Spring/summer sea ice bonanza for polar bears – conditions excellent again for 2014

polarbearscience

Again this year – contrary to predictions – there has been no early breakup of the sea ice on Hudson Bay and even though it’s the height of summer, there is plenty of ice throughout the Arctic to act as a feeding platform for polar bears. This makes it unlikely there will be a longer-than-average summer fast for polar bears again this year.

Figure 1. NSIDC MASIE map for June 21, 2014. Figure 1. NSIDC MASIE map for June 21, 2014.

Sea ice maps around the Arctic for June 21 (and June 24, for Hudson Bay) reviewed and discussed below in relation to polar bear habitat — have a look.

Spring through early summer is the critical feeding time for polar bears, regardless of where they live (see previous discussion, with references, here). During these months (February through June), the bears gorge on young fat seal pups to see them through leaner times later in the year – whether

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