Fatal Polar Bear Attack Unfairly Blamed On Alleged Lack Of Sea Ice

A fatal polar bear attack in Svalbard, in the early hours of 28 August 2020 just outside the main town of Longyearbyen, is being unreasonably blamed on lack of sea ice.

Details of the attack show it was made by a three year old male: such subadult bears are historically responsible for most attacks on people and they are known to be especially dangerous. It looks to me like someone should have seen this tragedy coming and stepped in to prevent it.

Svalbard_PB_Fareskilt_38

I will update this story as more information comes in but see below for the details known so far. […]

SEA ICE SVALBARD THIS YEAR

Far from having ‘low’ sea ice, Svalbard ice conditions have been heavier since last fall than they have been in decades. In March this year, Svalbard had more polar bear habitat than it did two decades ago at the same date. By early April, the ice was the highest it had been since 1988 and by the end of April, Svalbard still had the 6th-7th highest ice extent since record began in the late 1960s. There was also exceptionally thick first year ice to the north.

Svalbard ice extent 2020 April 28 graph_NIS
Svalbard ice extent 2020 July 8_NIS

In other words, Svalbard polar bears have had better sea ice conditions leading into the summer season than they have had in decades. And by early July (see below), there was still ice off the east coast of Spitzbergen.

Full post

The post Fatal Polar Bear Attack Unfairly Blamed On Alleged Lack Of Sea Ice appeared first on The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

via The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

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August 29, 2020 at 02:28AM

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