Sea ice off Newfoundland thickest ever yet another polar bear comes ashore

By Dr. Susan Crockford:

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 land when sea ice conditions “fail.”

Strait-of-belle-isle pack ice_April 19 2017_Nordik Relais

“Ice too thick for coast guard’s heavy icebreaker” said a 20 April 2017 CBC report on the state of ice in the Strait of Belle Isle. The pack is thick first year ice (four feet thick or more in places) and embedded with icebergs of much older, thicker ice. The ice packed along the northern shore of Newfoundland is hampering fishermen from getting out to sea and is not expected to clear until mid-May.

NASA Worldview shows the extent of the pack ice over northwest Newfoundland and southern Labrador on 19 April 2017 (the Strait of Belle Isle is the bit between the two):

Newfoundland Labrador sea ice 19 April 2017 NASA Worldview

The same day that the above satellite image was taken (19 April), at the north end of the Strait on the Newfoundland side, a polar bear was spotted in a small community northwest of St. Anthony (marked below,  “Wildberry Country Lodge” at Parker’s Brook). It’s on the shore of north-facing Pistolet Bay on the Great Northern Peninsula, near the 1000 year old Viking occupation site of L’Anse aux Meadows.

Parkers Brook location on Pistolet Bay

There were no photos of the Parker’s Brook bear but lots of others have been taken this year of almost a dozen seen along Newfoundland shorelines since early March: see my recently updated post, with an updated map of reported sightings. Harp seals are now abundant in the pack ice of southern Davis Strait, providing polar bears with an ample source of food when they need it most and therefore, a strong attractant to the area.

St brendan's bear 01 VOCM report 5 April 2017 Tracy Hynes

Yet, as I reported yesterday, polar bear specialist Andrew Derocher told the CBC this week that polar bears are almost always “forced” ashore by poor ice conditions. The CBC report included his tweet from 10 April, where he suggested “failed” Newfoundland ice conditions were the cause of multiple bears onshore in Newfoundland this year.

& people don’t mix well. Bears use land when sea ice conditions fail. We expect more events like this. http://bit.ly/2oY0Im2 

Similar thick ice conditions off northern Newfoundland (perhaps even worse) occurred in 2007, see Twillingate in the spring of 2007 below:

Twillingate-heavy ice-20070523_2007 CBC David Boyd photo

Yet, in 2007 there was not a single polar bear reported onshore in Newfoundland (as far as I am aware) but this year there were almost a dozen. And the photos taken this year show fat, healthy bears – not animals struggling to survive.

There’s much more -full story here: https://polarbearscience.com/2017/04/22/sea-ice-off-newfoundland-thickest-ever-yet-another-polar-bear-comes-ashore/


Dr. Susan Crockford writes of the backstory:

Derocher and I were both interviewed by CBC Radio Newfoundland about the unusually high numbers of polar bears onshore this spring but CBC contacted me first. I did two interviews: the staff at the St. John’s station recommended me so highly after my interview with them that the Gander station asked if I’d do one for them too. Both aired April 11 and a print version appeared on April 12. Someone (was it Derocher? I don’t know) obviously complained that I should not have been described as an “expert” and the print article was changed the next day to remove the offensive word. The next week Derocher also did a CBC radio interview to have his say (with a print version appearing on April 21) – but did he call them or did they call him? We’ll probably never know. I’ve included some quotes from both: readers can decide for themselves what to make of all this.

https://polarbearscience.com/2017/04/22/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 land when sea ice conditions “fail.”

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157 thoughts on “Sea ice off Newfoundland thickest ever yet another polar bear comes ashore

  1. I’m confused by the meaning of ‘worst’. Does that mean that there is less ice than before, or more ice than before? Looking at the pictures, I assume it is more ice than historical records, but most AGW state that more ice is good. Same applies to statement “when sea ice conditions “fail.”

      • Rolli polie bears doesn’t sound like they’re starving for food. Which is it? You can’t say the bears are coming on shore because of the lack of ice to hunt off of and then say they’re too fat to use the ice that is there.

      • The bears have had to be adaptable as the ice does not come south in a steady stream, (as I think some models assume), but rather as pulses that can vary a lot, month to month and year to year. The largest amount of sea-ice comes through Fram Strait and the down east coast of Greenland, but the lesser amount of sea-ice that sneaks through Nares Strait on the west side of Greenland gets added to by huge bergs that calve off the big glaciers facing Baffin Bay, such as the Petermann and Humboldt Glaciers. Last year some of the giant bergs drifting by Newfoundland were 5 km long.

        When there is a lull in the amount of ice coming south the surface water can be far warmer, as the cold current is more dense and sinks. However a mass of ice is not dense, and floats merrily atop the milder water, chilling it as it goes, and dramatically altering the ecosystem. In the past there have been surprisingly huge discharges of ice, including one that cooled the entire North Atlantic and saw icebergs grounding on the coast of Ireland in the 1815-1820 period. (I hope to post about this history in the near future.)

        If the bears were not superbly adapted to roll with the punches, they could never have survived such dramatic swings in the sea-ice situation. However they can. Susan Crockford’s excellent work seems to show that the one thing that can hurt them is ice that has no air-holes, for that hurts the seals. No baby seals = skinny, hungry bears. The bears this year look like they have had lots of chow, as they’re fat.

        My notes on this year’s situation downstream from Nares Strait are here:

        https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2017/04/08/arctic-sea-ice-the-nares-connection/

    • When the experts are most confident in their statements, it’s time to go ask the locals, who usually know the most and the best. Experts like to make patent generalizations and do not take into account that species survive not because all members of the species do the same things but because they do a range of things and have degrees of responses that give them an advantage just by the sheer variety of responses over the conditions.

      In this case, the idea that polar bears only live on ice when ice is available is a joke. They miss the fact that the low summer ice is meaningless to polar bears as they do not eat much during the summer, waiting for the Fall ice to demand that the seals have air holes in the ice at which they can be ambushed. Low summer ice is . . . . low summer ice. So?

      One third to a half of the polar bear colonies live on rocky shores year round. How does that fit in with what the experts say?

      • When it comes to polar bears, the Alarmists are out to lunch.. Then again the Alarmists are out to lunch on just about everything related to this global warming game.

    • Seems they better put up a Polar Bear spotting range, where tourists can come and see them, as they come ashore. I don’t understand why humans and bears dont mix well… On Svalbard people are armed with rifles in case of Polar Bear attacks. And, if you shoot one, – there has to be proof that the bear could have killed you. Surely Polar Bears are endangered species also in Canada?

      • Polar bears are not endangered in Canada. There was a call this year to remove them from the endangered species list, that is, to move them up the list which is not as simple as ‘endangered or not’.

        There are more than 20 sub-populations of polar bears which casts a very different light on the animals as a whole. Some are increasing, some stable and a small number are decreasing. None of them are changing because of the presence or absence of ice.

        It is not true that polar bears depend on ice. It is true that they can use it to their advantage. The last time the Arctic was ice free, the bears did not become extinct. Nor the time before that nor before that.

        When the ice melts, the fish food does really well. Therefore the fish do well. Which means the seals do well, which means the polar bears do really well.

    • “Worst” means worst for ship transportation. In the old days, we actually celebrated navigable arctic sea conditions. Boy, were we naive! ;-)

  2. The so-called “experts will lie to justify their means. Did Derocher join the “march for science”?. I hear they were looking for “fact-based science”.
    Re the ice: Here in Manitoba a picture of much water in the field (for a proposed hog farm) was sent to the authorities. Their reply was: Yes we can see the water, but we have no evidence of flooding. Remember the weavers of fine gold clothing for the King??

    • It doesn’t flood in Manitoba, that’s just Lake Agassiz trying to fill itself up again. ;-)

  3. This does seem to be going contrary to the narrative that polar bears are in trouble because of the lack of ice. What was the distribution of harp seals in earlier years, and just how much do polar bears distribution follow their prey?

    • Tom Halla

      This does seem to be going contrary to the narrative that polar bears are in trouble because of the lack of ice. What was the distribution of harp seals in earlier years, and just how much do polar bears distribution follow their prey?

      And thus begins the “science” behind the plot of the Latest Polar Bear attacks in Canada in her (Dr Crockfort’s) recent novel: Harp seal populations go down, polar bears leave the sea ice to find more prey before starving, humans across north Canada’s isolated villages become that prey.

    • The bears are no different than people…..when fed and full…they have time for leisure activities
      …like wandering into town and nosing around

    • What was the distribution of harp seals in earlier years…

      Tom in the late 80’s it was estimated that there were about 1/2 million harp seals……and many million ring seals….that’s probably what this “polar bears eat mostly ring seals” crap came from. Because there were mostly ring seals in the first place.

      Now there’s about 8-9 million harp seals. Watch it change to “polar bears eat mostly harp seals”

      • Of course they eat both, but the ringed seals are more important, indeed vital, since the hungry sows eat them in the spring on landfast ice. There is no shortage of seal prey of all species for polies, nor of other food sources either.

  4. The guy is just observing the first principle of the warmist community!
    The consideration of facts only disturbs when one has convictions,
    So, whenever the facts contradict the beliefs,ignore them!

    • “Rare sightings” are almost never rare. They are due to people not understanding nature and not leaving their cushy offices.

      • I’ll vouch for that. My day often includes seeing a red fox, a blue heron and a goldfinch. My neighbor has trailcam pix of a cougar on our creek.

      • Herons overfly me daily. A monomaniacal goldfinch keeps throwing himself at my kitchen window because my mylar blind makes him see his reflection, so he attacks the interloper (himself) during mating season.

        Driving to friends’ houses in the country, I’m always on the lookout for a fox family that lives in the wheat stubble. The kits are preposterously cute.

        But there are rare passers-through as well as the resident fauna.

      • 100% correct. The things we see in our bit of land make people blink and look amazed. They appear every year in smaller or greater numbers, the blinkers and the wildlife.

  5. The CBC runs fake [climate change] science articles once or twice a week. They are almost anal in this one sided reporting. The taxpayer funded CBC is also the home of David Suzuki and what used to be an excellent radio program called Quirks and Quarks with Bob McDonald until they went off the rails with [climate change]

    Unless I missed it CBC along with the two mentioned have never used scientific principles in their reporting on [climate change]. It is either their way or no way, science be dammed alternate views, science not allowed.

    • Quirks & QWuarks used to be my favourite radfio program on CBC…. untilMcDonald “wenrt off the rails” with scare-mongering, ill-researched and/or biased reportage. I have *Never* heard him adduce contrary opinion about climate Science via interviews with “Skeptical Climate Scientists”. Listen to Wikipedia: “In 1972, with no formal academic training, he began his science communication career as a demonstrator at the Ontario Science Centre, and eventually traveled to California to watch the live action of NASA’s first space probes. Upon returning to Canada, he was in great demand to talk about the missions and eventually became the regular science correspondent for a number of shows..”
      So much for *(his*) scientific background.

      • Interestingly enough Ross, I did a Quirks and Quarks interview about dog evolution several years ago.

        McDonald lives in Victoria and the producer said my interview was the first time they had done one with a Victoria scientist in all the years McDonald had been doing the show. Even though his home studio, where he usually conducts his interviews from, was only a few blocks from the CBC station, he did not come into the station to do the interview. So I never met him in person.

        Oddly, Quirks and Quarks have not asked me on to talk about polar bears.

        Susan

    • Yeah, and that’s why I was so surprised when the folks from CBC Newfoundland emailed me and asked for an interview for their St. John’s station.

      And then, were so happy with the interview, they let their station in Gander know – and they wanted an interview as well. The fellow from Gander wrote the print article.

      I was a bit taken aback when I saw the “expert” in the title disappear: it went from “Highway of ice: Easy route for polar bears chasing food, expert says” to “Highway of ice: Easy route for polar bears chasing food, prof says”

      But then noticed they gave Derocher the same treatment: “Changing sea ice bad omen for province’s polar bears: professor”

      You’ll notice they don’t refer to him as an expert either: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/davis-strait-polar-bears-ice-decline-1.4077164

      I like Newfoundlanders!

      Susan

      [Technically, are they not now NewFoundIcer’s on Newfoundland? .mod]

  6. I wonder when Polar Bear hunting licenses will be openly auctioned? Would love to do a stalk on one.

    • I know they used to be assigned to natives and they would let hunters use them, which was ok as long as they acted as guides. (good money in it for the native “village”)

      • Hunted in Alaska years ago, paid well for the privilege and the meat, except for what I cooked for myself at the moment, and hides/racks went to the local tribe. The caribou was a bit disappointing, kinda like shooting a cow, had to work my ass off for the elk, though.

  7. Is this any sign that it is colder up there or that the ice is recovering?

    absolutely not…

    There has been record export of ice through the Fram strait and down Baffin Bay this winter, thanks to storms and warmer that usual temps over the artic. Ice bergs shouldn’t be calving off at this season and yet there they are…

    This is ice which should have stayed in the central arctic, much of it the old, thick, multi year ice pushed out to melt.

    The ice is already breaking up in the Bering strait, East Siberian Sea and Hudson bay. Dr Crockford needs to look at what conditions elsewhere will be doing to the seal and bear populations rather than this diversion.

    • Ice bergs shouldn’t be calving off…and Greenland shouldn’t be gaining 5 billion tons of ice a day

    • Griff,

      Just like Derocher, you are trying to redirect the focus to what is going on elsewhere and what might happen in the future. Nice try but it’s not going to work here any better than it worked for Derocher with the CBC.

      My focus has been on what’s been happening across northern Newfoundland and southern Labrador since early March THIS YEAR with respect to suitable habitat for pregnant harp seals and polar bears.

      Try to stay on track: sea ice conditions have NOT been “poor” for polar bears in this region since early March this year, when fat polar bears started showing up in droves along the coast of Labrador. Derocher insists polar bears do not come ashore of their own volition:

      “Derocher said for the most part, they are not there by choice”

      The facts show otherwise. The only bear that was probably on land without choosing to be was the bear that turned up on the south shore after a storm broke up the eastern-most ice. He came in on a patch of ice blown into the bay.

      All of the other Newfoundland and Labrador bears simply walked ashore on ice that has been butted up against the coast.

      Dr. Susan Crockford, zoologist

    • Griff, did you know that Arctic sea ice levels have been LOWER than current for some 90-95% OF THE Holocene?

      So, DON’T PANIC, little petal.

      • That estimate strikes me as a bit high.

        Let us stipulate that the Holocene began some 11,400 years ago. IMO the interval before and during the 8.2 Ka event probably averaged more ice than now, and possibly for all that time. That’s about 28% of the Holocene.

        Then we enjoyed the long Holocene Climatic Optimum, during which Arctic sea ice was usually if not always lower than now. That lasted until about five thousand years ago, or for another 28% of the Holocene. So we’re roughly even at this point for time lower than now with time higher than now.

        Since the HCO, warm and cool cycles have alternated, with a cooling bias. So for the most recent 44% of the Holocene, let’s call it a rough draw, with less ice during the Egyptian, Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods, and more during the intervening cool intervals, like the Greek Dark Ages Cool Period, the Dark Ages CP and the Little Ice Age.

        This works out to about half of the Holocene with more ice than now and half with less. My personal opinion is that there probably has been at least 1000 years more with less ice than now than more. The important point is that nothing the least bit out of the ordinary is happening now, and that the Holocene is in a long-term cooling trend, so we should welcome whatever warmth we can get out of the current natural warming cycle.

    • Griff likes cold weather. In fact he wants to legislate cold weather. Cold is good, right Griff? (good grief i detest alarmists)

    • It’s been frigid over Hudson bay and is currently well below ZERO across most of NWT. It’s been very cold there for weeks. But then again, you like ice, cold, death.

  8. We are having a provincial election in British Columbia right now. The party in power Liberals led by Christy Clarke brought us the carbon tax, The NDP led by Andrew Weaver, look up his name think David Suzuki type. Also the Green party led by Adriane Carr a rabid [climate change] advocate.

    As you can see BC is in trouble and here is the latest CBC climate article written by Adriane Carr

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/if-you-care-about-climate-change-it-s-time-to-reject-strategic-voting-1.4081567?cmp=rss

  9. It is true that polar bears come ashore when the sea-ice melts (like on Svalbard which has a couple of thousand polar bears ashore every summer).

    But for them to be around in the spring to come ashore in the first place there has to be sea-ice with a good supply of seals nearby. In Iceland, another area where polar bears turn up sporadically and very good historical record there is an extremely close correlation between bad ice years (=much sea ice) and large numbers of bears:

    http://skemman.is/stream/get/1946/9282/24198/1/AlexStubbing_Thesis.pdf

  10. Have you ever met a “Happy Farmer”? Their hand-wringing is endless: it’s either too cold or wet, or dry, or dust, or there’s a glut in the market for their produce. It is NEVER just-right! (and they want a gov’t subsidy!!!)
    Those pushing the tendentious Alarmist agenda are the same: in this instance there’s too much bloody ice and the polar bears are driven to land to forage for food (humans?), whilst at other times, there’s too little ice and the polar bears are starving in their traditional hunting grounds.
    I’d bet that the polar bears have it all worked-out, having survived multi-generationally thro feast & famine driven by naturally-occurring climatic cycles and the comings & goings of ice-ages (buggah-all to do with AGW)

    • @Ross King April 23, 2017 at 10:41 am: Re hand wringing – all you hear and see is what reporters give you. Weather and markets are beyond the ken of the suburbs etc.. Farmers would be lying if they said all was sweet and easy, because that is rarely so. Farmers are far tougher than you, hardly hand wringers, because their life is far more challenging.

    • Ross King April 23, 2017 at 10:41 am

      Farmers in central Europe have been lighting candles and fires under their fruit trees and grape vines. Trying to save them from the recent cold snap and snow storms.
      when they grumble they have the right.

      michael

    • Ross King on April 23, 2017 at 10:41 am said
      Have you ever met a “Happy Farmer”?

      Hey Ross, yes I have met many happy Farmers here in Northeastern Indiana. I kind of grew up surrounded by them. They weren’t always happy, mind you. It’s hard to be when you entire livelihood relies on the weather. Like most things in life there are good times and bad. But most of the farmers I know roll with the changes.

      In fact, most farmers I know are so far from the way you described them that I have to wonder if YOU’VE ever met a Farmer, happy or otherwise. Or maybe you’ve just believed the description others have made.

      • There is a swedish proverb: “No farmer will ever be contented until somebody invents a crop that is wheat at the top, potatoes at the bottom and a rutabaga inbetween”.

      • I love that poem, Another Ian. My thanks to Forrest Gardener for posting it on this blog a little while back.

      • Macbeth, Act II, Scene 3:

        “Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ th’ name of Beelzebub? Here’s a farmer that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty. Come in time, have napkins enough about you, here you’ll sweat for ’t.”

        I grew up on a wheat farm in NE Oregon. My relatives there still do comment on the WX, the price of grain globally, costs of production, government policy, you name it, but they work hard and raise their families, who carry on.

  11. Andrew Derocher’s working hypothesis on polar bear ecology under a warming arctic is:

    “As sea ice thins and becomes more fractured and labile, it is likely to move more in response to winds and currents so that polar bears will need to walk or swim more and thus use greater amounts of energy to remain in areas of preferred habitat; that increasing amounts of open water between the residual pack ice in the polar basin and terrestrial denning areas might make it more difficult for pregnant females to access traditional denning areas; that present boundaries between subpopulations may change with large-scale changes in the annual patterns of breakup and freeze-up; and, that polar bears may not survive as a species if their sea ice habitat disappears completely as some models predict.”

    He and Ian Stirling authored an invited review in 2012 on Canadian Arctic polar bears under arctic warming:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02753.x/full

    Their figures 3, 4, and 5 of that review are worth some critical analysis.

    Figure 3 shows a linear downward trend in sea ice breakup date in Western Hudson Bay between 1979-2007. With 1990 as an extreme lower outlier, far from the linear fit or any other year in that data set with a June 2 date.

    Figure 4 shows PB adult male and female w/cubs condition indices in western Hudson Bay by year. A linear fit is applied to both and an r^2, and p<0.01 is given for both fits. But note, that without the left end-pt of June 2, there would be zero correlation in either linear trend fit. A classic example of the end-pt effect on a linear fit to get p correlation.

    Then in figure 5, they show body mass of likely pregnant females in western Hudson Bay in the fall of the year, the time when Arctic Sea ice is a minimum. In this data, 1990 shows no outlier, and in fact falls close to the linear fit. The hypothesis expectation should have been the Fall of 1990 pregnant females would show a much worse than normal body mass. But they didn’t.

    If anything, a critical analysis of their actual data of western HB polar bears during a 28 yr of decreasing sea ice period shows little support for Derocher’s PB hypothesis.

    Derocher is likely well acquainted, at least indirectly, with Upton Sinclair’s quote:

    — ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’

    • Polie sows don’t den up until October or November, when sea ice is already growing again, having bottomed out in September. Males have to shift for themselves during the long Arctic winter, whether on land or sea ice.

      What matters to polar bear survival is landfast ice in the spring, not drift ice in summer. When she emerges from her den with her cub or cubs in March or April, she’s naturally very hungry. Ringed seals and their pups in their snow lairs on the landfast ice are thus just what the doctor ordered, high-fat, life-saving meals for mom.

      Polies can hunt and forage equally as well on land as on ice, except for the sows’ reliance on seals in the spring. Landfast ice is not going away. If they have to swim too far between floes which might harbor basking seals, then they can find food on land. Mom in any case isn’t going to swim far until her cubs can follow her, so she’s more bound to the land and landfast ice than adult males.

      One boar can cover a lot of sows.

      Derocher must know this.

  12. I can just see those Polar Bears sitting there watching the Aurora Borealis and drinking their Cokes from a bottle and thinking how stupid some humans are.

  13. You too can be a climate change prognosticator:

    1. Wait until something happens.
    2. Blame it on climate change.
    3. State, “We expect more of this”.

    Don’t bother validating or verifying. Snow a thing of the past? Not a problem! Move on.

    • 4. Submit grant proposal to study further. And Maybe get enough $ to hire a cute post Doc to do the hard, tedious work.

    • Presumably the thousands of years old ice must be bergy bits and growlers from the icebergs calved into the Labrador Current off Greenland glaciers.

    • Bergy bits and growlers are glacier ice which is much harder than (salty) sea-ice, so they have reason to be careful. Ramming even a growler is more akin to hitting a rock than ordinary sea-ice.

  14. Grizzly bears and black bears come into town where food is easy to get. Why wouldn’t polar bears do the same? Are they that much different from their southern counterparts?

    • Polies if anything seem more willing to enter human space than their close grizzly kin and more distant relatives, black bears.

      • Latitude,

        That’s good.

        I’ve had more encounters with black bears that ideally I’d have wanted, but usually in the wild, or near wild. Sometimes at berry bushes.

        Friends in NM got bear dogs to keep the locals off their porch.

        Grizzlies however seem a lot less prone to interactions with humans.

      • Here in western PA our bears are downright neighborly! Have a boar and a sow who check my porches on a routine basis. 2 years ago had a stock pot full of used peanut oil setting at bottom of steps waiting to be used for a brush fire, bear helped themselves to it and tracked big, oily foot prints all over my porch in the process. Used to have a round weber grill and would hang the cooking grate on the porch rail, about every 5 weeks I would find it out in the yard, clean as a whistle. Looked like someone took a scrub pad to it.

  15. I guess there’s always the possibility that polar bears are put off by rotten ice.
    /snark

    Sorry, old joke there. ;-)

  16. “Andrew Derocher explained to the CBC that bears only come on land when sea ice conditions “fail.”

    Perhaps the polar bears have not read Derocher’s papers about this so they are ignorant to what they are supposed to be doing.

  17. Polar bears are omnivores, like their grizzly kin:

    OK, somebody might have floated the watermelon over to the bear.

  18. Essay Polar Bears in ebook Blowing Smoke cited two then recent papers by a team of field biologists tracking spring, summer, fall polar bear feeding around Churchhill (the west Hudson Bay subpopulation). They found that if the spring ice went early limiting ringed seal food, the bears would go ashore and hunt snow geese, snow geese eggs, caribou, and berries. Verified by video and scat analysis. The same as their grizzly cousins in Alaska after the spring salmon runs. Not much feeding in fall; the polar bears enter a ‘walking hibernation’ state and live mostly off fat stores until going back out on the ice after Hudson Bay refreezes.

  19. I just sent the following e-mail to nsidc.org The National Snow and Ice Data Centre.

    “I was looking at the blue marble view of the Arctic this morning. When one cuts out the areas over the media limit especially north of Canada and insert them into the areas below the media limit, I don’t see a million square miles of missing ice? Try a pixel count. the flat map is irrelevant because there is no curvature over relevant areas and actually increases missing ice where it shouldn’t .. is this the intent?”

      • Warmistas really hate it when I refer them to that particular image after they claim Arctic Sea is “ice free”, especially in August/September. Gets their diapers all bunched up and soggy.

    • NOAA has suborned its minions that now the entire agency is one organized criminal conspiracy. Even the lowly temperature readers and reporters have their thumbs on the thermometers, so that the “raw data” aren’t raw. They’re already fake, but subject to further fraudulent adjustment, ie manipulation.

      The whole corrupt edifice needs to be torn down, along with swamp drainage. It is an anti-science agency, the ringleaders of which should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, as enemies of humanity.

  20. How many more polar bears are there now. Maybe they are crowing out each other to the exurbs.

      • I read an article a few years back that attributes it to the Kenyans not wearing shoes when they were kids. Toughened up the tendons in the feet which makes them more efficient long distance runners.

      • It has been put forward that Kenyans and other Central African native born runners seem to have increased lung capacity, never saw any actual scientific study on it, though. It is certain that men and women from the region do tend to dominate in marathon competition. I knew a Kenyan and an Ethiopian in US Army who could run like nobody’s business, neither enjoyed it though, they much preferred vehicular transport just like the rest of us. 😉

  21. Can a person actually be so bad at his occupation that he does not know the remotest thing about the subject of his study: The Polar Bear? And instead resorts to childish cliches that are patently wrong to the most casual observer? Was this man a service station attendant before grad school? A bagger at the local grocer?

  22. Animals adapt to conditions or change their habits to changing conditions. That the sea ice is thicker than it has been in the lifetime of these polar bear’s. It makes hunting through that ice more difficult and the seals have difficulty coming through it or returning into the sea water where they feed. The bear’s are fat because of the later, because the seals come up and have trapped themselves on top of the ice, where the bear’s feed on them. That land is now closer because of the growth of the ice they come onto it more readily. Theories can be made and still not mean they’re correct. I don’t know anything about polar bear’s but I know other animals habits are known to change with conditions.

    • On the contrary, the sea ice is thinner across the arctic. This is a temporary local increase due to ice transport from elsewhere.

      The ice is now often further from land…

      Because the sea ice has retreated far and early in the Beaufort Sea, bears are staying ashore and scavenging on Inuit whale kills.

      The sea ice is not forming around Svalbard in December in time for bears to reach their denning areas. The Hudson Bay population is in decline because they are stuck on land longer before the bay freezes over.

      • Global Warming is the Natural condition of Earth. Glacial Periods are the Abnormality caused by the massive Volcanic Activities and/or massive meteors blocking out the Solar Radiation from entering the Atmosphere as well as Solar Minimums occurring during those Abnormalities. If none of those events had occurred the Earth would have a Tropical Climate Globally from Pole to Pole. Zero Ice would exist in Nature at all. Flora and Fauna wouldn’t have gone extinct from Glacations. Scientists have been showing the Sun is nearing another Minimum. Volcanic Activities have increased since 1814 to where in 2014 there were more active volcanoes in 2014 than in all of the 1900’s. The Global Cooling Aerosol Gases are balanced with all the Global Warming Gases and Atmospheric Water creating a Global Temperature Lull for over 18 year’s. This has scientists worried of another Glacial Period. While other scientists are still pushing the Global Warming and Climate Change theories of AGW. Scientists have shown that 99.95% of Carbon Dioxide is recycled Natural sources and Fossil Fuels, cement manufacturing and industry and deforestation only contribute 0.05% of Carbon Dioxide to the environment, from pre 2013 data used in a environmentalists global warming site. Your studies of the Arctic Ice and Polar Bear’s my be your life’s work. But Earths history doesn’t just go back a few hundred year’s that scientists base their theories of Global Warming and Climate Change on from computer models that have proven inaccurate to reality. Evolution occurs more in a hotter climate than a cold climate that kills more Flora and Fauna. Evolution is a cruel reality that what doesn’t adapt becomes extinct.

  23. And what do seals eat? And what do marine invertebrates eat? Solid pack ice year round assures minimal photosynthetic life.

  24. Anyone else having a problem with the double video window ad at bottom of post dragging you from comment thread back up to the post? Happened to me a couple times yesterday and it is real bad this morning.

    • So, what are you going to do about it? Nothing. Because nature cannot be harnessed in such a way as to make more ice than she wants. I hate ice. I want the Arctic ice-free in my lifetime and I am spewing as much co2 as I can afford to make it so.

    • Mat, a question for you: In geologic terms, how many blinks of an eye is 36 years? Take your time.

    • Which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with an extra CO2 molecule over the past century.

      • The melt this year has also been a lot slower than average.

        Peak ice this year was March 7, later than usual. Since then, Arctic sea ice extent has fallen 0.866 million sq km. The average decline (since 1979) for March 7 to April 23 has been 1.069 million sq km.

  25. We were in St Anthony in the spring two years ago to do the iceberg boat tour thing, but the harbor was choked with ice and the boats weren’t going out.

    We highly recommend the drive from Port aux Basques up to St A. Just watch out for moose on the road in the evenings. Those crepuscular vermin are out to get you.

    • From one of those old “Fitzpatrick Traveltalks” on TCM I learned that Cape Breton Island was first “discovered” by Basque whalers. Who knew?

  26. Same thing when ice expands across from Greenland to Iceland. In years past Icelandic authorities have had to shoot bears much to the outrage of the world’s urban warming neophyte. Icelanders and Newfies, of course just do their thing as needed.

  27. Desrocher is using imprecise, confusing language.
    What does he mean by:
    – Ice “failing”?? Failing to form? Failing to melt?
    – “Poor” ice conditions? Can an iceberg be in debt?
    – “Worst” ice conditions? Does this mean most ice? Or least ice?

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