What Scientists Say

Have a question? Ask the experts! Photo copyright BJ Kirschhoffer/Polar Bears International. Details...

Expert Q & A
Scientist interview videos

Expert Q & A

Our chief scientist & Advisory Council scientists respond to your questions, ideas, and concerns. Have a question for the team? Please use our contact form.

Could floating platforms be used to save the polar bear from ice losses?
"Giving polar bears a place to rest doesn't solve their main problem. . ." more...

I’ve seen some news reports about a global warming hiatus. Does that mean global warming has ended? Is that good news for polar bears?
"Much recent media attention has focused on what appears to be a slowing in how rapidly the Earth has warmed over the last twenty years..." more...

Polar bears are much older than previously thought. Does this mean they'll able to survive climate change?
"A new study of the genomes of polar bears and brown bears pushes back the polar bear's origin by about four and a half million years ..." more ...

Are the recent sightings of polar bear-grizzly hybrids in Canada due to climate change? Will this help save polar bears?
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The confirmation that a few animals shot by polar bear hunters in northwestern Canada were actually grizzly/polar bear hybrids ..." more ...

Why is polar bear hunting allowed?
"The Native people of the north have long hunted polar bears. Polar bear hunting plays a central role in long-held traditions ..." more...

What is PBI’s position on polar bears in zoos? Isn’t life in a zoo just condemning a polar bear to life in captivity?
"Our goal at PBI is to save polar bears and their sea ice habitat—and modern zoos and aquariums can play a critical role in their conservation." more ...

Can't polar bears simply move north where the ice isn't melting? If not, why?
"As the world continues to warm, all of the sea ice eventually will be gone ..." more...

How did polar bears survive earlier warming trends?
"Today's projected climate warming is far more intense than anything the species has seen in its evolutionary history."more...

Can polar bears survive by eating goose eggs?
"Polar bears in Western Hudson Bay have been forced ashore for increasing lengths of time ...." more...

Can we save polar bears by moving them to Antarctica?
"Although it may seem an obvious solution, the risks outweigh the benefits." more...

Could polar bears learn to hunt like grizzlies?
"Climate change is by far the biggest threat to polar bears and finding viable conservation measures is important." more...

Why all the fuss about polar bears? Aren't their populations booming?
"I should begin my response by saying I don't know any source for the claim that polar bears are not threatened but, in fact, are booming." more...

Are Canadian scientists opposed to listing the polar bear as threatened, as some news organizations have reported?
"There are very few other polar bear scientists in Canada so it is unclear who these scientists are who might be opposing the listing." more...

Can you tell me all about satellite collars and why scientists use them?
"We can get a good overview of the population's ecology by following just a few animals intensively." more...

Scientist Interviews

What's it like to work with polar bears? What do scientists think about what's happening in the Arctic? What needs to be done? Can we save the polar bear?

Hear and see what our chief scientist and Advisory Council scientists have to say in these short videos.

Dr. Ian Stirling
Twelve-year-old Alex Wolff of Nickelodeon interviews Dr. Ian Stirling, adjunct professor with the University of Alberta, about his 38 years of studying polar bears.

Dr. Steven C. Amstrup
Dr. Steven C. Amstrup, PBI's chief scientist and Polar Bear Project Leader with the U.S. Geological Survey for 30 years, talks about his 25-year career studying polar bears and the changes he's seeing today.

Dr. Andrew Derocher
Dr. Andrew Derocher, professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta and past chair of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group, talks about Churchill's polar bears and the longer ice-free season of Western Hudson Bay.

Dr. Thomas S. Smith
Dr. Tom Smith, associate professor and research wildlife biologist in the Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, has studied polar bear maternity dens for a decade. He's noticing more polar bears choosing to den on land instead of sea ice amidst increasing industrial activity.