Hungry Polar Bears Trap Scientists Inside Arctic Weather Station
The Polar Bear Programme
The scientists were staying on Troynoy Island located in the Kara Sea north of Siberia when, on Aug. 31, a polar bear ate one of their two dogs and wouldn't leave.
Researchers' encounters with polar bears on Troynoy Island is fairly common, Vassiliy Shevchenko, head of the Sevgidromet State Monitoring Network, told The Guardian.
However, Yelena Novikova, a spokeswoman for Sevgidromet, told The Guardian the ongoing reduction in sea ice due to climate change has caused the polar bear population to grow increasingly aggressive.
"The ice receded quickly and the bears didn't have time to swim to other islands," Novikova said. "There's no food on [Troynoy] island, so they came up to the station."
Vadim Plotnikov, the head of the weather station on Troynoy Island, told TASS Russian News Agency there were about 10 adult bears, including four female bears with cubs, spotted around the weather station. One of the female bears even started sleeping underneath one of the windows, Plotnikov said.
Trapped inside and out of flares to spook the bears, the team became desperate. They called for help and were told they would have to wait a month for the next scheduled supply ship. But then, help arrived. A Russian expedition ship was able to reach them and give the scientists the dogs and flares they needed, TASS reported Wednesday. The ship's crew even helped them scare off the bears.
Polar bears are registered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and in the Red Book of Russia as an endangered species.
See the World From a Polar Bear's Point Of View https://t.co/yGSP1skIX9 #polarbear #science— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1466089276.0
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Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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