Climate change not forcing polar bears to hunt humans but lack of baby seals might

polarbearscience

At least a dozen polar bears that besieged a remote Russian weather station on an island in the Kara Sea during the first two weeks of September prompted a few media pundits to suggest that loss of summer sea ice due to global warming may be forcing polar bears to hunt humansfor food. Headlines like the one below, from the IB Times, fueled such notions:

russian-scientists-trapped-by-polar-bears-14-sept-2016_ib-times

Eye-catching though such headlines might be, this is more sensationalism than reality.  These particular bears have been onshoresince early July this year (about the time some Western Hudson Bay bears come ashore) and sea ice conditions have been similar this time of year since 2007. In other words, despite what some writers are claiming, sea ice conditions this year are nothing new.

A few bears usually visit this station each summer when the sea ice leaves – but this year…

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