Regardless of hand-wringing about Churchill polar bears this yr, 2023 wasn’t their worst summer season • Watts Up With That?
From Polar Bear Science
For months, the media has been bleating about the poor polar bears of Churchill suffering from lack of sea ice blamed on human-caused climate change during the so-called ‘hottest year’ on record: in April, July, August, November, and December.
However, while breakup of sea ice on Hudson Bay was indeed early this year and freeze-up came earlier than usual, Western Hudson polar bears apparently spent only the fifth-longest time on land since 1979, according to a polar bear specialist. How is that even possible, given that sea ice conditions should be getting worse and worse as CO2 levels increase and average global temperatures rise? As I’ve pointed out before, it is apparent that Arctic sea ice is not closely coupled to CO2 levels (as the ‘experts’ claim), which makes me wonder if there is any ecologically-relevant correlation between CO2 and sea ice at all.
Money quote from Geoff York, from Polar Bears International: “As of Nov. 28 this year, the bears in western Hudson Bay had spent 164 days on shore, he said. That’s tied for the fifth-longest amount of time the bears have spent off the ice since 1979.” CBC, 9 December 2023 [my bold]
Hudson Bay sea ice & polar bears
Sea ice over Hudson Bay at 8 December 2023:
Locations of tagged polar bears at 8 December 2023 (those on land will be denning pregnant females), note that the bear in the south is on a patch of low-concentration ice (see chart above):