Hudson Bay ice update – researchers awfully quiet about what polar bears are doing

polarbearscience

This year 225 thousand km2 of sea ice remained on Hudson Bay at 10 August compared to 96 thousand km2 in 2009, the last late breakup year for which there are detailed ice maps and polar bear data.

Hudson Bay breakup Aug 10 2015_CIS

In 2009, most Western Hudson Bay polar bears were onshore by 22 August, just after the very last remnants of ice disappeared (see map below). This year? The remaining ice is further east, in Southern Hudson Bay territory.  Last report from a few weeks ago showed some Southern Hudson Bay bears came ashore early but past behavior suggests some bears will wait until the bitter end before they come ashore – until the very last remnants of ice disappear (Cherry et al. 2013).

Western Hudson Bay bears are unlikely to be quite as late onshore this year as they were in 2009 because of the way the ice melted, discussed here,

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