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

  • Author / Creator
    Castro de la Guardia, Laura
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Derocher, Andrew (Biological Sciences)
    • Haas, Christian (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
    • Myers, Paul (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)