Hudson Bay could be ice-free in winter within 5-10 years, says seal researcher

polarbearscience

Ringed seal biologist Steven Ferguson, in a statement to a reporter from the Winnipeg Free Press, made one of the boldest predictions I’ve ever heard:

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“Hudson Bay could experience its first free winter within 5-10 years.”

You heard it here, folks. It appears Ferguson thinks Hudson Bay was never ice-free in winter even during the Eemian Interglacial, when the Bering Sea was ice-free in winter – something that has not come close happening in recent years (Polyak et al. 2010:1769).

Sounds like a bit of ill-advised grandstanding to me.


Ringed Seals Critical Habitat

The Winnipeg Free Pressreported Ferguson’s claim yesterday that ringed seal numbers in Hudson Bay declined by almost 80% the spring after the late freeze-up year of 2010, as part of a non-peer reviewed conference paper he gave (so no one can see the data he’s talking about).

However, polar bear surveys were done that summer and found no decline…

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