Mid-winter polar bear sea ice habitat is abundant & within range of long-term average

Ahead of International Polar Bear Day (27 February) this year, polar bear habitat is as abundant as it has been for decades. This is a tough time for polar bears, many of which will be finding it hard to find seals to eat, as newborn seals won’t be an available food resource for about a month in most areas. Thin and hungry bears are dangerous.

Sea ice charts below for the Arctic as a whole and by region.

Global sea ice extent NSIDC Masie

Global sea ice extent compared to long term average NSIDC Interactive Sea Ice Graph

Global ice extent 2022 vs. last four years NSIDC Regional Graphs

Global sea ice thickness DMI

Keeping in mind that dark blue and purple areas (first year ice) are the best hunting habitat for polar bears because they are the best habitat for seals:

Canadian Arctic extent and concentration Canadian Ice Service

Chukchi/Bering Sea stage of development (legend below) Alaska Sea Ice Program

Barents Sea/East Greenland/Kara Sea ice concentration and extent Norwegian Ice Service

Barents/Svalbard region closeup Norwegian Ice Service

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