The region inhabited by the Davis Strait subpopulation of polar bears dips as far south as James Bay and has a history of highly variable sea ice coverage.
For the last two years Davis Strait sea ice in March has been well above average, while other years it been well below. You might be surprised to hear that 1969 had the lowest February/March ice coverage over the entire the 1969-2002 record (Johnston et al. 2005: 211), which ice charts show now extend to 2015 (see below). Reports of sealers working north of Newfoundland and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the first few decades of the 20th century show this variability has likely always been a characteristic of the area (Ryan 2014).
Remarkably, this year’s ice coverage for the first week in January is well above what they were in 2014 and 2015 – even though those two years were above average by March. In fact, there hasn’t been this much polar bear habitat in the Southern Labrador Sea in the first week of January since at least 1993.
Posted in Life History, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Atlantic Canada, Canadian Ice Service, Davis Strait, East Coast, facts, James Bay, Labrador Sea, polar bear, sea ice, sealers, variability, winter
Not only did we see plenty of great news about polar bears but EATEN (my first novel) is now well on it’s way to being a resounding success. Don’t let your friends and colleagues have all the nightmares! Fabulous read for a long cold NH winter’s night but also an excellent choice for the beach…perhaps fewer nightmares?
The Canadian Ice Service predictions for winter 2016 off eastern Canada (where my novel takes place) is for extensive ice for the third year in a row. That means only nine years to go for the situation in 2025 to meet my speculations regarding a most terrifying onslaught of starving polar bears in Newfoundland.
I don’t ask for donations here at PolarBearScience – if you appreciate my efforts (418 posts and almost 630,000 views since late July 2012) and would like to see more of the same, please buy a copy or two of my book (and don’t forget to go back and leave a brief review; only the number of stars count). Paperback editions here and here; Ebooks for immediate gratification (Kindle; All other e formats).
In 2015, the Arctic Fallacy was exposed, there were official admissions of population increases (here and here) – all after we had Twenty Good Reasons Not to Worry About Polar Bears.
More of the same for 2016!
A heartfelt Happy New Year to you and yours, from a Canadian zoologist not afraid to wonder ‘what if’ but honest enough to call the output fiction.
Posted in Conservation Status, Population, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Arctic Fallacy, Atlantic Canada, Eastern Canada, Eaten, facts, information, Newfoundland, novel, polar bear, sea ice, speculative fiction, starving polar bear