It was inevitable, I suppose, that the putative hybrid shot in Arviat, Nunavut last week (see my post here) would initiate the global warming blame game.
Washington Post, 23 May 2016, Adam Popescu: “Love in the time of climate change: Grizzlies and polar bears are now mating”
Here are the five points you need to know about polar bear hybridization, as there are several nonsense statements contained in this Washington Post article.
UPDATE 24 May 2016: References adding below regarding grizzly sightings south of Churchill on the west coast of Hudson Bay (H/T Doug Clark).
UPDATE 28 May 2016: See this 27 May 2016 follow-up post (Most polar bear hybrids said to exist have not been confirmed by DNA testing) for details on unconfirmed sightings or reports of hybrids.
Posted in Conservation Status, Hybridization, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Amstrup, Arviat, climate change, Derocher, global warming, grizzly, grolar bear, hybrid, northward expansion, Nunavut, pizzly, polar bear, range contraction
CBC News this morning (“Grolar or pizzly? Experts say rare grizzly-polar bear hybrid shot in Nunavut: Expert says interbreeding may be happening more frequently due to climate change“) suggests that a putative grizzly x polar bear hybrid bear shot outside Arviat in Western Hudson Bay is a sign of climate change, based on an interview with a black bear expert from Minnesota.
This bogus claim has been busted so many times it’s a wonder it still arises – even polar bear specialist Ian Stirling has said flat out that such hybrids are not due to climate change. On top of that, some of the details regarding this putative hybrid make me want to wait for confirmation from DNA testing before adding it to the roster of known hybrids.
Posted in Advocacy, Hybridization, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Arviat, CBC, climate change, Garshelis, grizzly polar bear, grolar, hybrid, Nunavut, pizzly, range expansion, sea ice
From NunatsiaqOnline yesterday, a detailed description of a polar bear attack that took place along Hudson Strait, within the Davis Strait polar bear subpopulation.
Kootoo Shaw was wearing nothing but long johns and a T-shirt when a 400-pound polar bear dragged him by his toes along the tundra towards the ocean outside Kimmirut in September 2003.
Shaw, 46, was working as a guide on a sport-hunting trip when the attack occurred in the early morning. Continue reading
Posted in Polar bear attacks
Tagged attacks, Davis Strait, facts, Iqaluit, Kimmirut, Kootoo Shaw, male, Nunavut, polar bear, subadult, summer
In a polite but misleading article today in a BBC magazine (The polar bears are coming to town) about the relationship of polar bears and Inuit in Arviat, Western Hudson Bay, there is no mention of the on-going feud between Nunavut Inuit and Canadian polar bear scientists regarding invasive research.
Nor is there a mention of the fact that according to the most recent research, there has been no trend in sea ice conditions since 2001.
Posted in Polar bear attacks, Population, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Arviat, BBC, breakup, freeze-up, invasive research, Lunn, mark-recapture, Nunavut, polar bear, sea ice, Tyrrell, western hudson bay
From the CBC this morning, we have the report of a female polar bear and her cub paying a visit to an Nunavut campsite near Chesterfield Inlet in northwestern Hudson Bay, which is technically within the boundary of the Foxe Basin polar bear subpopulation.
Maggie Putulik photo, 29 July 2015 Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut.
These are not the desperate bear victims of global warming we have been warned about by polar bear specialists but well-fed curious ursids not averse to an easy meal if there’s one to be had. Such bears are easily deterred by a loud noise. Note this was the second visit by polar bears this Nunavut family had experienced at this location within a three-week period – two other bears had stopped by earlier. Note that ice in this region of Hudson Bay broke up earlier than usual this year yet these bears seem to be in fine condition and can expect the first fall ice of the season (freeze-up) to appear in their neighbourhood, see maps below.
Posted in Polar bear attacks, Sea ice habitat
Tagged breakup, CBC, Chesterfield Inlet, cub, Foxe Basin, freeze-up, Hudson Bay, Nunavut, onshore, polar bear, problem bears, Putulik, sea ice, summer
“Heavy ice in Hudson Bay derails CCGS Amundsen’s research plans” – just in from the CBC (22 July 2015, via Twitchy). Worst ice in 20 years.
[original caption for the above photo: “The CCGS Pierre Radisson escorts the oil tanker Havelstern to Iqaluit July 17. Tough ice conditions in area have delayed this summer’s annual resupply, and have now derailed the CCGS Amundsen from its carefully planned summer research program.”]
“Worst ice conditions in 20 years force change of plans to icebreaker research program“
That would be 1992 they’re talking about, the cold year that everyone blamed on the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Unfortunately, there are no good detailed ice maps from 1992 (see previous post here). What’s the excuse this year?
CCGS Amundsen is an icebreaker that is usually released from duty to serve as an Arctic research vessel in the summer. And who’s on board? GEOTRACES 2015 Arctic Expedition out of the University of British Columbia with a plan to study (in part) global warming caused “ocean acidification.” Their short blog post shows a map without ice and not a hint they see the irony of the situation.
Here’s the ice they’re talking about (from the Canadian Ice Service), with the communities mentioned in the study marked:
Sea ice at 22 July 2015, with Inukjuak, Eastern Hudson Bay, and Iqaliuk, Baffin Island, marked. CIS map. Click to enlarge.
Posted in Sea ice habitat
Tagged Coast Guard, Davis Strait, Derocher, heavy ice, Hudson Bay, ice breakers, Inukjuak, Iqualiuk, Newfoundland, Nunavut, polar bear, science, sea ice, summer, UBC
A few days ago polar bear biologist Mitch Taylor and Nunavut’s Gabriel Niryungaluk talked to Toronto radio host Roy Green about the recent USGS dire model predictions for the future of polar bears.
There’s an audio podcast and, courtesy of the valuable efforts of fellow blogger Alex Cull, a transcript. Links below, plus some excerpts of Mitch Taylor’s commentary.
Posted in Conservation Status, Population
Tagged Alex Cull, climate change, crystal ball, extinction, future, Gabriel Niryungaluk, global warming, greenhouse gases, imminent danger, Mitch Taylor, models, Nunavut, opinion, polar bear, population size, predictions, radio interview, sea ice, threatened, transcript, USGS