Recorded in Madrid, Spain, the site of the UN’s COP25.
Recorded in Madrid, Spain, the site of the UN’s COP25.
It’s a cycle, it’s a cycle, it’s a cycle! says Peter Temple who warns we are entering a cooling phase. “[J]ust when we need more energy and warmth, we have politicians trying to tax it out of existence.”
“The sun and the planets are the main driver of climate change on our tiny little planet,” says Temple, and presents his analysis in this video: https://youtu.be/lZw4DdocxN0
This is the third year in a row that freeze-up of Western Hudson Bay (WH) ice has come earlier than the average of 16 November documented in the 1980s. Reports by folks on the ground near Churchill confirm polar bears are starting to move onto the sea ice that’s developing along the shore after almost 5 months on land. After five good sea ice seasons in a row for WH polar bears, this repeat of an early freeze-up means a sixth good ice season is now possible for 2019-2020.
When mothers with cubs are out on the ice (see photo above), it’s pretty certain the mass movement from land to sea ice is well underway because these family units are usually the last to leave.
Weather in Churchill was very cold today, -36C with the wind chill. The slight moderation in temperature in the forecast for the rest of this week is still very conducive to ice formation:
The Canadian Ice Service charts for 10 November 2018 below (the overall picture and the details for ice development in northern Hudson Bay) show the ice conditions last year at the time that bears left for the ice:
Below is what the ice looks like this year (11 November 2019): while the band of ice is not quite as thick as last year at this time, recent cold weather has led to solid ice formation along the west coast of Hudson Bay and into James Bay (home to Southern Hudson Bay bears). This ice is guaranteed to widen and thicken over the next few days, putting this year only a day or two behind last year and 2017.
Just to round out the comparison, below is the detailed ice development chart for 11 November 2017:
Like Andrew Derocher’s student Laura Castro de la Guardia, I am using a definition of “freeze-up” that describes the behaviour of polar bears to newly formed ice, not the date when fall ice coverage on the bay reaches 50% (e.g. Lunn et al. 2016).
According to a recalculation of WH data that goes up to 2015 and back to 1979 (Castro de la Guardia 2017, see graph below), in the 1980s bears left for the ice at freeze-up (10% sea ice coverage) about 16 November ± 5 days while in recent years (2004-2008) they left about 24 November ± 8 days, a difference of 8 days. In other words, the relative change in the dates that WH bears left the shore between the 1980s and recent years is only about 1 week (with lots of variation).
Therefore, freeze-up dates of 10-12 November or so (Day 314-316) for 2017, 2018, and 2019 are some of the earliest freeze-up dates recorded since 1979 (the earliest being 6 November, Day 310, in 1991 and 1993), even earlier than the average for the 1980s.
Virtually all Western Hudson Bay bears leave the shore within about 2 days of sea ice concentration reaching 10% (Castro de la Guardia 2017; Cherry et al. 2013), although Southern Hudson Bay bears leave when it reaches about 5%: in other words, the bears go as soon as they possibly can.
As I discussed in 2016 regarding newly-published studies (Obbard et al. 2015, 2016) on the status of Southern Hudson Bay (SH) bears:
“…SH polar bears left the ice (or returned to it) when the average ice cover near the coast was about 5%. This finding is yet more evidence that the meteorological definition of “breakup” (date of 50% ice cover) used by many researchers (see discussion here) is not appropriate for describing the seasonal movements of polar bears on and off shore.”
Here is the week 19 report from the 2018 Churchill Polar Bear Alert Program (November 4-11 — almost 5 months ashore), confirming that bears were moving onto the rapidly forming ice by the first week of November last year:
For 2019, the town of Churchill is behind in their posting of problem bear reports (the last one listed is 28 October) but I’ll insert the relevant status sheets for the season’s end here as soon as they are available.
My 2017 Southern Hudson Bay post (with its list of references) is worth another look for its discussion of the following points: the definition of freeze-up; the relationship of official freeze-up and breakup dates to the dates that bears depart; the overall health and survival of Western and Southern Hudson Bay polar bears.
A final note: if PBI spokesperson Amstrup had been right about his predictions of Arctic sea ice and polar bear survival back in 2007 when he was the head of the US Geological Survey’s polar bear research team, there would be no polar bears at all in Hudson Bay right now (Crockford 2017, 2019), not a thriving population of fat, healthy bears moving offshore as early as bears did in the 1980s.
Castro de la Guardia, L., Myers, P.G., Derocher, A.E., Lunn, N.J., Terwisscha van Scheltinga, A.D. 2017. Sea ice cycle in western Hudson Bay, Canada, from a polar bear perspective. Marine Ecology Progress Series 564: 225–233. http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v564/p225-233/
Cherry, S.G., Derocher, A.E., Thiemann, G.W., Lunn, N.J. 2013.Migration phenology and seasonal fidelity of an Arctic marine predator in relation to sea ice dynamics. Journal of Animal Ecology 82: 912-921. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2656.12050/abstract
Crockford, S.J. 2017. Testing the hypothesis that routine sea ice coverage of 3-5 mkm2 results in a greater than 30% decline in population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). PeerJ Preprints 2 March 2017. Doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2737v3 Open access. https://peerj.com/preprints/2737/
Crockford, S.J. 2019. The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened. Global Warming Policy Foundation, London. Available from Amazon in paperback and ebook formats.
Lunn, N.J., Servanty, S., Regehr, E.V., Converse, S.J., Richardson, E. and Stirling, I. 2016. Demography of an apex predator at the edge of its range – impacts of changing sea ice on polar bears in Hudson Bay. Ecological Applications 26(5): 1302-1320. DOI: 10.1890/15-1256
Obbard, M.E., Stapleton, S., Middel, K.R., Thibault, I., Brodeur, V. and Jutras, C. 2015. Estimating the abundance of the Southern Hudson Bay polar bear subpopulation with aerial surveys. Polar Biology 38:1713-1725.
Obbard, M.E., Cattet, M.R.I., Howe, E.J., Middel, K.R., Newton, E.J., Kolenosky, G.B., Abraham, K.F. and Greenwood, C.J. 2016.Trends in body condition in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Southern Hudson Bay subpopulation in relation to changes in sea ice. Arctic Science 2: 15-32. DOI: 10.1139/AS-2015-0027
My Other Voices Column: The ‘new normal’ is not what you think was published this AM [11-16-19] in The Union.
Reblogged from CFACT. Slightly edited for better reading.
Reblogged from Icecap.us
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
Starting in January 2019, unusual and at times record cold has been locked in over the north central states.
Though there was heat in late summer in the southeast and eastern Gulf to the Mid-Atlantic, the cold held in the north central. After a very cold spring with late snows, which significantly delayed or prevented grain planting, a cool summer followed and gave way to a very early cold shot in late September that brought early deep freezes and even record snows in the north central leading to significant crop losses.
There have been 90 all-time record lows versus just 44 all-time record highs this year. That included the all time state record low of -38F in Mount Carroll in Illinois on January 31st.
The cold central deepened in October and pushed to the east bringing very early snow into the Midwest. October saw 3680 record daily lows, 32 all time record lows for the month and no all time record monthly highs (NOAA NCEI).
After bringing heavy snows to the Rockies and high plains the cold rolled south with temperatures 30 to 50 degrees below normal.
Temperatures dropped to a record of -35F at Logan County Sink in Utah and -46F in Peter’s sink, record coldest for the U.S. for the month of October.
The temperatures the first 9 months have tracked the last 120 years well with multidecadal cycles in the ocean.
The cold also follows the solar activity. We are currently in a century or more quiet sun. In the period in and following the last 11 year cycle low (2007-2011), we had brutal cold and snow here in the U.S. and Europe.
December in 2010, the Central England Temperature (longest continuous record going back to 1659), was the second coldest December. Snow, which was forecast to be a thing of the past, instead buried the UK for long periods reminiscent of the Dalton solar Minimum of the early 1800s as evidenced by Dicken’s novels.
In the US, record cold and snow in the Snowmageddon Mid-Atlantic winter of 2009/10, was eclipsed with the record winters of 2013/14 and 2014/15. Which brought the coldest and snowiest winter and modern day peaks of Great Lake ice.
The snow in the hemisphere is increasing very rapidly and is above normal, which should expand and enhance the cold. Note how the fall record for snow extent was at record levels last fall.
Given the projection by Russian scientists and many in the west including some at NASA, we could be heading into a deep and long solar minimum like the Maunder Minimum with a major cooling. Whether it is a several decade Dalton like period or a Maunder, this is no time to abandon cheap, available energy.
Even in the warmer interlude we have enjoyed, cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study analyzing over 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries.