Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

AGW in general => Consequences => Topic started by: wili on August 10, 2013, 06:22:12 PM

Title: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: wili on August 10, 2013, 06:22:12 PM
I was looking for an appropriate thread to put this link in and was surprised not to find anything on general effects of ice loss and warming on Arctic wildlife. Effects on, for example, polar bears is often the first thing mentioned in the popular press, so maybe people were trying to avoid the cliche?

Anyway, here's the latest from Climate Central:

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/arctics-rapid-sea-ice-loss-threatens-wildlife-16331 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/arctics-rapid-sea-ice-loss-threatens-wildlife-16331)

Arctic’s Rapid Sea Ice Loss Threatens Wildlife

Quote
The loss of Arctic sea ice is bad news for the Pacific walrus, and for polar bears: the walrus has further to swim to dig for clams on the sea floor, and the polar bear has less chance of catching seals. But the real problems begin at the base of the food chain.

Since the end of the last century, more than two million square kilometers of sea ice have disappeared, and the loss of summer ice is accelerating. Researchers call this “a stunning loss of habitat for sea ice algae and sub-ice plankton which together account for 57 percent of the total annual primary production in the Arctic Ocean.”...

Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Anne on August 10, 2013, 11:49:00 PM
Hi Wili,

Thanks for posting this. There are a couple of Wildlife comments on the Off-topic section (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,434.0.html). I didn't know where else to post it. It's an important issue IMO, though not many agree.  BTW, there has been a lot of coverage in the last couple of days of the carcase of an emaciated polar bear (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/06/starved-polar-bear-record-sea-ice-melt), but the widespread attribution to climate change seems tenuous.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: ritter on August 12, 2013, 05:36:52 AM
Hi Wili,

Thanks for posting this. There are a couple of Wildlife comments on the Off-topic section (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,434.0.html). I didn't know where else to post it. It's an important issue IMO, though not many agree.  BTW, there has been a lot of coverage in the last couple of days of the carcase of an emaciated polar bear (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/06/starved-polar-bear-record-sea-ice-melt), but the widespread attribution to climate change seems tenuous.
We have destroyed this ecosystem. There is no other way to put it. The Arctic canary has been dead for some time.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Whit on August 13, 2013, 03:21:03 PM
It's changing quite rapidly, and the weather is weirding on my side of things. I'm heading for the north coast of the Kola peninsula in 2 weeks. There's been almost no rain for the last 2-3 months. The rivers are 50-60 cm below average. I was hoping for some cloudberries in addition to the odd trout, but I can't see that happening. Temperatures have been up to 34 C as far as I know.

I've fished and travelled the north coast of Kola for nearly a decade and norwegian Lapland for twice as long. The insect hatches are coming earlier and earlier, and spring is early. The most striking and easily visible change is the vegetation. The tundra on the norwegian side is "slowly" turning into forest.

Trout are displacing arctic charr in a couple of rivers i know of. The fish-scientists I talk to blame a combination of temperature and possibly pressure from sea-lice from the fish farms. The displacement is happening in rivers where none of the fish go to sea as well, so I'll put my money on temperature.

I'll give a brief report about the state of things on the ground up there when I get back.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: wili on August 22, 2013, 08:28:06 AM
"I'll give a brief report about the state of things on the ground up there when I get back."

Thanks for the insights. I look forward to any further observations you may have.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Anne on August 26, 2013, 12:28:07 PM
An interesting BBC article about an  expedition to record wildlife around the Laptev Sea (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23794232) and the possible impact of increased shipping and mining.

ETA: note the tabs at the top of the article, which link to other aspects of the Russian Arctic:
The Taimyr Peninsula (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23799682)
Polar Bears (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23799875) and
The Laptev walrus (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23793078)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: wili on August 28, 2013, 07:56:57 PM
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/krill-face-greater-risks-in-a-warming-antarctic-16388 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/krill-face-greater-risks-in-a-warming-antarctic-16388)

Krill Face Greater Risks in Warming Antarctic Waters

Quote
They may not look very appetizing, but they are what sustains much of the marine life in the southern ocean. Antarctic krill, usually less than 2.36 inches long, are the primary food source for many species of whale, seal, penguin and fish.

 But there’s a problem: the waters round Antarctica are warming, and it looks as if they will probably continue to do so. If they do, a team of UK researchers says, the area where the krill grow could shrink by a fifth.

It is the fact that krill are known to be sensitive to sea temperature, especially in the areas where they grow as adults, that prompted the scientists to try to understand how they might respond to the effects of further climate change.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: pikaia on August 29, 2013, 12:54:25 AM
Greenland will become greener, but only slowly unless humans help to spread the vegetation.
 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130828092258.htm (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130828092258.htm)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 04, 2013, 10:10:12 PM
Swimming with a polar bear:

Rencontre avec l'ours polaire Le piège blanc extrait) wmv (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QUcwOO6kOg#ws)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Tor Bejnar on January 29, 2017, 03:58:37 AM
@ Espen

I know this is probably OT, but some time ago you made a passing reference on this thread to the predicament of polar bears on Svalbard. You may (or may not) have seen this article from December 2015, which states that the sub-population there was in pretty good shape...
http://www.npolar.no/en/news/2015/12-23-counting-of-polar-bears-in-svalbard.html (http://www.npolar.no/en/news/2015/12-23-counting-of-polar-bears-in-svalbard.html)

Unfortunately, winter 2016/17 hasn't been doing any favours for those members of the Ursus maritimus species stuck on Svalbard since early in last year's melt season. It will be "interesting" to see the next update on their status.
Not too old:  (and I think this is the 'right' thread on the forum...)
Tourism increase leads to polar bears being shot dead in the Arctic
(http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/tourism-increase-leads-polar-bears-being-shot-dead-arctic-1583809)   By David Sim   -   September 28, 2016

Quote
More and more polar bears are being shot dead on Norway's remote Arctic islands, as they come into increasing contact with people, due to an increased number of tourists and a reduction in the sea ice on which the creatures roam. Halfway between the northern tip of Europe and the North Pole, the Svalbard archipelago of snow-capped mountains and glaciers are home to 2,654 people and 975 polar bears, according to a 2015 tally by the Norwegian Polar Institute. ...
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Cate on April 21, 2017, 02:27:38 PM
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/davis-strait-polar-bears-ice-decline-1.4077164 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/davis-strait-polar-bears-ice-decline-1.4077164)

Sea ice changes affecting polar bear populations in Davis Strait.

Polar bear scientist at the U of Alberta, who has been studying bears for 35 years, says the ice-free period off Labrador is increasing by 18 days per decade, because of  ice melting earlier and forming later in the fall. This affects bear access to seals, their preferred food.

As well, "One of the big findings was the reproductive rates were down. And that means that over the longer term the population is certainly not growing, and may be declining."

Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Bruce Steele on April 23, 2017, 05:52:02 AM
Beaufort beavers. Beaver dams a few miles from the Beaufort have shown up for the first time in the Northern reaches of Canada.

https://www.adn.com/arctic/2017/04/19/as-woody-shrubs-move-north-in-a-warming-climate-beavers-make-a-beachhead-on-the-arctic-coastal-plain/ (https://www.adn.com/arctic/2017/04/19/as-woody-shrubs-move-north-in-a-warming-climate-beavers-make-a-beachhead-on-the-arctic-coastal-plain/)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 23, 2017, 05:12:09 PM
How Climate Change Canceled the Grizzly Salmon Run
On an Alaskan island, one of nature’s greatest spectacles is shutting down, as brown bears abandon fish in favor of a surprising alternative:  red elderberries
Quote
...
In most years, red elderberries only ripen from late August to early September, at the end of the salmon season. The two food sources don’t overlap, so the bears eat them in sequence, gorging on salmon before bingeing on berries. But, by looking at historical data, Deacy and Armstrong found that this natural timetable has changed. In Alaska, spring temperatures have increased and elderberries have been ripening earlier. In 2014, the berries ripened especially early, bringing them in sync with the spawning salmon. And it seems that whenever both items are on the menu simultaneously, the bears always choose berries.
...
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/08/how-climate-change-cancelled-the-grizzly-salmon-run/537483/ (https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/08/how-climate-change-cancelled-the-grizzly-salmon-run/537483/)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Tigertown on September 14, 2017, 09:43:22 PM
Re: Polar Bear Decline.
A-Team,
Quote
Sure do, wish I didn't. One thing that confuses people is adult bear counts vs recruitment, ie females having enough food and denning opportunities to bear enough adult replacement cubs that survive to reproductive age at weight. Off-topic here, be good to pursue in depth on a separate forum.

Try looking at the primary peer-reviewed papers by field biologists (as well as field journals), forget the Koch's twitter page (Crawford), the nonsense around goose eggs, the ABC special situation, and environmental charities pitching false hope to donors. The habitat situation for both bears and walruses is hopeless, don't kid yourself.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/how-america-lost-its-mind/534231/ (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/how-america-lost-its-mind/534231/)
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/how-we-killed-expertise-215531 (http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/how-we-killed-expertise-215531)

You can best find them at Pubmed among its 27,000,000 abstracts. Svalbard also tracks polar bears. The Siberian populations, the Russians may or may not be able to track them in remote locations.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/advanced (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/advanced)

Back on topic, here is the what the bears and walrus are up against quantitatively in the Chukchi, Beaufort, and Barents: way too much open water for way too much of the year. We've shown open water over bathymetry (ie walrus food diving depth) many times up-forum. Snow depth is also up-forum (10 cm doesn't work out for dens, that's why they head for certain Svalbard islands).
The problem is there are many varying reports out there. Some of them claim that the numbers are back up over the last half-decade. Some claim that these are down in some regions but up in others, and say that this is because of the resilience of the Polar Bear. Of course if they are cross breeding, the offspring won't be Polar Bears. Thanks for points on this A-Team. If you want to add more to the subject later, this thread ought to be ok. I will dig for more details myself as I have time.

P.S.  From Cate's comment above,

 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/davis-strait-polar-bears-ice-decline-1.4077164 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/davis-strait-polar-bears-ice-decline-1.4077164)

Sea ice changes affecting polar bear populations in Davis Strait.

Polar bear scientist at the U of Alberta, who has been studying bears for 35 years, says the ice-free period off Labrador is increasing by 18 days per decade, because of  ice melting earlier and forming later in the fall. This affects bear access to seals, their preferred food.

As well, "One of the big findings was the reproductive rates were down. And that means that over the longer term the population is certainly not growing, and may be declining."
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Forest Dweller on September 15, 2017, 09:02:49 AM
Great idea to have this topic wili.
And there definitely is a lot more to observe than just the emaciated polar bears indeed.
A lot comes to mind.
From "grolars" to reindeer, the Alaskan orca's failing to reproduce, to the life forms on the sea floor.
If i see any interesting studies i will try to post, thanks mate.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Forest Dweller on September 30, 2017, 10:44:03 AM
Polar bears straying far south in Siberia, with video;

http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/lost-but-happy-eating-fish-the-polar-bear-that-strayed-700-km-too-far-south/ (http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/lost-but-happy-eating-fish-the-polar-bear-that-strayed-700-km-too-far-south/)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Daniel B. on September 30, 2017, 02:16:03 PM
Polar bears straying far south in Siberia, with video;

http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/lost-but-happy-eating-fish-the-polar-bear-that-strayed-700-km-too-far-south/ (http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/lost-but-happy-eating-fish-the-polar-bear-that-strayed-700-km-too-far-south/)
Maybe he is just trying to avoid the brutally cold Siberian winter lol.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Forest Dweller on October 04, 2017, 08:19:25 AM
Polar bears straying far south in Siberia, with video;

http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/lost-but-happy-eating-fish-the-polar-bear-that-strayed-700-km-too-far-south/ (http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/lost-but-happy-eating-fish-the-polar-bear-that-strayed-700-km-too-far-south/)
Maybe he is just trying to avoid the brutally cold Siberian winter lol.

Maybe has some brown bear genes haha  ;) The bear cub is pretty strange though apart from the adult. The Russians think mom is looking for it...
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Forest Dweller on October 04, 2017, 08:23:01 AM
A bit off topic i guess, interesting theory nonetheless.
Was Novaya Zemlya a safe haven during the ice age?

http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/to-bee-or-not-to-bee-unique-bumblebee-in-arctic-is-identified-as-new-species/ (http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/to-bee-or-not-to-bee-unique-bumblebee-in-arctic-is-identified-as-new-species/)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: A-Team on October 04, 2017, 07:14:03 PM
Nice forum topic. Posts on this topic are currently scattered all over the place. I hope to contribute regularly once the freezing season calms down.

A colleague sent me a pre-print on pre-extinction genomics of the Wrangel Island mammoth. That's quite relevant to polar bears and possibly walrus. There's been a lot of work on polar bear and brown bear genomics, both contemporary and fossil. The former's adaptations to life on ice are maladaptive to land.

Since seeing all those Wrangel PB's feasting recently on that dead bowhead whale, I've been wondering what they possibly could be eating the rest of the season: the nearest ice is a long ways off and has been and will be for months.

Best walrus links: haulout database

https://www.usgs.gov/news/more-160-years-walrus-haulout-observations-reported-russians-and-americans-published-database (https://www.usgs.gov/news/more-160-years-walrus-haulout-observations-reported-russians-and-americans-published-database)

Here's a walrus snippet from today's Guardian. It implies that FWS has just released an extensive ESA review document. Even though the document top and bottom will be politicized rubbish, there may be good material in the interior from agency wildlife biologists. I'm curious as to where they think walruses will go to feed when a thousand km from the nearest sea ice?

Over the long haul, a land-based walrus is a dead walrus:

Quote
when sea ice retreats from the entire ChukchiSea as in more recent years beginning in 2007, large numbers of adult females and young walruses formed coastal haulouts, and trampling injuries resulted in the disproportionate death of young walruses by the hundreds and thousands (Ovsyanikov 1994; Kochnev, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2012; Ovsyanikov 2008; Fischbach 2009; Semenova 2010). Such large losses of young walruses could affect overall population growth (Kochnev, 2004b; Udevitz 2013). https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2016/1108/ofr20161108.pdf (https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2016/1108/ofr20161108.pdf)

Quote
The loss of summer sea ice in the Chukchi Sea is putting increasing pressure on walruses, at times pushing them ashore where they have limited food options and are more vulnerable to predators.

Young walruses can also be trampled to death when large numbers of the animals have to congregate on land. Last month, an estimated 64 walruses, most of them less than a year old, were found dead near Point Lay in Alaska. An even larger “haul out” of walruses at Point Lay was documented in 2015.

Scientists have predicted the Arctic will be devoid of sea ice in summers by the 2030s. Data released last month showed that the minimum sea ice extent was 1.79m sq miles at the end of this year’s summer, around 610,000 sq miles below the long-term average and the eighth-lowest year in the 38-year satellite record.

In 2008, the loss of sea ice was deemed sufficient reason for the FWS to list the polar bear as a threatened species. A study published last year found that a third of the world’s polar bears, which currently number about 25,000, could be lost within the next 40 years.

The FWS tentatively estimates there are around 283,000 Pacific walruses left, although it warns this number should be used with “extreme caution” due to uncertainty over the exact population of the species. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/04/walrus-endangered-species-trump-administration (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/04/walrus-endangered-species-trump-administration)

Quote
The walruses started appearing on a barrier island near the village of Point Lay during the first week of August. "This is the earliest date yet for the haulout to form," the Alaska Division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a release. [Point Lay is located at 69.7°N, 163.0°W]

Previously, the earliest haulout date on record was Aug. 17, back in 2011, said Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Andrea Medeiros. The gathering of the enormous animals near Alaska's Chukchi Sea coastline is the result of retreating sea ice in recent years.

Walruses typically use floating ice as platforms to rest between dives to forage for food, but summer and fall melt has forced them ashore. The animals haul out about two weeks after the continental sea ice recedes.

"This year, sea ice has retreated beyond the continental shelf earlier than in previous years," Medeiros said.

A herd of 6,000 Pacific walruses hauled out on the same barrier island last year, but at a much later-than-average date of Oct. 7. But after a weekend there, the herd appeared to have moved on, with officials reporting that the animals were likely headed south to coastal haulouts in Chukotka, Russia.

The big Point Lay gatherings have happened almost every fall since 2007, a year notable for sea ice retreat. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/wildlife/2017/08/17/walrus-haulout-in-northwest-alaska-forms-at-earliest-date-ever-recorded/ (https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/wildlife/2017/08/17/walrus-haulout-in-northwest-alaska-forms-at-earliest-date-ever-recorded/)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 15, 2017, 04:06:30 PM
Antarctic, but, hey.  Press release posted on 13 October 2017.

Breeding failure of a colony of nearly 20,000 Adélie penguins highlights need for urgent protections of Antarctic waters
Thousands of Adélie penguin chicks starved to death at the start of 2017 due to unusually extensive sea ice
Quote
A colony of over 18,000 pairs of Adélie penguins in Terre Adélie, Antarctica, suffered a catastrophic breeding failure at the start of 2017 with only two chicks surviving. WWF is demanding greater protections of the waters off East Antarctica next week at a crucial international meeting in Hobart, Australia where proposals for a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) will be considered.

Surviving mostly on a diet of krill, a small shrimp like crustacean, Adélie penguins are generally faring well in East Antarctica, but declining in the Antarctic peninsula region where climate change is well established. However, this significant breeding failure at this particular colony in East Antarctica has been linked to unusually extensive sea ice late in the summer, meaning the adult penguins had to travel further to forage for food for their chicks. As a result the chicks starved. ...
http://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/press_releases/?uNewsID=313791 (http://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/press_releases/?uNewsID=313791)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Forest Dweller on October 18, 2017, 09:07:05 AM
A follow up on the polar bear cub found 700 km south in Siberia.
Seems it is not the only one doing so and seeking out humans.

http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/new-polar-bear-star-of-moscow-zoo-is-symbol-of-a-dire-problem-for-species-caused-by-climate-change/ (http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/new-polar-bear-star-of-moscow-zoo-is-symbol-of-a-dire-problem-for-species-caused-by-climate-change/)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Forest Dweller on October 18, 2017, 08:04:53 PM
A changing future for gray whales:

http://climateinterpreter.org/features/archive/201512

Gray whales, like anything under global warming migrate further north.
Gray whales, though limited to the Northern Pacific may be using the Northwest Passage to recolonize the Atlantic and have turned up in Barcelona, Israel and Namibia.

On the other hand 1 of the 2 Pacific populations that exist, the western population is thought to be lost and smaller migrations to and from the one remaining eastern population are observed.

So predominantly whales are moving east in the Pacific, rare Russian whales being seen in US.
Whales are moving north in general and spending more time there.
But in the Arctic they are more often seen to the west as well.
Turning up in Siberia as far as the Laptev Sea, and other whales apparently even going right through the Arctic east, all the way down to the Atlantic and Southern Africa.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Forest Dweller on November 08, 2017, 06:50:44 PM
I wonder if anyone here has some recent/decent info on the Arctic wolves in Greenland especially?
Or even prey species involved(lemming, musk ox, hare, fox...)

The Greenland wolf research program website doesn't offer much and seems to be desperately looking for volunteers who are super-fit and able to spend "US$8,000-10,000 for one month in the field."
I'm sure they have little help or possibilities in this understandably very difficult task.
Perhaps they should start by putting an email link on their site...no contact info does not help.
https://greenland-wolf-research-program.000webhostapp.com/

Arctic wolves a.k.a. the "friendly wolves" and their prey species are likely subject to changes in climate as anything else is.
The hopelessly skittish or outdated info available indicates for Greenland some 50-60 wolves, which is of course considered way below a healthy breeding population.

Maybe for the wolves in Greenland or Canada there are trends resulting in prey abundance by CC but also genetic diversity.
Dave Mech studied the wolves on Ellesmere extensively of course and their demise is well known.
I hear it is the longest lasting wolf study ever.
The Greenland population only ever suffered hunting it seems from Scandinavia mostly, although foxes were a better source of income.

Farley Mowat is well known for Ellesmere as well and a movie about it, but disputed it seems.
Gordon Buchanan did an excellent documentary for BBC in Canada more recently named "Snow wolf family and me", which i highly recommend.
For Greenland who knows...thought i'd give it a long shot.

Images below also not reliable therefore, the range has to be changing.
And a pic by Mech that must be from Ellesmere.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 22, 2017, 08:29:58 PM
“During my research lifetime, Cooper Island will no longer be able to support this species,” Divoky says. “It went from too cold to too warm. It should have taken centuries, not decades.”

Black Guillemots

Can These Seabirds Adapt Fast Enough to Survive a Melting Arctic?
On a remote Alaskan sandbar, under the watchful eye of a devoted scientist for more than four decades, climate change is forcing a colony of seabirds into a real-time race: evolve or go extinct.
Quote
For the first 28 years of Divoky’s study, chicks ate cod almost exclusively. But in 2003 parents began serving fourhorn sculpin, an ugly fish with a lumpy head and spiny fins. Divoky would find chicks choked dead with enormous sculpin lodged in their throats. Parents eventually learned to catch smaller sculpin, but chicks still suffered. “It takes a long time to break down all that cartilaginous mass” in sculpin fins, Divoky says. Just one fish is enough to fill a chick’s stomach. “It’s like, ‘I can’t get anything else down, I’ve still got the last sculpin head in my stomach.’"
http://www.audubon.org/magazine/winter-2017/can-these-seabirds-adapt-fast-enough-survive
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: litesong on April 11, 2018, 08:01:47 AM
The following article mentions Polar Bear populations in decline. "In some Arctic regions, scientists have documented declines in polar bear numbers and disturbing signs of physical deterioration linked to the loss of sea ice."
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/10/climate/polar-bears-climate-deniers.html
/////
Climate change denialists, Dr. Susan Crockford & Hans LaBohn struck back in several areas, using  Freedom of Information demands for author correspondence & sent reprimands for conduct “unworthy of serious scientists.”

Lead author Jeffrey A. Harvey, as quickly answered, "By contesting scientific findings about polar bears, denialists hope to instill doubt about climate science as a whole, Dr. Harvey said. “Every time these deniers make some outlandish claim in the media and we don’t respond to it, it’s like a soccer match and we’ve given them an open goal,” ".

Also, "Scott Collins, BioScience’s editor in chief, said ["about Dr. Crockford’s credentials to specify that her lack of expertise is in “the effects of sea ice on the population dynamics of polar bears.”]
///////
AGW deniers rely on the 1960's restrictions imposed on polar bear hunting that have bolstered polar bear numbers, to disguise the extra stress that sea ice reductions have wrought on polar bears. In these days of "don'T rump sigh-ants", AGW scientists,while preparing their Science Papers, will also have to prepare refutations to auto-reflex AGW denier drip & dribbles.   
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Daniel B. on April 11, 2018, 01:23:00 PM
The following article mentions Polar Bear populations in decline. "In some Arctic regions, scientists have documented declines in polar bear numbers and disturbing signs of physical deterioration linked to the loss of sea ice."
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/10/climate/polar-bears-climate-deniers.html
/////
Climate change denialists, Dr. Susan Crockford & Hans LaBohn struck back in several areas, using  Freedom of Information demands for author correspondence & sent reprimands for conduct “unworthy of serious scientists.”

Lead author Jeffrey A. Harvey, as quickly answered, "By contesting scientific findings about polar bears, denialists hope to instill doubt about climate science as a whole, Dr. Harvey said. “Every time these deniers make some outlandish claim in the media and we don’t respond to it, it’s like a soccer match and we’ve given them an open goal,” ".

Also, "Scott Collins, BioScience’s editor in chief, said ["about Dr. Crockford’s credentials to specify that her lack of expertise is in “the effects of sea ice on the population dynamics of polar bears.”]
///////
AGW deniers rely on the 1960's restrictions imposed on polar bear hunting that have bolstered polar bear numbers, to disguise the extra stress that sea ice reductions have wrought on polar bears. In these days of "don'T rump sigh-ants", AGW scientists,while preparing their Science Papers, will also have to prepare refutations to auto-reflex AGW denier drip & dribbles.   

There has been much mudslinging regarding polar bear populations over the years.  This has been enhanced by the difficulty in obtaining actual populations.  Hence, all are estimates, and different people use different estimates in order to emphasize their position.  The latest estimates from PBSG:

(https://polarbearscience.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/crockford-unofficial-polar-bear-numbers-to-2015-sept-1-final1.jpg)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: wili on April 11, 2018, 02:04:15 PM
I don't usually respond to this troll, but this is really beyond his usual trollishness. This shite is pure Heartland Institute kind of stuff. And note that his official sounding source, "Polar Bear Studies" is just some denialist crank's personal blog:

https://www.sej.org/publications/alaska-and-hawaii/magic-number-a-sketchy-fact-about-polar-bears-keeps-goingand-going-an

Magic Number: a Sketchy "Fact" About Polar Bears Keeps Going...And Going... And Going

Quote
... polar bear researchers say those old estimates were no better than guesses. Steven Amstrup, who led the USGS research on the current status of polar bears, emailed me from the field: "How many bears were around then, we don't really know because the only studies of bears at that time were in their very early stages — people were just beginning to figure out how we might study animals scattered over the whole Arctic in difficult logistical situations...

https://polarbearsinternational.org/research/research-qa/are-polar-bear-populations-increasing-in-fact-booming/

Quote
...some polar bear populations grew after quotas were imposed in Canada, aerial hunting ceased in Alaska, and trapping and hunting were banned in Svalbard...

...But the most important point is that whatever happened in the past is really irrelevant. Polar bear habitat is disappearing due to global warming. Even the most careful on-the-ground management doesn't matter if polar bears don't have the required habitat.

Polar bears depend on the sea ice surface to efficiently catch their seal prey. A shorter duration of ice cover over their productive hunting areas means less opportunity to hunt. A reduction in sea ice has been statistically linked to reduced stature and weight in polar bears and to lower survival rates of cubs. So, it doesn't really matter that hunting is now largely under control or that we know a lot about other impacts people might have on bears. Without habitat, polar bears will disappear no matter what else we do...

https://www.skepticalscience.com/polar-bears-global-warming.htm

Quote
According to a 2009 report by the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group, of the 19 recognised subpopulations of polar bears, 8 are in decline, 1 is increasing, 3 are stable and 7 don’t have enough data to draw any conclusions
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Daniel B. on April 11, 2018, 02:33:05 PM
Your recent post seems to confirm my latest statement that the numbers are just estimates.

Link #1: "The scientists also caution that we still don't have a firm count on these mobile, remote, supremely camouflaged beasts."

"Before anybody tries to change the world to save polar bears … somebody should figure out how many polar bears there are."

Link #2: "Even now, about half of our population estimates are only educated guesses."

If you have any credible research showing reliable population figures, please post them.  Otherwise, you are just adding to the guesswork.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: wili on April 11, 2018, 02:57:19 PM
NYT reported just minutes ago that questioning polar bears numbers are (again) the latest vogue among denialists. Do we need any more proof that this is exactly what we have among us?
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: TerryM on April 11, 2018, 03:09:15 PM
Viewing videos of starving bears has been enough proof for me.
They used to be huge, not like the sleek few now wandering the northern shores,
Terry
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: wili on April 11, 2018, 03:23:35 PM
Indeed. But also note:

Quote
Susan Crockford refused to respond to emails that asked aboout the money she gets from the Heartland Institute.  Desmog provides links to internal Heartland documents that say they pay Crockford

https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?p=2&t=74&&a=87

https://www.desmogblog.com/heartland-payments-university-victoria-professor-susan-crockford-probed
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Daniel B. on April 11, 2018, 03:25:45 PM
NYT reported just minutes ago that questioning polar bears numbers are (again) the latest vogue among denialists. Do we need any more proof that this is exactly what we have among us?

LOL.  I guess blind faith has become the new science within the NYT.  It is a good thing that the rest of us scientists are not following suit.  Hopefully, you are not.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: litesong on April 12, 2018, 06:44:43 AM
NYT reported just minutes ago that questioning polar bears numbers are (again) the latest vogue among denialists. Do we need any more proof that this is exactly what we have among us?
I guess blind faith.....us scientists....
Denier daniel doles out its dilly dilly, guessing with blind faith that it can launch its "denier sigh-ants" on the web.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Daniel B. on April 12, 2018, 04:29:54 PM
NYT reported just minutes ago that questioning polar bears numbers are (again) the latest vogue among denialists. Do we need any more proof that this is exactly what we have among us?
I guess blind faith.....us scientists....
Denier daniel doles out its dilly dilly, guessing with blind faith that it can launch its "denier sigh-ants" on the web.

I see.  Since you cannot refute my claims scientifically, you must resort to name calling.  How nice.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 12, 2018, 09:44:52 PM
I don't usually respond to this troll, but this is really beyond his usual trollishness.

You have a stronger constitution than I do. I set him on ignore months ago. He wanders around this blog and than on random threads, he takes a dump.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: aperson on April 13, 2018, 12:01:23 AM
NYT reported just minutes ago that questioning polar bears numbers are (again) the latest vogue among denialists. Do we need any more proof that this is exactly what we have among us?
I guess blind faith.....us scientists....
Denier daniel doles out its dilly dilly, guessing with blind faith that it can launch its "denier sigh-ants" on the web.

I see.  Since you cannot refute my claims scientifically, you must resort to name calling.  How nice.

can someone add this dipshit to a moderation policy where he gets banned if his posts don't include falsifiable claims? thanks.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: sidd on April 13, 2018, 05:55:28 AM
There's a killfile function built into this forum

Profile-->Modify Profile-->Buddies/Ignore list

I wish it saw more use.

sidd
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Neven on April 13, 2018, 03:50:18 PM
can someone add this dipshit to a moderation policy where he gets banned if his posts don't include falsifiable claims? thanks.

The danger is that if I would apply this rule all the time, things would get very quiet around here.  ;)

Like I've said before, this forum is big enough for one skeptic/lukewarmer/climate risk denier. Call him out, by all means (I do so as well occasionally), but by resorting to name calling, you lose the argument. You have to see Daniel B. as a test dummy to practice on. :)

As long as he doesn't post links to climate science disinformation, I'll give him some leeway.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Jim Pettit on April 13, 2018, 03:53:12 PM
There's a killfile function built into this forum

Profile-->Modify Profile-->Buddies/Ignore list

I wish it saw more use.

Indeed. If particular members cause you so much anguish that you feel you might go on a maniacal rampage, just do what sidd said and hide them from your view. You'll be amazed at the therapeutic benefits of doing so.

Also: in almost all cases, one only needs to quote the immediately preceding comment in a particular thread. Doing otherwise leads to the confusing and space-gobbling infinity mirror (https://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewjwagner/3334621076) effect.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Coffee Drinker on April 14, 2018, 12:49:26 AM
Regarding polar bear numbers, I found this interesting article in NewScientist. Its a bit old so there should be an update by now. Basically, we don't really know for sure how the overall population changes. So more research is required before saying the one or the other.

However, the ones that are declining seem to be negatively affected by declining sea ice. And the ones that are increasing seem to recover from previous hunting pressure.

Quote
[...]
Yet recently there have been claims that polar bear populations are increasing. So what’s going on? There are thought to be between 20,000 and 25,000 polar bears in 19 population groups around the Arctic. While polar bear numbers are increasing in two of these populations, two others are definitely in decline. We don’t really know how the rest of the populations are faring, so the truth is that no one can say for sure how overall numbers are changing.

The two populations that are increasing, both in north-eastern Canada, were severely reduced by hunting in the past and are recovering thanks to the protection they and their prey now enjoy.

The best-studied population, in Canada’s western Hudson Bay, fell by 22% from 1194 animals in 1987 to 935 in 2004, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. A second group in the Beaufort Sea, off Alaska’s north coast, is now experiencing the same pattern of reduced adult weights and cub survival as the Hudson Bay group.

A comprehensive review (pdf) by the US Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that shrinking sea ice is the primary cause for the decline seen in these populations, and it recently proposed listing polar bears as threatened (pdf) under the Endangered Species Act. The World Conservation Union projects the bears’ numbers will drop by 30% by 2050 (pdf) due to continued loss of Arctic sea ice.
[...]
https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11656-climate-myths-polar-bear-numbers-are-increasing/
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Forest Dweller on July 27, 2018, 07:13:11 AM
It doesn't matter if precise population figures exist or not.
That is usually the case with any species duh....until they are nearly wiped out that is.
How many grizzly bears are there?
How many bobcats?
Otherwise we can't know how well the grizzly or bobcat is doing...nonsense.
this guy is a waste of space indeed.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Forest Dweller on July 27, 2018, 07:19:20 AM
41.700 year old nematodes come back to life in thawing Siberian permafrost:
http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/worms-frozen-in-permafrost-for-up-to-42000-years-come-back-to-life/

Making them the oldest creatures on Earth..wow!
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Forest Dweller on July 27, 2018, 02:10:12 PM
Game over for north Pacific orca's...it seems if any are born at all they die shortly afterwards;
https://www.whaleresearch.com/j35
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: vox_mundi on February 09, 2019, 05:34:33 PM
Russia Islands Emergency Over Polar Bear 'Invasion'
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47185112

A remote Russian region has declared a state of emergency over the appearance of dozens of polar bears in its human settlements, local officials say.

Authorities in the Novaya Zemlya islands, home to a few thousand people, said there were cases of bears attacking people and entering residential and public buildings.

The archipelago's main settlement, Belushya Guba, has reported a total of 52 bears in its vicinity, with between six and 10 constantly on its territory.

Local administration head Vigansha Musin said more than five bears were on the territory of the local military garrison, where air and air defence forces are based.

The bears had lost their fear of police patrols and signals used to warn them off.

With Arctic sea ice diminishing as a result of climate change, polar bears are forced to change their hunting habits and spend more time on land looking for food - which potentially puts them in conflict with humans.


In 2016 five Russian scientists were besieged by polar bears for several weeks at a remote weather station on the island of Troynoy, east of Novaya Zemlya. ...

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.weeklystorybook.com%2F.a%2F6a0105369e6edf970b01b8d251e0ed970c-800wi&hash=935868b659c6ba1b87726bef95f94f8d)

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d5/db/53/d5db530b6b3e170612d4bc7f539299b8.gif)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-iLsXgq1BS9M%2FTVY-mgCO_BI%2FAAAAAAAACzI%2FguDjZgeF5Sc%2Fs580%2FNon%2BSequitur.JPG&hash=3136a8f9301cdf4d673bc6dcfe8c96fa)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: vox_mundi on February 14, 2019, 05:56:20 PM
Killer Whales Are Expanding into the Arctic, Then Dying as the Ice Sets In
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/killer-whales-are-expanding-into-the-arctic-then-dying-as-the-ice-sets-in/

Over the past eight years, researchers have seen more than 20 killer whales trapped by ice.

(https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/gfx/news/hires/2013/killerwhales.jpg)

In February 2016, hunters from Sanikiluaq, Nunavut spotted two killer whales prowling around a group of beluga whales in southeast Hudson Bay. It was an unusual sight for the time of year—killer whales don’t usually show up there until the summer, and are rare even then. In June, residents of the Inuit community spotted two other killer whales. By July, all four killer whales were dead. Trapped in the bay by thick sea ice, they starved to death.

Hudson Bay is a geographically complex inland sea with just two entrances—or exits—both at the north. Most years, the bay freezes over completely from mid-November until mid-July. Killer whales are typically found in the open ocean, but in recent years they have been venturing into the bay during the ice-free summer in search of prey such as belugas or narwhals. As the ice forms across the bay’s entrances in the fall, the only escape for the whales is to swim north. But this goes against their normal instincts, says Steve Ferguson, an evolutionary ecologist from the University of Manitoba. In the open ocean, killer whales would head south, where there is typically less ice. The result is that the killer whales find themselves trapped long into the winter, and, soon after, begin to starve.

Quote
... “Killer whales are super smart; they pass things on culturally,”... Yet these killer whales are naively swimming into the warming bay. If none survives the winter freeze, the warning to stay away can’t be passed on. “If you wipe out an entire group it could take time, not just to recuperate their abundance but to gain the knowledge back”

... these four dead whales are just the latest in a rising tally. In 2011, a killer whale was found frozen in ice in the north of the bay. In 2013, an estimated 17 killer whales were seen swimming in the frigid water, their movements tightly constrained by the drifting pack ice. Most, if not all, of these whales are thought to have died. As far as scientists know, in the Arctic, more killer whales have died in the ice over the past decade than have suffered such a fate over the past century.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: magnamentis on February 14, 2019, 08:01:48 PM
May i suggest that in the interest of the animals in question and their general reputation among all the less interested and/or knowing (thinking) population of planet earth we use a different name for them than "Killer Wales" ?

Nothing good can emerge from calling an animal "Killer" a bad habit IMO with a similar effect like the "JAWS" movie had on white sharks population and sharks in general.

They are "ORCAS" or scientifically "Orcinus orca" if i may suggest so, thanks
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: wili on February 14, 2019, 08:15:14 PM
How about 'Killer Scots,' then?  ;D :P :)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: kassy on February 15, 2019, 04:36:18 PM
When we are quoting a source we are using their words.

Poor orcas.  :(
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: vox_mundi on February 20, 2019, 07:42:26 PM
Researchers Discover Crabs Feeding On Methane Seeps
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-02/osu-rda022019.php 

(https://futureoftheocean.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/mbari-tanner-crab.jpg?w=400)

Researchers have documented a group of tanner crabs vigorously feeding at a methane seep on the seafloor off British Columbia—one of the first times a commercially harvested species has been seen using this energy source.

There are many implications, researchers say, and surprisingly most of them are good. Human consumption of tanner crabs—one of three species sold as snow crabs—that feed on methane-eating bacteria and archaea should not pose a health concern because methane seeps are not toxic environments.

The discovery actually may mean that methane seeps could provide some seafloor-dwelling species an important hedge against climate change—because nearly all models predict less food will be falling into the deep sea in coming years.

Results of the study were just published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

Researchers first observed a dense aggregation of tanner crabs (Chionoecetes tanneri) in 2012, inhabiting Clayoquot Slope, a methane seep off the coast of British Columbia. The crabs were actively foraging, sifting through the sediment at actively bubbling regions, feeding both on and around bacterial mats that had formed near the seep.

"Tanner crabs likely are not the only species to get energy from methane seeps, which really haven't been studied all that much. We used to think there were, maybe, five of them off the Pacific Northwest coast and now research is showing that there are at least 1,500 seep sites—and probably a lot more.

Open Access: Sarah Seabrook et al, Flipping for Food: The Use of a Methane Seep by Tanner Crabs (Chionoecetes tanneri) (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00043/full), Frontiers in Marine Science (2019).
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: b_lumenkraft on February 20, 2019, 08:02:29 PM
Ha! Good news for once.

Keep them coming, please.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: vox_mundi on April 29, 2019, 12:39:14 AM
Russian Navy Beluga Whale
http://www.hisutton.com/Russia_Navy_Beluga_Whale.html

Fishermen in Finnmark in northern Norway recently found a Beluga whale wearing a tight harness for external equipment. The whale was first sighted near the island of Ingøy early in the week of 22nd April 2019, with photos taken and the harness removed on 24th April. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the whale escaped from a Russian Navy program, most likely during an exercise.

The location is on the edge of the whale’s natural arctic habitat, but the whale has clearly escaped from captivity. It was tame and returned to the local fishermen on several occasions until they were able to remove the harness. When removed, the harness was found to include the label “Equipment of St. Petersburg”. It is not thought that Russian scientists (nor Norwegian scientists!) use harnesses in this way during research, and all fingers are pointing to the Russian Navy based nearby on the Kola Peninsular.

... The harness was reported to be for a camera, likely similar to a go-pro. This implies use in underwater reconnaissance, possibly of objects on the sea floor.

The Soviet Navy operated a marine mammal program in the Black Sea but this was subsequently closed. This discovery demonstrates that the Russian Navy is still working with marine mammals, this time in the Arctic.

-------------------------

Whale with harness could be Russian weapon, say Norwegian experts 
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/29/whale-with-harness-could-be-russian-weapon-say-norwegian-experts

... A 2017 report by TV Zvezda, a station owned by the defence ministry, revealed that the Russian navy has again been training beluga whales, seals and bottlenose dolphins for military purposes in polar waters.

The recent research and training was done by Murmansk Sea Biology Research Institute in northern Russia on behalf of the navy to see if beluga whales could be used to “guard entrances to naval bases’” in arctic regions, “assist deepwater divers and if necessary kill any strangers who enter their territory”.

Dolphins and seals meanwhile were trained to carry tools for divers and detect torpedoes, mines, and other ammunition which has sunk to depths of up to 120 metres. Government public records records show that the defence ministry purchased five bottle-nosed dolphins, aged between three and five, from Moscow’s Utrish Dolphinarium in 2016 at a cost of £18,000.

During their research the Murmansk sea biology research institute concluded dolphins and seals were much more suited to the training and arctic climates than the beluga whales. The whales were deemed too sensitive to the cold and did not have the same “high professionalism” of seals, which had a far better memory for remembering oral commands
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: vox_mundi on May 23, 2019, 01:40:07 PM
Study Predicts Shift to Smaller Animals Over Next Century
https://phys.org/news/2019-05-shift-smaller-animals-century.html

Researchers predict the average (median) body mass of mammals specifically will collectively reduce by 25 per cent over the next century. This decline represents a large, accelerated change when compared with the 14 per cent body size reduction observed in species from 130,000 years ago (the last interglacial period) until today.

In the future, small, fast-lived, highly-fertile, insect-eating animals, which can thrive in a wide-variety of habitats, will predominate. These 'winners' include rodents, such as dwarf gerbil—and songbirds, such as the white-browed sparrow-weaver. Less adaptable, slow-lived species, requiring specialist environmental conditions, will likely fall victim of extinction. These 'losers' include the tawny eagle and black rhinoceros.

... "The substantial 'downsizing' of species which we forecast could incur further negative impacts for the long-term sustainability of ecology and evolution. This downsizing may be happening due to the effects of ecological change but, ironically, with the loss of species which perform unique functions within our global ecosystem, it could also end up as a driver of change too."

Findings are published in detail in the journal Nature Communications. 

Open Access: R. Cooke, et.al., Projected losses of global mammal and bird ecological strategies (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-10284-z), Nature Communications (2019)

Quote
... The future defaunation explored here also shows parallels to historic extinction events, such as the late Quaternary extinctions, which likely disrupted species interactions, reduced long-distance seed dispersal, and fundamentally restructured energy flow and nutrient cycling through communities. Moreover, a growing number of studies support the hypothesis that the late Quaternary extinctions had cascading effects on small vertebrates and plant community biodiversity and function, resulting in ecosystem shifts comparable in magnitude to those generated by climatic fluctuations   
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: vox_mundi on May 30, 2019, 12:03:51 AM
Mass Die-Off of Puffins Recorded in the Bering Sea 
https://phys.org/news/2019-05-mass-die-off-puffins-bering-sea.html

A mass die-off of seabirds in the Bering Sea may be partially attributable to climate change, according to a new study publishing May 29 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Timothy Jones of the citizen science program COASST at University of Washington, Lauren Divine from the Aleut Community of St Paul Island Ecosystem Conservation Office, and colleagues. The birds appeared to have died from the effects of starvation.

Beginning in 2014, increased atmospheric temperatures and decreased winter sea ice led to declines in energy-rich prey species in the Bering Sea, as well as a shift of some species more northward, diminishing puffin food resources in the southern portion of the sea.

Beginning in October 2016, tribal and community members recovered over 350 severely emaciated carcasses, mostly adults in the process of molting, a known nutritional stressor during the avian life cycle. A reduction in food resources before entering molt may have prevented many birds from surviving, the authors suggest. Using wind data to model beachings, they calculated between 3,150 and 8,500 birds could have died in the event. Tufted puffins comprised 87% of this total, or 40-100% of the Pribilofs Islands' population

The authors suggest that climate-driven shifts in prey abundance and/or distribution, combined with the onset of molt, may have caused this puffin die-off, and note that further climate variability in this region is probable.   

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0216532
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: jai mitchell on June 03, 2019, 08:57:06 PM
Another story on the Puffin die-off in the Bering Sea

https://weather.com/news/news/2019-05-30-puffins-dead-starved-bering-sea

Quote
Some of the carcuses were sent for necroscopies, which showed they had unusually low levels of body fat and weak pectoral muscles. That led researchers to conclude the birds had starved.

“They literally didn’t have enough to eat and became weak to the point of death,” Julia Parrish, an ecologist at the University of Washington and one of the study's researchers, told the Atlantic.

When the birds first started washing up, Parrish and others theorized that the puffins' diet was lacking in energy-rich food sources. The new research supports that claim. Typically, the birds feed on fish which in turn rely on plankton as their main nutritional source.

But both those food sources are becoming more scarce due to increased sea and atmospheric temperatures, as well as declining winter sea ice in the Bering Sea. Those factors are driving the puffins' food sources to find colder waters farther north
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on June 11, 2019, 01:43:43 AM
The ice algae is being endangered, this will ripple up into arctic wildlife:
https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/08/world/arctic-beneath-ice-intl/index.html
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: vox_mundi on June 14, 2019, 04:36:24 AM
Tons of Dead Seals Are Washing Up In the Arctic and Nobody Knows Why 
https://www.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/pajvp8/tons-of-dead-seals-are-washing-up-in-the-arctic-and-nobody-knows-why

A mysterious string of seal deaths along an Alaskan coastline has triggered a federal investigation.

The carcasses of at least 60 ice seals—bearded, ringed, and spotted seals—have been discovered near the Arctic’s Bering and Chukchi seas on Alaska’s western coast, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced in a press release on Wednesday.

https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/media-release/noaa-fisheries-responding-multiple-dead-ice-seals-bering-sea-region

The agency received multiple reports of dead seals on Monday in Norton Sound, a Bering Sea inlet and subsistence hunting area for Indigenous communities. A hunter from the local city of Kotlik found 18 carcasses along 11 miles of shoreline, and “dozens” more across the bay on Stuart Island, NOAA said.

Further north, a biologist with the National Park Service encountered six dead seals along the Chukchi shoreline between Kotzebue Airport and Sadie Creek, NOAA added. Members of the public also reported 30 carcasses up the coast between Kivalina and Point Hope.

...  NOAA likened these symptoms to an event that killed 233 seals between 2011 and 2016 in northern Alaska. At least 657 dead and live seals presented with hair loss and lesions that were ultimately blamed on an “abnormality of the molt.” The agency declared it an Unusual Mortality Event, defined as “a stranding that is unexpected; involves a significant die-off of any marine mammal population; and demands immediate response.”

--------------------

Alaskans find more dead seals along warming Arctic Sea
https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1TE010

Ice in the Bering and Chukchi seas has been far scarcer than normal, and sea-surface temperatures have been far higher than usual, according to scientists and agency reports. But the cause of the seal die-off is as yet unknown, said Julie Speegle, an Alaska spokeswoman for NOAA Fisheries.

Sea-surface temperatures along the coastlines of the Bering Sea and the southern Chukchi Sea were as much as 4.5 degrees Celsius (8.1 Fahrenheit) above normal last month and remained well above normal as of this week, according to NOAA data.

Bearded, spotted and ringed seals use sea ice as platforms for food foraging, for resting and for raising their young. Alaska's bearded and ringed seals are currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The reports of dead seals, which started in May and come from village residents and a National Park Service biologist, coincide with mounting discoveries of dead gray whales along the West Coast from California to Alaska.

-------------------------

Coincidentally, the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (including submarines) recently sailed to Alaska and is conducting War Games in the area.

(https://news.usni.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FT_5_20_2019-1-660x370.jpg)
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Midnightsun on June 14, 2019, 09:52:29 AM
Here's a lil theory on the deaths: the zooplankton collapsed due to starving on microplastics, and the dominos fell all the way up the chain.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: vox_mundi on June 14, 2019, 01:33:44 PM
Or the plankton & zooplankton overheated, the fish scattered - same net result ...

(https://climatereanalyzer.org/wx_frames/gfs/ds/gfs_world-ced_sstanom_1-day.png)

... microplastics don't help, either.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: vox_mundi on June 20, 2019, 09:37:30 PM
Researchers Confirm Narwhals and Belugas Can Interbreed
https://phys.org/news/2019-06-narwhals-belugas-interbreed.html

(https://media.springernature.com/m685/springer-static/image/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41598-019-44038-0/MediaObjects/41598_2019_44038_Fig2_HTML.jpg)
Skull morphology of (a) beluga, (b) MCE1356, and (c) narwhal

A team of University of Copenhagen researchers has compiled the first and only evidence that narwhals and beluga whales can breed successfully. DNA and stable isotope analysis of an anomalous skull from the Natural History Museum of Denmark has allowed researchers to confirm the existence of a narwhal-beluga hybrid.

For nearly thirty years, a strange-looking whale skull has gathered dust in the collections of the Natural History Museum of Denmark. Now, a team of researchers has determined the reason for the skull's unique characteristics: it belongs to a narwhal-beluga hybrid.

A Greenlandic hunter shot the whale in the 1980's and was puzzled by its odd appearance. He therefore kept the skull and placed it on the roof of his toolshed. Several years later, Professor Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen of the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources visited the settlement and also immediately recognized the skull's strange characteristics. He interviewed the hunter about the anomalous whale he had shot, and sent the skull to Copenhagen. Since then, it has been stored at the Zoological Museum, a part of the Natural History Museum of Denmark.

"As far as we know, this is the first and only evidence in the world that these two Arctic whale species can interbreed. Based on the intermediate shape of the skull and teeth, it was suggested that the specimen might be a narwhal-beluga hybrid, but this could not be confirmed. Now we provide the data that confirm that yes—it is indeed a hybrid," says Eline Lorenzen, evolutionary biologist and curator at the University of Copenhagen's Natural History Museum of Denmark. Lorenzen led the study, which was published today in Scientific Reports.

https://youtu.be/LdusjFmgn-w

The hybrid's skull was considerably larger than that of a typical narwhal or beluga. But the teeth were markedly different. Whereas narwhals have only one or rarely two long spiraling tusks, belugas have a set of uniform conical teeth that are aligned in straight rows. The hybrid skull has a set of long, spiraling and pointed teeth, that are angled horizontally.

"This whale has a bizarre set of teeth. The isotope analysis allowed us to determine that the animal's diet was entirely different than that of a narwhal or beluga—and it is possible that its teeth influenced its foraging strategy. Whereas the other two species fed in the water column, the hybrid was a bottom dweller," according to Mikkel Skovrind, a Ph.D. student at the Natural History Museum and first author of the paper.

Open Access: Mikkel Skovrind et al. Hybridization between two high Arctic cetaceans confirmed by genomic analysis (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44038-0), Scientific Reports (2019)

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Beluga Whales Adopt Lost Narwhal in St. Lawrence River
https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/belugas-narwhal-stlawrence-1.4820602

An unusual visitor has been hanging out in the St. Lawrence River for the past three years: A narwhal, more than 1,000 kilometres south of its usual range.

But the lone narwhal is not alone — it appears he has been adopted by a band of belugas.

The narwhal — thought to be a juvenile male because of its half-metre-long tusk — was filmed in July playing among a pod of young belugas, thought to be mostly or all males.

The video was taken by the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM), a non-profit group dedicated to whale research, conservation and education based in Tadoussac, Que.

"It behaves like it was one of the boys," said Robert Michaud, the group's president and scientific director.

The interactions between the narwhal and the belugas appear to be identical to those among just the belugas, suggesting the narwhal has been fully accepted as part of the group.

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Russia to Release 100 Illegally Captured Whales
https://phys.org/news/2019-06-russia-illegally-captured-whales.html

Russian officials have launched an operation to release nearly 100 illegally captured whales whose confinement in Russia's far east has become a rallying cry for environmentalists.

... Russian prosecutors have brought criminal charges against four companies keeping the whales.

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Russians Capture Hungry Polar Bear Roaming Arctic City
https://phys.org/news/2019-06-russians-capture-hungry-polar-roaming.html

https://youtu.be/MRnJCWHGMG4
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Rod on July 18, 2019, 02:40:05 AM
S1 is going to have a long swim back to shore.

However, I have been following this researcher for a while, and the tagged bears always seem to make it back.  They can swim really long distances.

He has also been saying that this year the polar bears in the Hudson seem to be doing well.  The longer the ice lasts and they can stay at sea, the better off they are.  It is when they get to land that they have trouble finding food.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Rod on July 25, 2019, 03:43:11 AM
The bears are starting to make it back to shore.

S1 has not made much progress, and I’m a little worried about E3. It is a good thing polar bears are such good swimmers!
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on July 26, 2019, 12:39:41 AM
Beluga's downward spiral:
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/belugas-downward-spiral/
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Rod on July 29, 2019, 05:07:26 AM
More sad news for arctic wildlife.

Over 200 dead reindeer found on Norway's Arctic Svalbard

https://gulfnews.com/world/europe/over-200-dead-reindeer-found-on-norways-arctic-svalbard-1.1564238906266
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: vox_mundi on August 03, 2019, 02:03:46 AM
Arctic 'Miracle': Icebreaker Salvages Lost Recordings of Beluga Whales
https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1US171

KIRUNA, Sweden (Reuters) - A year-long recording of the songs of Beluga whales has been salvaged from the Arctic after the crew of a Swedish icebreaker chanced upon a research buoy adrift in hazardous pack ice.

A team tracking the device from California said they had almost given it up for lost when a "miracle" run of events allowed the vessel, the Oden, to stage an impromptu rescue while navigating through a channel in the far north of Canada.


... Loose was speaking in video footage transmitted from the Oden to his university and shared with Reuters.

The Northwest Passage Project, which groups various academic institutions, has staged three live broadcasts from the Oden via social media and dozens of public events in the United States.

The icebreaker cast off from Thule, Greenland on July 18 and has conducted a series of experiments with the help of students on board. The vessel is due to return to Thule on Sunday.

See also: https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2759.msg213156.html#msg213156.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: vox_mundi on September 16, 2019, 05:01:03 PM
NOAA Declares Unusual Mortality Event for Arctic Ice Seals
https://www.alaskapublic.org/2019/09/12/noaa-declares-unusual-mortality-event-for-arctic-ice-seals/

On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared an Unusual Mortality Event for several species of ice seals in Arctic waters. Since June 2018, NOAA has documented 282 dead seals in the Bering and Chukchi Seas. 

“For the past two years, the number of stranded ring, bearded and spotted seals is about five times more than is usual,” said NOAA spokeswoman Julie Speegle.

(https://www.alaskapublic.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/map-of-ice-seal-strandings_orig-484x420.jpg)

Speegle says scientists haven’t yet identified a cause for the rise in seal deaths. But researchers and local residents have observed several changes to the seals and their habitat, such as lack of sea ice and an increase in illnesses.

“We have made some observations that the past couple years have been warmer than usual. So that’s one of many factors we’re looking into,” Speegle said. “We are also looking into the possibility that these animals may have been affected by harmful algal blooms, which also occur when the sea temperatures are warmer than usual.”

Both the ringed and bearded ice seals are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 16, 2019, 05:20:53 PM
With Drilling ANWR a Go, Polar Bears Will Suffer
https://www.outsideonline.com/2402095/anwr-drilling-doi-polar-bears
Quote
Oil and gas exploration requires locating resource deposits and identifying drilling sites using seismic surveying. That process involves sending high pressure vibrations into the ground, at 135 foot intervals, across the entire region. To conduct that process, teams of 150 to 160 workers living in mobile camps must move heavy equipment over virtually every inch of the survey area using 90,000-pound trucks. And that process must occur in the winter, when the frozen ground can support the weight of those vehicles; the same time in which the bears are giving birth to cubs and raising them in dens through the first three months of their lives.
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: Bruce Steele on September 16, 2019, 05:29:14 PM
Vox-Mundi , C-CAN (Calif. Current Acidification Network) will be hosting a talk by Dave Hutchins on the increased toxicity of pseudo nitzschia when exposed to both acidification and ocean heating. The domoic acid produced has caused fishery shutdowns , bird and marine mammal dieoffs . The Blob in 2014 ,and the heat produced, magnified the severity of damage produced by pseudo nitzschia blooms.
 I have a theory that disease should be an expected result of stress caused by , acidification, hypoxia and ocean heatwaves. We saw shellfish dieoffs of abalone, urchins, starfish, and other invertebrates in ocean heatwaves associated with the 1981-82 and 1997-98 El Niño’s and the 2014-2016 ocean heatwave here in the Calif. Current Ecosystem. Stress as a driver and disease as the kill mechanism.

https://c-can.info/c-can-oar-18-september-2019/
Title: Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
Post by: vox_mundi on September 16, 2019, 05:43:41 PM
^
Bruce: That seems like a reasonable hypothesis.

The kill-chain appears to be a mosaic - acidification, hypoxia, heatwave, starvation & disease. The ecosystem is resilient against individual variables but it can't withstand simultaneous insults like that.

Things are also washing up on the other coast.

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Summer of Blob: Maine Sees More Big, Stinging Jellyfish
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-summer-blob-maine-big-jellyfish.html

The Gulf of Maine and some of its beaches, ever popular with tourists, have recorded a high number of sightings of a big jellyfish that has the ability to sting swimmers and occasionally does.

The lion's mane jellyfish, the largest known variety, can grow to five or more feet across, with tentacles more than 100 feet long.

Such giant jellyfish are uncommon, but beachgoers say larger than average ones have been exceptionally plentiful this year in the gulf, which touches Maine, two other states and two Canadian provinces.

... Jellyfish are tracked each summer by Nick Record, a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine. Typically fewer than half the jellyfish reported are lion's manes. This year, almost all of several hundred jellyfish observed were the lion's mane variety.

If there are more large lion's mane jellyfish, Record said one possible reason is that the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than most of the world's oceans, and the jellyfish can grow faster in warmer water.