Shocker: Thick ice in Hudson Bay portends a good year for Polar Bears

From Polar Bear Science

Sea ice more than 1.2m thick over Hudson Bay portends a good year for polar bears

Posted on May 8, 2020 |

The chart below shows what sea ice thickness over Hudson Bay was like at the first week of May in a so-called a ‘good year’ (2019) – when polar bears came off the ice in excellent condition late in the summer and left early in the fall (‘thick first year ice’ is dark green and indicates ice greater than 1.2m thick):

Hudson Bay weekly stage of development 2019 May 6

Hudson Bay ice conditions this year appear to be shaping up to be as good or better than last year for polar bears yet specialist researchers and their cheerleaders have still been claiming that bears in this region – Western and Southern Hudson Bay – are doomed because of poor ice conditions. It’s no wonder they still haven’t published the data they’ve been collecting on polar bear body condition and cub survival over the last 15 years or so (Crockford 2020). With most field work cancelled for this year, what’s their excuse for not getting that done?

Compare the above, from the Canadian Ice Service, to the first week in May 2020 below, where the thick ice is much more prominent than last year in the northwest quadrant. A massive polar vortex over eastern North America forecasted for this weekend is likely to thicken up the ice in the south (over James Bay) in short order:

Hudson Bay weekly stage of development 2020 May 4

Courtesy Dr. Andrew Derocher (U. Alberta), below is a map of locations of female bears with collars deployed by his research team at the end of April 2020:

Derocher 2020 WHB tracking map 30 April


Crockford, S.J. 2020. State of the Polar Bear Report 2019. Global Warming Policy Foundation Report 39, London. PDF here.

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James F. Evans
May 8, 2020 2:17 pm

Seems the good times are here for the polar bears.

old white guy
Reply to  James F. Evans
May 8, 2020 4:18 pm

Looks like the already fat bears are going to get fatter.

Ron Long
Reply to  old white guy
May 8, 2020 5:56 pm

Poor penguins. How come nobody is in favor of the penguins?

Reply to  Ron Long
May 8, 2020 6:45 pm

People are helping the penguins. They’ve removed polar bears…🤫

Scott M
Reply to  Ron Long
May 8, 2020 6:50 pm

wrong pole, although surprised someone didnt relocate some from the south..

Richard Sandvig
Reply to  Ron Long
May 8, 2020 8:53 pm

Sorry, but penguins do not live in the northern hemisphere. Could you be thinking of seals?

Andy in Epsom
Reply to  Richard Sandvig
May 9, 2020 5:04 am

THere used to be but they were called Auks and were hunted to extinction

Johne Morton
Reply to  Richard Sandvig
May 9, 2020 7:25 pm

Or puffins.

Reply to  Ron Long
May 9, 2020 1:25 am

And here’s me thinking a /sarc tag wasn’t necesssary

Reply to  Redge
May 9, 2020 1:57 am

They walk among us.

Reply to  Ron Long
May 11, 2020 4:39 am

I’m in favour of the Penguins. I’ve been a Pittsburgh fan for years.

May 8, 2020 2:18 pm

Some folks, specifically Nunavut hunters, think scientists understate the polar bear population. link The hunters have a vested interest in a greater population because then they can shoot more bears. Sadly, the scientists seem to have a vested interest in understating the numbers because it helps them push the CAGW agenda. So far, as far as I can tell, the hunters have been more reliable in their estimates of polar bear populations.

HD Hoese
Reply to  commieBob
May 8, 2020 4:43 pm

The people on the ground generally do. Commercial fishermen are often more reliable that those with accolades and degrees. Some fishermen are not reliable, but my experience is that fewer than you find in academia, especially if you count the administrators.

Fishers are nasty weasel types that eat porcupines. The term Fishermen have always included women. So does the word human.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  HD Hoese
May 9, 2020 3:36 pm

Quite right. So does the word mankind. Man refers to “hand” (manus) as in “deck hand” and “farm hand”. It doesn’t mean “farm male” any more than fisherman means fishermale.

And don’t get me started about “woman” which is the female equivalent of weaman, meaning a male person. Ref: weapon which means “male tool”.

“Man” is a generic term, not a genetic one.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
May 9, 2020 4:23 pm


Wait … I read what you wrote and didn’t research yet … are you saying that the English word “man” is derived from the Latin “manus,” meaning “hand?”

If so, that is very interesting, and a killer argument against those who want to shoot “mankind” down.

Reply to  John Donohue
May 10, 2020 12:47 am

They just ignore it.

HD Hoese
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
May 9, 2020 4:39 pm

We will find out more about this, but it just came out. Aquaculture was already the culture du jour, but not commercial fishing.

As a side note I am waiting for the replacement of the term manhole cover. I have to drive often around one where the road sunk around it. I often have a bad name for it.

Sweet Old Bob
May 8, 2020 2:19 pm

“what’s their excuse for not getting that done?”
Show our data ? Why ? You just want to find something wrong with it !

May 8, 2020 2:52 pm

The origin of the Nastapoka arc (bottom left) has been a source of disagreement and discussion among geologists, other Earth scientists, and planetary geologists.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Vuk
May 8, 2020 7:29 pm

Interesting observation Vuk. In the case of Hudson Bay, the low spot in the geoid is where the maximum isostatic depression occurred during the LGM. Consequently, it is where the fastest rebound is taking place, because it hasn’t reached equilibrium yet, and is still a low spot on the geoid.

You can also see multiple raised beaches along the Hudson Bay west shore, just look on Google Earth.

One can imagine, with the ice pushing down on the crust, the crust pushing down on the mantle, and possibly the mantle pushing down on the core, where the geomagnetic field comes from, that the Laurentide Ice Sheet might have had some sort of effect on the magnetic field strength. I don’t know enough about the topic to speculate what that effect might be.

Pat from kerbob
May 8, 2020 3:03 pm

The legend in the bottom map
What are WF females and OMNRF females?

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
May 8, 2020 3:46 pm

: Western Hudson Bay (WH),
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF)
O = Ontario

Says googel

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Krishna Gans
May 8, 2020 3:51 pm


TG McCoy
May 8, 2020 3:18 pm

could the reason for cancellation of field work is too many healthy Polar Bears?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  TG McCoy
May 8, 2020 3:50 pm

If you are a researcher you just need to make sure you are paired with someone slower

Don’t have to be faster than the bear 😀

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
May 9, 2020 1:58 am


Mike Bryant
May 8, 2020 3:25 pm

AFor CTM… I’m still wondering about the baby ice… has it grown up?

Stephen Skinner
May 8, 2020 3:32 pm

Thick ice in Hudson Bay portends thick ice in Hudson bay. For a land animal like the Polar Bear that is supremely adaptabble and able to sleep out on ice or swim for 10s of miles in near freazing water why would it matter except it might be harder to get to open water as it will be for it’s air breathing food.

old white guy
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
May 8, 2020 4:24 pm

Polar bears are amazing creatures. They have been known to run at up to 40 miles an hour and have swam up to 200 miles. Many years ago I read of a hunter who was killed by a polar bear. He had shot the bear several times and the bear still caught him. The bear died from it’s wounds and when autopsied it was found at least one of the three bullets had penetrated the bears heart, yet it still managed to catch and kill the hunter.

Reply to  old white guy
May 8, 2020 4:45 pm

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Reply to  old white guy
May 8, 2020 5:25 pm

The third weekend, the guy comes back with a knife, a pistol, a shotgun, a rifle, 2 bear traps and a taser. As he is setting up his array of weapons, he feels a tap on his shoulder and turns around to find himself face to face with the bear, who says “Let’s be honest, mister. You don’t really come here for the hunting, do you?”

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
May 9, 2020 5:49 pm

A polar bear can out-run, out-swim and out-climb a man. They are omnivorous, intelligent, skilled and ruthless hunters that will kill and eat their own cubs at any age.

While beautiful creatures, they are not cute, they are not cuddly, they are dangerous wild animals and co-exist poorly with humans who compete with them for essential food. They can be effectively controlled in terms of population with bullets in the 20 MJ kinetic energy range.

Hunting bears is a legitimate activity for income generation and limiting overpopulation. Unless the population is properly monitored and honest assessments made about the management of the species the current misinformation bandied about in the popular press will continue to be exploited by those whose real agenda is unrelated to polar bears and the balance of nature in the Arctic.

Gordon Dressler
May 8, 2020 5:01 pm

Al Gore . . . paging Dr. Gore . . . Dr. Al Gore . . . paging Dr. Gore . . . you are needed stat on the trauma unit floor. There is a queue of ice-free-Arctic patients demanding to speak to you.

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
May 9, 2020 1:29 am

You’ll have to speak louder, Al Gore doesn’t know how the internet works

Geo Rubik
Reply to  Gordon Dressler
May 9, 2020 2:51 am

Paging Dr Howard, Dr Fine, Dr Howard.

May 8, 2020 5:18 pm

Heart string global warming pitch.
Polar bear deaths keep going up year over year. Polar bears are doomed.

Actual evidence.
Polar bear counts are through the roof, there are 10 times more bears today than 40 years ago. With this increase in population, there are more and more bears dying each year.

Flight Level
May 8, 2020 5:22 pm

What do they have for polar bears ? Blood thirsty top predators equipped with all it takes to slaughter seals, cubs and whatever comes around.

They were harvested for years and are still hunted, including “for scientific reasons”.

So is it yes or not ? I mean, leave them beasts alone, they are no teddy bears nor practice targets.

Reply to  Flight Level
May 8, 2020 5:30 pm

#AnimalRights is a sect of #Environmentalism. That said, for decades WWF knew and did not disclose the excess mortality caused by their corporate icon.

david erickson
May 8, 2020 10:42 pm

Having worked in the arctic islands in the 1970’s on geological field parties and drilling sites i can confirm from my experiences that polar bears are great swimmers and predators that take advantage of their circumstances . they will do fine no matter how the climate changes over the years, yes they are a resilient animal and are hardly threatened. you would not want to have to confront them at close range as i have seen the damage they can do. people who do the statistics need to to head north and interact with the bears for a period of time to get some real experience.

May 8, 2020 11:12 pm

I would love to hear someone, anyone, give an extensive and informed description of the bear/seal situation 50,000 years ago, with solid ice two miles thick over the North and the ice reaching down to Chicago.

The polar bear reportedly evolved 800,000 years ago. The species has spent almost its entire existence in extreme glaciation conditions. They are indeed resourceful to have survived 8-10 interglacials.

Phil Salmon
Reply to  windlord-sun
May 9, 2020 2:59 pm

Postmodern ecologically correct science doesn’t really believe in ice ages any more. Climate was static before 1850 for 4.5 billion years – just ask Mike Mann. The continents never moved – that’s a fabrication by oil shills. We sinned and left the garden of Eden in 1850. You better believe it.

May 9, 2020 4:58 am

I went to the Sea Ice Page here. Is there any reason why all the graphs and data are still back in late January/early February?

Where can you find updated data?


Phil Salmon
Reply to  Jon P Peterson
May 9, 2020 3:02 pm

The Climagesterium have decided that Polar ice data are not suitable viewing for the general public any more, and most outlets are obediently complying.

Reply to  Jon P Peterson
May 10, 2020 7:13 am
May 9, 2020 10:02 am

I usually agree w/Ms Crockford, but I really doubt this is going to make any difference to the bears one way or another. We’ll see.

Tom Abbott
May 9, 2020 10:22 am

The World Wildlife Fund says Polar Bears are in such dire need that we need to adopt Polar Bears and can do so by paying the WWF a monthly fee.

Since conditions are so good now in Polar Bear territory, is it still necessary to adopt Polar Bears? I wonder, do you get a picture of the Polar Bear family you adopted, when you pay the WWF fee?

Coeur de Lion
May 9, 2020 11:15 am

Considering the wonderful adaptation of polar bears to the Arctic, why the black nose? Anyone an answer?
Me, I want to buy a polar bear suit as worn by protestors as they seem to have fallen out of use for some reason- good for children’s parties. Anywhere?

Phil Salmon
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
May 9, 2020 3:06 pm

Good question.
I would guess that (a) the nose can’t be hairy or it wouldn’t work and (b) the black is from melanocytes, it’s constantly exposed and without this dark colour the nose would get sunburnt.

Mike Maguire
May 10, 2020 8:24 am

Polar Bears apparently did just great when it was a couple of degrees warmer than this in the Arctic with less sea ice……….. between 9,000 and 5,000 years ago.

“Out of 140 sites across the western Arctic, there is clear evidence for conditions warmer than now at 120 sites. At 16 sites, where quantitative estimates have been obtained, local HTM temperatures were on average 1.6±0.8 °C higher than now. Northwestern North America had peak warmth first, from 11,000 to 9,000 years ago, and the Laurentide Ice Sheet still chilled the continent. Northeastern North America experienced peak warming 4,000 years later. Along the Arctic Coastal Plain in Alaska, there are indications of summer temperatures 2–3 °C warmer than present.[5] Research indicates that the Arctic had less sea ice than the present.”

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