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The Ups and Downs (and Wanderings) of Polar Bears
07/23/2010 | Marilyn Sigman, Alaska SeaGrant/MAP
Tags: Polar bear, Climate Change, Changes in Alaska Marine Ecosystems, Changing Species Distributions

swimming polar bear
Polar Bear Sighted at the Mouth of the Yukon River - 7/22/2010
emmonak map
Local residents and biologists were startled by the sighting of a polar bear near the village of Emmonak at the mouth of the Yukon River. There have been other sightings of polar bears on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta this summer compared to only a few that have been seen this far south every three to five years, according to Thomas Evans, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service polar bear program. (Anchorage Daily News interview). While Evans didn't directly link the bear's appearance to global warming -- the same thing might have happened 20 years ago -- the biologist expects climate change to increase summertime bear sightings along Alaska's shores. Read more

The Missing Polar Bears of St. Matthew Island
By Ned Rozell,Geophysical Institute science writer
Alaska Science Forum ASF #2015, Alaska Science Forum, published in the Anchorage Daily News

Scientists will soon submit an article to a journal to answer the question about what happened to the polar bears between 1875 when hundreds of polar bears were observed on this Bering Sea island and 1899 when the Harriman Expedition arrived to find, "to their great disappointment," no polar bears. The lead author of the article is David Klein, UAF emeritus professor, who visited St. Matthew Island, part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, in the 1950s, 1960s, 1980s, and the 2000s. More

Polar bears of the past survived warmth
By Ned Rozell, UAF Geophysical Institute science writer
Alaska Science Forum ASF #2018, Alaska Science Forum, published in the Anchorage Daily News

An ancient jawbone has led scientists to believe that polar bears survived a period thousands of years ago that was warmer than today. Sandra Talbot of the U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center in Anchorage was one of 14 scientists who teamed to write a paper based on a polar bear jawbone found amid rocks on a frigid island of the Svalbard Archipelago. Read more

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