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Modeling sea ice in Hudson Bay from a polar bear (Ursus maritimus) perspective Open Access


Other title
Hudson Bay
polar bear
sea ice modelling
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Castro de la Guardia, Laura
Supervisor and department
Derocher, Andrew
Myers, Paul
Examining committee member and department
Haas, Christian (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Derocher, Andrew (Biological Sciences)
Myers, Paul (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Sea ice concentration (SIC), the length of the ice-free period, and the break-up date are correlated with the survival and reproduction success of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in Western Hudson Bay (WH). I use a high-resolution sea ice-ocean model to predict these parameters through the 21st century and to assess the threat on polar bears in WH. The model was validated and calibrated with GPS-data from polar bears in WH. Predictions are based on the IPCC greenhouse gas-emission scenarios: B1, A1B and A2. The model predicted significant changes in WH spring SIC in A1B and A2, and in the seasonal ice cycle in B1, A1B and A2. From 2061-2100, the mean break-up date advances 15.7 days (B1), 31.5 days (A1B), and 46 days (A2), and the mean ice-free period lengthens by 4.5 weeks (B1), 8.4 weeks (A1B), and 12.5 weeks (A2). Should the model projections be realized, a viable population of polar bears will not likely persist in WH until the end of this century.
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