Polar bears of W Hudson Bay utilizing a substantial patch of thick first year ice

polarbearscience

There’s been no word as yet, either from tour operators or polar bear researchers, that Western Hudson Bay polar bears have come ashore for the summer/fall season. Andrew Derocher reportedat the end of June that the bears tagged by his team were still on the ice and as I write this, has not yet reported them ashore.

That pattern is consistent with the presence of thick ice along the west coast of the Bay — from well north of Churchill to the south of Wapusk National Park — for the last few weeks. The weekly chart for 3 July 2017 below from the Canadian Ice Service shows that virtually all of the ice remaining is thick first year ice (>1.2m, dark green on this map):

Hudson Bay weekly ice stage of development 2017 July 3

By the 9 July, the extent of this patch of ice was somewhat reduced but still a very prominent feature over the Bay, suggesting that…

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