conditions during at least some summers. The depth of Holocene sediments in the Nansen basin is about 20 cm, or more where influenced by turbidites.
….Nevertheless, episodes of considerably reduced sea ice or even seasonally ice-free conditions occurred during warmer periods linked to orbital variations. The last low-ice event related to orbital forcing (high insolation) was in the early Holocene,…
A 10,000-Year Record of Arctic Ocean Sea-Ice Variability—View from the Beach
We present a sea-ice record from northern Greenland covering the past 10,000 years. Multiyear sea ice reached a minimum between ~8500 and 6000 years ago, when the limit of year-round sea ice at the coast of Greenland was located ~1000 kilometers to the north of its present position. The subsequent increase in multiyear sea ice culminated during the past 2500 years and is linked to an increase in ice export from the western Arctic and higher variability of ice-drift routes


But Polar bears will drown. Oh the humanity.

Between an initial capture in late August and a recapture in late October 2008, a radio-collared adult female polar bear in the Beaufort Sea made a continuous swim of 687 km over 9 days and then intermittently swam and walked on the sea ice surface an additional 1,800 km.
Long-distance swimming by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea during years of extensive open water
During 6 years (2004–2009), we identified 50 long-distance swims by 20 bears. Swim duration and distance ranged from 0.7 to 9.7 days (mean = 3.4 days) and 53.7 to 687.1 km (mean = 154.2 km), respectively. Frequency of swimming appeared to increase over the course of the study. We show that adult female polar bears and their cubs are capable of swimming long distances during periods when extensive areas of open water are present.

But what about the drowning polar bear cubs?

We describe an observation of a polar bear cub on its mother’s back while the mother was swimming among ice floes in Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic.

I hope I have conclusively shown that polar bears are just a thing of the past. 😉

Chris Edwards

I have to laugh, here in Ontario the lakes froze a little earlier and there still is well over a foot left in the local lakes, well south of the Hudson bay so this so called research is shit!

Ben Darren Hillicoss

“we” need to stress that THICK sea ice kills polar bears (re. 1974) and with thin sea ice polar bears thrive


The Eemian wiped out the polly bears. We must act now!!!

During recent fieldwork in Svalbard, a well preserved subfossil left mandible of a polar bear (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) was discovered. A 14C age determination shows that it is older than 45 Ky (kilo-years), and an age determination with infrared-stimulated luminescence—together with the stratigraphic position of the bone—suggests that it is of Eemian–Early Weichselian age: 130–110 Ky old.


Actual what they really saying is the most successful hunters, and that is why there fat , are the most likley to survive, just has with any other type of predator. But becasue these ‘cute ‘ bears have become icons to ‘the cause ‘ the normal rules of reality have to be forgotten.

Philip Shehan

It is to be hoped that polar bears can survive on land in the absence of summer ice flows, but this does not mean that the models showing disappearing arctic ice and the data confirming it are incorrect.