Predicting 21st‐century polar bear habitat distribution from global climate models

  title={Predicting 21st‐century polar bear habitat distribution from global climate models},
  author={George M. Durner and David C. Douglas and Ryan M. Nielson and Steven C. Amstrup and Trent L. McDonald and Ian Stirling and Mette Skern Mauritzen and Erik W. Born and {\O}ystein Wiig and Eric DeWeaver and Mark C. Serreze and Stanislav Belikov and Marika M. Holland and James Maslanik and Jon Aars and David Anthony Bailey and Andrew E. Derocher},
  journal={Ecological Monographs},
Projections of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) sea ice habitat distribution in the polar basin during the 21st century were developed to understand the consequences of anticipated sea ice reductions on polar bear populations. We used location data from satellite- collared polar bears and environmental data (e.g., bathymetry, distance to coastlines, and sea ice) collected from 1985 to 1995 to build resource selection functions (RSFs). RSFs described habitats that polar bears preferred in summer… 

Sea ice resource selection models for polar bears in the Barents Sea subpopulation

The extent, thickness and age of Arctic sea ice has dramatically declined since the late 1990s, and these trends are predicted to continue. Exploring the habitat use of sea-ice-dependent species can

Projected Polar Bear Sea Ice Habitat in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

Under business-as-usual climate projections, polar bears may face starvation and reproductive failure across the entire Canadian Arctic Archipelago by the year 2100.

Climate change threatens polar bear populations: a stochastic demographic analysis.

The impacts of climate change on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea are evaluated by means of a demographic analysis, combining deterministic, stochastic, environment-dependent matrix population models with forecasts of future sea ice conditions from IPCC general circulation models.

Are polar bear habitat resource selection functions developed from 1985–1995 data still useful?

Comparisons to published Arctic‐wide reference RSFs using tracking data from adult female polar bears captured in the Beaufort Sea revealed that contemporary polar bears have been increasingly forced to use suboptimal habitats during those seasons of sea ice declines.

Future sea ice conditions in Western Hudson Bay and consequences for polar bears in the 21st century

This work predicts changes in the ice cycle and the sea ice concentration in spring with a high-resolution sea ice-ocean model and warming forced with 21st century IPCC greenhouse gas (GHG) emission scenarios: B1 (low), A1B (medium), and A2 (high).

Polar bears and sea ice habitat change

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is an obligate apex predator of Arctic sea ice and as such can be affected by climate warming-induced changes in the extent and composition of pack ice and its

Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline.

Investigation of the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010 suggests that factors other than sea ice can influence survival, and refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary.

Sea-Ice Indicators of Polar Bear Habitat

Nineteen subpopulations of polar bears ( Ursus maritimus ) are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic, and in all regions they depend on sea ice as a platform for traveling, hunting, and breeding.

Climate change: The prospects for polar bears

The rapid summer ice losses seen of late may represent increased volatility of a thinning sea-ice cover, rather than a tipping point, and greenhouse-gas mitigation could yet halt sea- ice loss and preserve the Arctic ecosystem.

Shifts in female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) habitat use in East Greenland

Results indicate that multi-decadal loss of sea ice has resulted in shifts in polar bear habitat use in EG, and there was a statistically significant and stronger winter preference in the 2000s for adult females to select for higher sea ice concentrations.




Polar bears live in high-latitude environments characterized by cyclic variation in form and extent of sea ice. From 1991 to 1995, we used radio telemetry and monthly satellite images to compare

Polar Bears in a Warming Climate1

It is unlikely that polar bears will survive as a species if the sea ice disappears completely as has been predicted by some, but the effects of climate change are likely to show large geographic, temporal and even individual differences and be highly variable, making it difficult to develop adequate monitoring and research programs.

Possible Effects of Climate Warming on Selected Populations of Polar Bears ( Ursus maritimus ) in the Canadian Arctic

Polar bears depend on sea ice for survival. Climate warming in the Arctic has caused significant declines in total cover and thickness of sea ice in the polar basin and progressively earlier breakup

Using discrete choice modeling to generate resource selection functions for female polar bears in the Beaufort Sea

Preliminary tests indicate seasonal models can predict polar bear distribution based on prior sea ice data, and the use of discrete choice models to describe habitat selection by female polar bears in the Beaufort Sea is explored.

Landward and eastward shift of Alaskan polar bear denning associated with recent sea ice changes

The proportion of polar bears denning in coastal areas will continue to increase, until such time as the autumn ice retreats far enough from shore that it precludes offshore pregnant females from reaching the Alaska coast in advance of denning.

Habitat preferences of polar bears in the western Canadian Arctic in late winter and spring

ABSTRACT Between late March and May, from 1971 through 1979, we surveyed 74,332 km2 of sea-ice habitatin the eastern Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf in the western Canadian Arctic. We defined seven

Future regional Arctic sea ice declines

Because animals and humans respond to seasonally and regionally varying climates, it is instructive to assess how much confidence we can have in regional projections of sea ice from the 20 models

Female polar bears, Ursus maritimus, on the Barents Sea drift ice: walking the treadmill

Abstract For animals in dynamic habitats, the contribution of passive (i.e. by wind or current) and active (movements by the animals themselves) displacement determines whether their space use

Observations of mortality associated with extended open-water swimming by polar bears in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea

It is speculated that mortalities due to offshore swimming during late-ice (or mild ice) years may be an important and unaccounted source of natural mortality given energetic demands placed on individual bears engaged in long-distance swimming.

Arctic sea ice decline: Faster than forecast

From 1953 to 2006, Arctic sea ice extent at the end of the melt season in September has declined sharply. All models participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment