Some polar bears may already be living mostly off the fat put on over the spring but others may catch a seal or two on the sea ice before the summer fast begins – since the ice hasn’t left the coast in most regions quite yet. Polar bears eat little in summer, whether they spend their time on land or on the sea ice.
Sea ice is still high over Hudson Bay – for this time of year, it hasn’t had this much polar bear habitat since 2009. Davis Strait and Foxe Basin are also above average – Davis Strait hasn’t had this much ice since 1992 (the Mt. Pinatubo cold year). Polar bear subpopulation refresher map below.
Barents Sea conditions are much improved over last year, many more cubs were seen this spring around Svalbard denning areas.
Hudson Bay sea ice extent for 2015 compared to 2009 below:
A few bears Western Hudson Bay (WHB) bears have come ashore but probably not all. Time will tell when most western and southern Hudson Bay bears come ashore this year, given so much ice still over the bay: researchers controlling the data aren’t saying.
Ice coverage graphs for North American waters below for the week of 16 July, 1968/1971 to 2015 (with average marked) for Hudson Bay, Davis Strait, Foxe Basin, Baffin Bay, Beaufort Sea, Canadian Arctic (click to enlarge):