From Dr. Susan Crockford’s Polar Bear Science
Posted on February 14, 2020 | Feedback Off on Polar bear habitat at mid-winter as in depth as 2013 & higher than 2006
Arctic sea ice on the center of winter (January-March) is a measure of what’s to return as a result of winter ice is the set-up for early spring, the time when polar bears do most of their feeding on younger seals.
[Mid-winter photos of polar bears are hard to come by, partly because the Arctic is still dark for most hours of the day, it’s still bitterly cold, and scientists don’t venture out to do work on polar bears until the end of March at the earliest]
At 12 February this 12 months, the ice was comparable in general extent to 2013 however increased than 2006.
Keep in mind, so far as polar bears are involved, we are able to low cost what’s taking place within the Sea of Okhotsk, the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of St. Lawrence as a result of these are outdoors the bears’ vary (12 Feb 2020 beneath).
So for ice extent related to polar bears, this 12 months may be very like 2009 (beneath, 12 Feb 2009 at 14.9 mkm2) – particularly with respect to the Barents Sea.
This extent of ice round Svalbard and Novaya Zemlya (beneath) has been uncommon because the late 1990s. Ice is inside swimming distance of Bear Island and if the island turns into surrounded, as occurred in March 2019, visits by polar bears are a near-certainty. Nonetheless, this pack-ice tends to advance and retract on the edges over the season, so it’s doable that Bear Island won’t see the ice this 12 months.
Polar bear researcher Andrew Derocher posted a map of the places of his collared and ear-tagged bears final week (eight Feb 2020):
Ice thickness charts from the Canadian Ice Service for final week on Hudson Bay (week of Feb 10), beneath, exhibits a broad swath of medium first 12 months ice (70-120 cm) throughout the centre and that can proceed to thicken over the subsequent few months: