Oh no, not this rubbish again: “Recent projections suggest polar bears could be extinct within 70 years”

Count the number of ifs, mays, and coulds in this story, then look the rebuttal and other supporting information. The Telegraph is repeating alarmism.

File:Polar Bear 2004-11-15.jpg

Polar Bear at Cape Churchill (Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada) Photo by Ansgar Walk

From the Telegraph By Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent

Polar bears face extinction in less than 70 years because of global warming, scientists have warned.

Melting ice is causing their numbers to drop dramatically, they warn. Others also at risk include ivory gulls, Pacific walruses, ringed and hooded seals and narwhals, small whales with long, spiral tusks.

One of the problems is that other animals are moving north, encroaching on their territory, spurred by increasing temperatures, pushing out native species.

The animals are also struggling with the loss of sea ice.

“The Arctic as we know it may soon be a thing of the past,” said Eric Post, associate professor of biology at Penn State University, who led the latest study, published in the journal Science.

“Recent projections suggest polar bears could be extinct within 70 years.

“But we think this could be a very conservative estimate. The outlook is very bleak for them and other creatures such as ringed seals.”

He added: “The rate at which sea ice is disappearing is accelerating and these creatures rely on it for shelter, hunting and breeding. If this goes, so do they.”

Read the complete story in the Telegraph here

OK now for the other side of the story:

A few countering reports:

Christian Science Monitor, May 3rd, 2007 – Despite global warming, an ongoing study says polar bear populations are rising in the country’s eastern Arctic region.

Science Daily May 10th, 2008 – Federal Polar Bear Research Critically Flawed, Forecasting Expert Asserts

National Post March 6th, 2007 – Polar bear numbers up, but rescue continues

WUWT May 9th 2009 – The “precarious state of the U.S. polar bear population”

Dr. Mitchell Taylor, a biologist with Nunavut Territorial government in Canada wrote this letter (PDF) on April 6th, 2006 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Some excerpts:

At present, the polar bear is one of the best managed of the large arctic mammals. If all the arctic nations continue to abide by the terms and intent of the Polar Bear Agreement, the future of polar bears is secure.

Polar bears are believed to have evolved from grizzly bears during the Pleistocene era some 200-250,000 years ago (Amstrup 2003). Polar bears were well developed as a separate species by the Eemian interglacial approximately 125,000 years ago. This period was characterized by temperature fluctuations caused by entirely natural events on the same order as those predicted by contemporary climate change models. Polar bears obviously adapted to the changing environment, as evidenced by their presence today. That simple fact is well known and part of the information contained in the reference material cited throughout the petition, yet it is never mentioned. This fact alone is sufficient grounds to reject the petition. Clearly polar bears can adapt to climate change. They have evolved and persisted for thousands of years in a period characterized by fluctuating climate. No rational person could review this information and conclude that climate change pre-destined polar bears to extinction.

The petition admits that there is only evidence for deleterious effects from climate change for one polar bear population (Western Hudson Bay [WH]) at the southernmost extreme of polar bear range (Fig. 1). The petition argues that the likelihood of change in other areas is reason enough to find that polar bears should be regarded as a species at risk of imminent extinction. I hope the review considers the precedent set by accepting this argument. Climate change will affect all species to some extent, including humans. If the likelihood of change is regarded as sufficient cause to designate a species or population as “threatened,” then all species around the world are “threatened.”

Some data. With hunting no longer allowed, bear populations have increased 4-5 times:

polar bear numbers

Fig. 1. Circumpolar distribution of polar bear populations. The Western Hudson Bay population (WH), for which data on negative impacts of climate change exist, is highlighted. Polar bears of WH comprise approximately 4% of the world total population polar bears.

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173 thoughts on “Oh no, not this rubbish again: “Recent projections suggest polar bears could be extinct within 70 years”

  1. The biggest tripe about this is that all types of bears are indigenous to forests, not open land and especially not ice sheets. A polar bear is simply a bear who doesn’t want to find his native habitat again because he got used to hunting down eskimos and seals for food. It’s a vicious predator that contributes nothing back to the circle of life, unlike us who are always credited with destroying life but because of us many species have a chance of survival that they never had before.

  2. The Telegraph article unequivocally shows that a lady reporter possesses a strong passion to polar bears.

    A question from a non-native speaker: The “if, mays, and coulds” on the first line should be “ifs, mays, and coulds” ?

  3. Hmmm. So those other animals are like……..food to Polar Bears. Right? The largest and meanest carnivore on Earth is scared of lemmings and rodents? Birds and walruses? What am I missing here?

  4. Oh no, Global Warming reruns.
    Isn’t that special?
    Writer’s cramp, no doubt brought on by befuddlement as nature turns to bite them.
    Sun in a coma, ice recovering, volcanoes popping off, ,weak El-Nino, short summer, early fall.

  5. Nah,

    Just another slow news day, and I have to fill another ten column inches on page 2 before I can go to the pub (sigh).

    Wait! I know!

    I’ll rerun that white bear thing – that was about the same size. See, perfect. Mine’s a pint.

  6. “Recent projections suggest polar bears could be extinct within 70 years.

    “But we think this could be a very conservative estimate.”

    Here we go again.

    Well I ‘project’ that polar bears will be extinct in 90 days. But I ‘think’ this could be a very conservative estimate. I did it by typing the number ’90′ into a pocket calculator and ticking a box on a list – hours, days, months: just as accurate, and a lot cheaper. I have so much research grant left I can afford a Ferrari.

  7. Maybe if enough ECO’s visit the arctic as in “Arctic Cruises
    the Land of Midnight Sun and Polar Bears! Fully Outfitted Icebreakers” their personal contribution in feeding the polar bears will make up for the dirth in bear food.

  8. It’s simple. Now that we know they’ve got twenty years, we can create a very simple market incentive to preserve the species by capturing a breeding pair and altering their offspring to be delicious.

    Just think, we can farm Polar Bears. What? The dang things eat seals, it’s not like eating kittens.

    In fact, it’s a bit like eating something that eats kittens.

    Now, more seriously…Anyone else curious how the Bears have survived for at least 110,000 years? Shouldn’t the last interglacial have wiped them out? Hell, what about when Coastal Northern Russia was between 2.5 to 7 degrees warmer in July than the present from about eight thousand to thirty five hundred years ago?

    Anyone who believes the Polar Bear is at risk needs their head examined.

    MacDonald, G.M., et al., 2000. Holocene treeline history and climate change across northern Eurasia. Quaternary Research, 53, 302-311.

  9. “Rereke Whakaaro (00:25:01) :

    Nah,

    Just another slow news day, and I have to fill another ten column inches on page 2 before I can go to the pub (sigh).

    Wait! I know!

    I’ll rerun that white bear thing – that was about the same size. See, perfect. Mine’s a pint.”

    In UK, the months of August and September are generally known as the “silly season”, this is because of Parliament recess, and thus newspapers have no easy cheap Government press releases to copy. We thus have had in the past headlines like “London bus found on moon”. This current story is not quite in that category, because for some folk it will be believable, it is simply known as filler. The press have hundreds of these stories waiting for a suitable hole in the paper to fill.

    Solution, don’t read the mainstream newspapers, especially in August and September.

    Just back from 3 weeks in US – warm, to England – cold.

  10. The first thought is to chastise the Telegraph and Kate Devlin. But, all they have done is reported what has been claimed by Eric Post, associate professor of biology at Penn State University.

    I will leave it at that as to not disparage Eric Post for producing questionable material and claiming that it is true and unbiased science.

  11. Kate Devlin is sooo right the poor Polar Bears are under threat and they need to be looked after. Kate and anyone else who is concerned should be given one to look after. Could solve so many problems.

  12. tokyoboy

    The question whether to put a comma before the last item of a list is controversial. Mainstream usage is like this:

    a,b,c and d

    But the Economist uses the form

    a, b, c, and d

    You are probably safest to use the form without a comma before the ‘and’. But the other form is not really incorrect, just unusual.

  13. If you take the map of the circumpolar distribution of polar bear populations displayed here and overlay it with the map of the present arctic ice extent http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_daily_extent_hires.png one wonders how all those polar bears are able to survive the arctic summers in the huge area of their habitat that has little or no ice even before the period that ice extent declined from a median of around 7 million square km to the present 5.3 million sqkm. I am no polar bear expert but I assume they thrive happily around the ice free coasts of the continents and surrounding islands during the summer.

  14. No… I think she’s got it wrong. It should read……

    “Recent projections suggest that JOUNALISTS could be extinct within 70 years”, a fed up public has warned.

    The article should then go on to read……. ““But we think this could be a very conservative estimate. The outlook is very bleak for them and other creatures such as Environmentalists.”

    The fed up public do concede that……. “The rate at which INTEGRITY is disappearing, is accelerating and these creatures rely on it for Chardonay, good food and breeding. If this Journalistic Hoax goes, so do they.”

  15. Even so, species go extinct all the time. If all species that ever existed were still around today it would be a mighty crowded place here.

    The seals are not going to miss them, that’s for sure.

  16. One interesting factoid;
    Don’t eat the liver of a polar bear it has deadly levels of vitamin A.

    SAS survival guide.

  17. “Kate Devlin is the Medical Correspondent for The Telegraph newspaper and website. She writes on everything from swine flu to the challenges facing the NHS, and was previously Scottish Political Correspondent.”

  18. Just had a look at the abstract from the source article in Science:

    At the close of the Fourth International Polar Year, we take stock of the ecological consequences of recent climate change in the Arctic, focusing on effects at population, community, and ecosystem scales. Despite the buffering effect of landscape heterogeneity, Arctic ecosystems and the trophic relationships that structure them have been severely perturbed. These rapid changes may be a bellwether of changes to come at lower latitudes and have the potential to affect ecosystem services related to natural resources, food production, climate regulation, and cultural integrity. We highlight areas of ecological research that deserve priority as the Arctic continues to warm.

    In other words “Give me some more grant money”

  19. The Polar bears won’t drown or go extinct even if the Arctic were to totally melt and never freeze again. They are Brown Bears, and that’s what thier cubs turn into if born without ice.
    Polar Bears are really just monstrously big bears with white coats that will attack anything that moves.

  20. I posted this in another thread, but I think it is more relevant here:

    New coral species in Galapagos

    Discovery of new species raises hopes that coral reefs may be more resilient to rising sea temperatures than previously thought Scientists have discovered three new coral species – and one that was thought to be extinct – in an extensive survey of reefs around the Galapagos Islands, raising hopes that reefs may be more resilient to rising sea temperatures than previously thought. Honeycomb coral (Gardineroseris planulata) had apparently been wiped out in in 1997-98 by the last big El Niño event … but the study around the relatively unexplored areas of the coasts of Wolf and Darwin islands to the north-west of the main archipelago turned up several separate colonies.

    Meh… Species from the subclass Hexacorallia have been living on Earth since the Paleozoic and have evolved and survived through harsh climate variations. Thinking they will disappear after one niño is naive.

    Same happens with polar bears. They have been on Earth for more time than we had.

  21. The shame is that the Telegraph, which used to be a sensible right-of-centre newspaper, seems nowadays to be staffed by lunatics (other than Christopher Booker that is). In doing this, it has merely copied the example of the Guardian, which used to be a sensible left-of-centre newspaper.

  22. We live in a world ruled by laws formulated from visions glimpsed at
    the heart of speculative mathematical models.

  23. It would be impossible for the Polar bear to become extinct because they are a sub-species of Brown bear. They are an arctic adaptation. duh!

  24. There are two things going on here, one local to the Telegraph the other to do with Copenhagen.

    The DT and its sister the ST have both been got at by the green agenda. Whilst they still have some excellent columnists including the indefatigable Booker, the paper has swallowed AGW hook line and sinker. Its business section includes a whole page produced with the Carbon Trust, a front for government money to promote AGW propaganda. It has the absurd Geoffrey Lean (see Saturday’s paper for junk about mobile phones) and its news columns invariably produce tripe like the article cited.

    The more insidious agenda however is to do with Copenhagen. As the prospects of any form of real binding commitment to reduce CO2 as opposed to the usual false promises looks more and more unlikely, so the shrill propaganda increases.

    Last week, we had heavy mainstream reporting of sea level rise threatening Bangladesh based of course upon models with no reference to the real problem. There have been a number of polar bear articles all saying that only one of the populations is thriving when we know the truth to be the opposite. We’ve had the Arctic disappearing faster than ever and a story about a commercial German boat using the NWP for the “first time” and on and on. My theory is that the greens are panicking and feel they have to fill the media with a relentless diet of AGW junk to help Copenhagen.

    Fortunately, the Chinese and the Indians are not listening.

    In my business – the London Insurance Market – the AGW religion is ever more pernicious and intolerant of rationalist views. Still, the refusal of global temps to cooperate and the deluge of real science contradicting AGW hysteria give one hope.

    Regards

    Paul

  25. It’s become predictable. This is what happens when real data moves in opposition to their “forecasts.”

    First, NSIDC throws in the towel preemptively, basically saying “no story this year, call us in 2010 when we the data lines up.” Then Kaufmann comes out with some bogus analysis that shows the Arctic virtually on fire. Then we get this. Interesting timing, all in late August, early September, mmm?

    All the while, ice grows (along with polar bear populations), temperature continues to follow the norm or even lower, the comical Catlin team almost freezes to death…

    Mark these words, next will be multiple stories in the MSM of pleasure craft sailing through the Northwest passage, like it’s become the latest warm weather cruising destination (there will be no mention of icebreakers saving their hides).

    Guess what else faces extinction in 70 years…”scientists” who predict Polar Bears will be extinct. And they know it. Fear not. When you see this type of story, you know, they are the ones with the fear.

    Keep the faith. Keep up the fight. And remember, if you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.

  26. I’ve been a Daily Telegraph reader for the last few decades, and I’m very sorry to see the depth it’s sunk to. Pretty well every day there’s a report about climate change. Without exception the reports are biased and they only give one side of the story, this one about polar bears being a good example.
    .
    They did print a letter of mine (about Al Gore) in 2007, but I think even since then they’ve become more biased, maybe due to a new editor. I’ve sent quite a few letters, but nothing printed since. I suspect I may be on a black list, as twice I threatened to lodge a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission – I really wish I had continued, particularly with the first one. It was a demonstrably absurd report about how one Pacific island could disappear ‘within decades’ due to the rising sea level. However, they included a photo of the island’s coast, which showed cliffs and steeply rising terrain. This immediately caused alarm bells to ring. A quick check with Google Earth showed that most of the island was in fact tens of meters above sea level, probably peaking around 100 meters. Ironically, the Telegraph offices in London are far more threatened by sea level rise than this island!
    .
    The Telegraph’s sister publication, the Sunday Telegraph, is totally different. After all, it’s the home of Christopher Booker, who has shone a merciless light of inconvenient truth on this nonsense.
    I hope that one day the Daily Telegraph will apologise to its readers for its part in perpetuating what is quite possibly the biggest confidence trick in history. But I’m not holding my breath.
    Chris

  27. Aron (23:40:17) :
    us who are always credited with destroying life but because of us many species have a chance of survival that they never had before.

    Could you expand on this a little please.

  28. Here’s the study from another source.

    The change in Arctic nature foreshadows the global environment of the future.

    Many original species of Arctic areas are in jeopardy, as global warming causes species from southern areas to migrate north, where they occupy the living space of the original species.

    I just love the way they spin this into a story of impending doom. Anyone who has observed nature knows of it’s cyclical movements even on a yearly basis. When we have warm years plants and critters move onto terrain they would not normally inhabit and replace those that are more adapted for the cold. When the cold years return the tables are turned and the cold adapted plants and critters move into the terrain etc.

    Nature is never static. The life that has been advantaged by the last few warmer years in the arctic region will already be on the retreat. Of course if these idealists had decided that the present temperatures were the norm then this retreat would morph into a catastrophe in the making. Here’s the problem.

    With mathematical models, the researchers showed that the drastic change in the population dynamics of collared lemmings is explained by the fact that snow melts sooner than before:the lemmings do not procreate as long as before below the snow, and are also easier for predators to hunt.

    These people spend their lives toying with mathematical models and don’t have even a basic knowledge of biology and nor have they even consulted the ample literature on the life cycle of the lemming and it’s extraordinary population dynamics.

    This is just another sham study, designed to compliment the torrent of shame studies that will hit the press before Copenhagen.

    http://notes.helsinki.fi/halvi/tiedotus/pressrelease.nsf/e1e392ad852e72f5c225680000404fa8/78a4c6ca61b92751c225762e002fcf6f?OpenDocument

  29. With global warming, will there still be sea ice in the Arctic?

    There will still be 6 months of darkness in the winter. The average annual temperature at the north pole is -25C. The ice really only melts back for about 2 months out of the year. If the ice melts back a little further and a little earlier, the Arctic will still be frozen solid for at least 9 months out of the year.

    The bears will adapt. There is even a Polar Bear Provincial Park in Ontario at 55N where the average annual temperature is 25 degrees warmer than the north pole.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_Bear_Provincial_Park

  30. “deadwood (23:38:04) :

    I am amazed that anyone is out there that still believes this stuff. The AGW faithful, sure, but the rest?”

    “rbateman (23:47:52) :

    Oh no, Global Warming reruns.
    Isn’t that special?
    Writer’s cramp, no doubt brought on by befuddlement as nature turns to bite them.
    Sun in a coma, ice recovering, volcanoes popping off, ,weak El-Nino, short summer, early fall.”

    A dumbed down, media hungry, lazy, ignorant, self-centered, paranoid, short attention span, issues with short term memory loss (If it’s not about Paris Hilton and the likes that is) society can be easily manipulated. Communities isolated. Families isolated. Parents isolated. Children isolated (Almost nationalised in Aus and NZ for want of a better description). Divided, “they”, rule.

  31. So there were some 5,000 Polar bears in the 1960,s, and some 28,000 today. The 28,000 figure comes at a time of arctic dimishment. Therefore, the smaller the Arctic, the greater the number of Polar Bears. Oh well, it is a correlation. If the Arctic expands way over the recorded average, they may well be extinct in 70 years is the correlation proves accurate

  32. We all agree global temperatures (and specifically Arctic temperatures) have risen in the last 50 years. And it is known that polar bears have increased approx 5 fold in the same period …….

    Another perfect example of an alarmist prediction that is the ‘polar opposite’ of the observational data …..

  33. The Independant talked yesterday about the North East Passage being free for the first time for commercial ships?

    The link to the bbc below is as good but you need to read the articel to get the nonsense and I quote :-

    “Both ships left South Korea in late July, negotiating the passage off north-eastern Siberia behind two Russian icebreakers. ”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8251914.stm

    The poor polar bears are probably having their ecosystem destroyed by the Ice breakers ;-O

  34. Living in bear country (not polar bear, but brown faced grizzly and black bear) has shown me that bears are like crows and in-laws as far as adaptation is concerned. Even though huge swaths of habitat are cleared away to make room for the condo’s built to house the sprawling urban eco-elite, the bears around here still proliferate; if anything, they seem to be thriving due to the influx of “ready to eat” goodies like garbage and house pets. I cannot see a bear -that just so happens be be cute and white and chooses to live where the pickings are actually quite good even without ice- is any different from those that still take a dump in the woods. Do people really believe that a polar bear would just lay around and starve to death if the ice went away? I’m thinking they would quickly adapt and begin to feed on all the researchers studying the ice loss and their garbage and house pets just as eagerly as their urban cousins do in the south!

  35. This was a wonderful article by Ms. Kate Devlin, the Telegraph’s “medical correspondent.” Hard-hittng, incisive, and ground-breaking. Didn’t you just love the balance in her article by the fascinating quote from thea scientist with a contrary point of view! A testament to her journalist prowess, Ms. Devlin has clearlly moved the ball forward on the public’s awareness of the dire threats facings those adorable polar bears. We all owe Ms. Devlin a ton of thanks.

    But let’s give credit to where the real credit is clearly due. Ms. Devlin based her article on research led by Dr. Eric Post of Penn State University. I wanted to learn more about Dr. Post and his research so I went to the PSU website at http://live.psu.edu/story/41357/rssResearch. I think I got to the core of the matter. The university’s official news source says that “Post’s team calls for the establishment of a pan-Arctic series of integrated baseline studies to monitor the physical drivers of climate change and the biological responses to them over the long term.”

    Hey, I wonder if Dr. Post would be interested in conducting these vital studies!

  36. If those people who believe we are on the verge of another little ice age turn out to be right there may be some in northern Europe who would wecome fewer polar bears. They were reported as far south as the Shetland islands. Presumably there was sea ice in the north sea.

    Perhaps there will be Inuit explorers kayaking to Scotland again??

  37. Why are “environmentalists” always so loathe to accept when they have accomplished their goals? Polar bears are protected by an international agreement signed by all relevant countries and are at record or near-record population levels (at least in modern times). For those alarmed by sea ice, it has increased for two straight years, even through that is not the determining factor in polar bears’ survival anyway. So why continue to attempt to rile people up over this? Certainly it’s not about polar bears, so the only other explanation is fundraising. “Green politics,” if you will.

  38. Why is the ‘medical correspondent’ writing on this subject?

    “Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent”

    Very odd

  39. Alternating warm and cold climate, moving the ecological niches northwards and southwards is an evolutionary pressure. Think about it; where would we be if the climate were static. We wouldn’t even have evolved.
    ============================================

  40. Gene Nemetz (00:06:11) :

    I think the 2 million in Washington today had other things on their mind.

    Described by the BBC as “tens of thousand”

  41. Look at the University the research is from. Isn’t that the some one that Mann belongs to? Obviously their research is infallible then.

  42. But they are all white and fluffy!!!

    Talk about emotion driven drivel. Not a spec of real science anywhere to be seen. Everyone at the Telegraph associated with this story should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

  43. Various notes:

    I’m normally quite tolerant of people crossing fields (studying climate pretty much requires cross-discipline skills), but I’m tempted to suggest this Medical Correspondent stick to medicine. However, it appears she has most relayed a Penn State press release. It’s a waste of words to suggest they should know better.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/6167819/Polar-bears-face-extinction-in-less-than-70-years-because-of-global-warming.html says:

    “The Arctic as we know it may soon be a thing of the past,” said Eric Post, associate professor of biology at Penn State University, who led the latest study, publied in the journal Science.

    I don’t like abusing people over typos (e.g. the recent 100 C temperature rise prediction that was obviously a cut and paste error with 10° C), however, publied is great candidate for a neologism and I salute whoever is at fault. Cheers!

    A Penn State summary is at http://live.psu.edu/story/41357 – I don’t know if that is the source of the stories in the news media.

    The Science article is at http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/325/5946/1355 but I’m not a subscriber so I can’t read it. The abstract is less sensational than the press release:

    At the close of the Fourth International Polar Year, we take stock of the ecological consequences of recent climate change in the Arctic, focusing on effects at population, community, and ecosystem scales. Despite the buffering effect of landscape heterogeneity, Arctic ecosystems and the trophic relationships that structure them have been severely perturbed. These rapid changes may be a bellwether of changes to come at lower latitudes and have the potential to affect ecosystem services related to natural resources, food production, climate regulation, and cultural integrity. We highlight areas of ecological research that deserve priority as the Arctic continues to warm.

    While Eric Post is the lead author, there are two dozen who follow his name.

  44. My understanding is that, at least in parts of Alaska, the Polar Bears can be quite a nuisance, especially around municipal dump sites – where they seem to prefer to pick through and eat the garbage. Why don’t we just send a couple of floating ‘garbage barges’ up from NYC and let the bears eat to their hearts content. Takes care of the food and lack of ice floes.

  45. We live in strange times. Our children our now taught in school that the normal state of our climate is static, so “change” is bad.

    Here we have a biology professor, a PhD type who looks at data (?) and sees an increase in Polar Bear numbers and calls it a decrease and who looks at an increase in Arctic summer minimum ice are of 1 million – 1,000,000,000 square km and determines the ice is disappearing.

    And he gets well paid for this work.

  46. Quote: “A Lie Told Often Enough Becomes The Truth” -Vladimir Lenin

    To understand the mindset of the AGW people, some of Lenin’s other quotes demostrate how they think and what they believe :

    “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”

    “It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.”

    **** The AGW religion, is the modern incarnation of this kind of thought ****

  47. Any journalist worth salt should roll out Chicken Little to parody this nonsense. Barry, where are you when we need you? Aren’t you the one that writes about things like toilets blowing up in the middle of the night and other such scary things we should worry about?

  48. Uber-AGWarmite Guardian has this* up. Watch your step: watermelons abound.

    Here at this website is displayed the exsanguination of the word “green” by the weasels of the AGW environmentalists.
    …-

    *”Polar bears in Norway increasing in numbers”

    “Polar bears photographed by American wildlife photographer Steve Kaslowski during an expedition to Norway’s remote Svalbard archipelago last month. A marine mammal expert and spokesman from the WWF believes the bears captured on film in the series could be further evidence that the polar bear population in the region is increasing.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2009/sep/07/polar-bears-norway

  49. Ric Werme (6:48:32) … Perhaps it should be “the Arctic as we know it [pluralis
    majestatis??] may soon be a thing of the post” said Eric Past…And I hereby
    declare “publied” the “Freudoneologismus”[German] of the week to begin with…HWGA…Interesting and entertaining times indeed!

  50. A dumbed down media and academia seeking grant money is one thing but for tax funded government agencies to enable and facilitate this level of con job is a disgrace.

    NOAA, NASA and other bureaucracies at many levels have the responsibility to not only maintain honest information but to deliberately correct and counter the distribution of blatant propaganda such as this.

    How is it that we have come so far that all levels of official malfeasance are now acceptable methods of policy advancement?

    At some point this massive AGW fraud will subside but what then with our own tax dollars and governments having played such a prominent role in the “crime”?

    It will be impossible to shrug it off as a growing phase and lesson learned if those who perpetrated it remain in positions to commit more offenses.

    Which they certainly will do.

    Thinking ahead the task of rebuilding integrity in science and government will be a daunting task.

  51. Three years ago, I was somewhat ambivalent about AGW. After all it had been warming and I had personally noted the delay of winter by about two weeks in Michigan. However, I was quite perturbed that all of the proposed solutions were very bad for the economy. Nuclear power, the only readily available solution, was not even being discussed. What really made me doubtful was all of the stories about how AGW was going to destroy all of the wildlife.

    Given the vast variety of wildlife and ecological niches, it is simply impossible that every single study could find that a modest amount of warming would have nothing but negative effects on wildlife. Strangely, not a single cute fuzzy animal was going to benefit from shorter winters and extended growing seasons anywhere in the world. I personally witnessed possums moving into the Upper Peninsula, but the first hit I found in a search described how invasive southern species were replacing northern species. Not a word on if the northern species has increased their range into northern Canada. If there is such a study, I expect polar bears to be threatened by invasive Michigan squirrels.

    There are a few stories on how some of natures creatures are benefiting from AGW. Plagues, pestilence, and thorny poisonous plants seem to be doing very well.

    There is one good thing about this polar bear story. It has been completely discredited and provides a good example about how much fraud has been foisted on the public. I see that the Telegraph does not take comments.

  52. “tallbloke (04:58:37) :
    Aron (23:40:17) :
    us who are always credited with destroying life but because of us many species have a chance of survival that they never had before.

    Could you expand on this a little please.”

    All the following species (and much more) were living in poor condition, or were prey or existed in very few numbers before domestication and industrialisation: all the various forms of dogs (count the varieties!), horses, cats, cows, domesticated birds (pigeons, ducks, chickens, roosters, turkeys, etc), sheep, goats, domesticated or trained reptiles, squirrels, rats, mice, hamsters, elephants (they would have disappeared from Asia if they weren’t domesticated), and much more.

    Of course, many creatures only existed because of interaction with humans as they have evolved into their present form because of anthropogenic influence.

  53. And the idea that polar bears will become extinct because of 1 degree temperature increase or a little loss of ice is plain faced ridiculous. They are capable of living anywhere if they can live in a stupid city zoo.

  54. If the polar bear goes extinct, can’t we just make more? I mean afterall they evolved and mutated from brown bears, some 220000 years ago, when the Arctic Ocean was far more pleasant and warm place than it is today. Ever wonder what made the peat tundra surrounding the Arctic Ocean?

    I have met a polar bear face to face, and be thankful they only like it where it’s cold.

    In a sane world, we would have long moved on from the discredited CO2 theory of global warming. I mean how can a trace gas, necessary for all life on earth, be responsible for ruining the planets ecology … On it’s face it’s totally absurd.

    Everything that is, shall not always be.

  55. O/T – from “wire reports” and noted in the Columbus (OH) Dispatch this morning. I want to be there to see this !

    Climate change could cause walrus stampedes
    Thousands of walruses are congregating on Alaska’s northwest coast, a sign that their Arctic sea ice environment has been altered by climate change. Walruses for years came ashore intermittently during their fall southward migration, but not so early and not in such numbers.

    “It’s a result of the sea ice retreating off the continental shelf,” said Chad Jay, a U.S. Geological Survey walrus researcher. Federal managers and researchers say the trend could lead to deadly stampedes and too much pressure on prey.

    – From wire reports

  56. In part the study opines thus.

    The results show that spring begins considerably sooner than before. The blossoming and pollination period of plants starts as much as twenty days sooner in comparison to the situation ten years ago.

    I know better than to take their statements at face value. Over the next week or so I’ll see what the surface stations show.

    This first graph is daily data covering the onset of spring in the polar region of one of the stations. The plots will cover ten years by combining the first three years (1999-2001) of daily data and averaging them and then the last three years (2007-2009) and averaging them.

    With this one it’s obvious that spring in the first three years ware not only earlier but much warmer at the outset. I might use a running average over subsequent plots and see if it makes a better visual.

  57. Mike_s (02:09:26) :

    One interesting factoid;
    Don’t eat the liver of a polar bear it has deadly levels of vitamin A.

    SAS survival guide.

    Why did you go and say that after I ate the bear liver and onions?

  58. Kate Devlin – medical correspondent?

    Kate’s page states;

    “Kate Devlin
    Kate Devlin is the Medical Correspondent for The Telegraph newspaper and website. She writes on everything from swine flu to the challenges facing the NHS, and was previously Scottish Political Correspondent. ”

    So this makes one an expert on Polar bears?

    Meanwhile back at the Telegraph.
    ‘Ed’ says “nothing to do Kate?”
    Kate, “nah!”
    Ed, how about spinning the alarmist line???
    Kate, “do what?”
    Ed, “you know the usual BS, Hey I know! what about the Polar Bears??”
    Kate, “but I don’t do polar bears”
    Ed, “you do now kid, give Penn State a bell.”

    Later.

    Ed, “Good art work babe!”
    Kate, “Didn’t know you cared ed!”
    Ed, “You’ll go a long way at this paper Lady!”

    Better stop there.
    But really?

  59. tallbloke (04:58:37) :

    Aron (23:40:17) :
    us who are always credited with destroying life but because of us many species have a chance of survival that they never had before.

    Could you expand on this a little please.

    Here’s at least three species doing much better with mankind:

    Blattella germanica

    Canis latrans

    Rattus rattus

  60. Kirk W. Hanneman (05:42:24) :

    “Why are “environmentalists” always so loathe to accept when they have accomplished their goals?”

    Simple. Environmental change is only a means to their goal – Global Governance.

    Buffapple (05:28:35) :

    “The university’s official news source says that “Post’s team calls for the establishment of a pan-Arctic series of integrated baseline studies to monitor the physical drivers of climate change and the biological responses to them over the long term.””

    Isn’t it convenient that his latest study shows the pressing need for these studies before all those critters go extinct. But there’s a solution – more government grants to sustain this critical work!

    Of course, it would be pessimistic for me to think that the availability of billions of grant money to find global warming could corrupt the work of noble (or Nobel) scientists.

  61. michel (01:35:11) :

    tokyoboy

    The question whether to put a comma before the last item of a list is controversial. Mainstream usage is like this:

    a, b, c and d

    But the Economist uses the form

    a, b, c, and d

    You are probably safest to use the form without a comma before the ‘and’. But the other form is not really incorrect, just unusual.

    In the incredibly holier-than-thou review of “Eats, Shoots & Leaves,” at http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/06/28/040628crbo_books1 it says:

    The book also omits the serial comma, as in “eats, shoots and leaves,” which is acceptable in the United States only in newspapers and commercial magazines. The supreme peculiarity of this peculiar publishing phenomenon is that the British are less rigid about punctuation and related matters, such as footnote and bibliographic form, than Americans are.

    Wouldn’t that last line read better if it ended with “than are Americans?” Ah well, at the New Yorker it’s New York first, the rest of the world a distant second. Rather odd given the number of immigrants who built New York.

    My existence as a software engineer demands I note:

    As Truss herself notes, some conventions of British usage employed in “Eats, Shoots & Leaves are taboo in the United States – for example, the placement of commas and periods outside quotation marks, “like this”.

    Nonsense – if I’m quoting a piece of a program or a command that needs to be entered exactly, I’m not going to let stray comma or period into the quoted string. Hmm, does WordPress understand me if I write “http://wermnh.com.” (I didn’t use a ‘?’ because that it often used at the end of URLs.)

    In today’s international world, either people have to lighten up about punctuation (yeah, right!!!!!) or have the decency to verify your target’s nationality before blasting the writing. Possessive apostrophes excepted, of course. :-)

    Oh yeah, PBs. u cant save the PolarBears unless u get punctutasion, right!

  62. In late July this year we visited the Svalbard Science Museum in Longyearbyen, Spitzbergen where the indigenous polar bear population is estimated at 3,000 versus only about 1,000 in 1970. Banned hunting of the bears since 1973 was identified as the reason for this large population increase.

    The recent arctic ice cap reductions have placed the polar bear population there under stress but their numbers have not significantly changed. Clearly hunting is far more dangerous to polar bears than natural seasonal fluctuations of the polar ice cap.

    The global warming alarmists use completely speculative projections of future polar ice cap declines to support their outrageous claims about decreasing polar bear numbers.

    As WUWT has shown 2008 and 2009 summer polar ice extent is increasing over year 2007 results so recent trends don’t support future declining ice speculations.

    Our trip brought us to within 652 miles of the geographic north pole before we reached the polar ice cap. This same trip last year at this time was able to proceed about 80 miles further north toward the north pole clearly supporting more polar ice in the summer of 2009 than 2008.

  63. Read the related item over at Icecap on what Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN has to say. This mans competency should be called into question. Icecap title is Arctic ice proves to be slippery stuff

  64. It always amazes me that individuals who print lies can be sued for libel.

    Why is that those who print Climate Science lies never get sued??

  65. Perhaps we could send a crack regiment of airbourne social workers to assist the polar bears and cater for their emotional needs?
    This AAM must be very upsetting for them, most likely suffering from PTSD (pre traumatic stress disorder).
    Not to worry folks Al Gore must be working on new design life jackets for the drowning bears to use, wlthough trying to fit one onto a hungry bear might prove difficult, just the job for our crack team of social workers, I would pay good money to see that!

  66. “Polar bears face extinction in less than 70 years because of global warming, scientists have warned.”

    Why is it that all AGW alarmist stories contain the phrase “scientists have warned” or “scientists have predicted” which conveys the impression that this is the opinion of all science speaking with one voice? Then it’s only when we read the small print that, if we are alert, we realise this should have read “a scientist has warned”.

    Is it me, or is there some bias here? I mean, if Roy Spencer wrote a paper saying that his studies have shown that cumulus nimbus clouds cancel global warming, and this is reported in the MSM (you have to suspend belief on this), would the opening sentence read “scientists now predict carbon dioxide not a problem” or would it read “a single scientist has controversely predicted that carbon dioxide is not a problem, a statement that has been roundly criticized by leading climate scientists”?

    BTW, the only way polar bear populations will fall is if Al Gore takes them out with a helicopter gunship in order to make observations fit predictions: “Polar bear populations have crashed, just like scientists predicted . . Daily Telegraph special report”.

  67. If people are really interested in finding out what Post et. al. says, there is a much more complete account than the few lines in the Daily Telegraph. It is a press release from Penn State University, and therefore conveys what the authors want to tell the public.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-09/ps-dbr090409.php

    The polar bear is only a tiny fraction of the ecological changes discussed in the article. The level of detail and the complexity of the impacts is a reflection of the number and breadth of the authors who contributed to it.

    “”People have thought of the Arctic as a relatively simple ecosystem that is easily understood, but in fact it is very complex,” explains Post. “Not all populations within a given species respond similarly to warming because physical and landscape features that interact with climate can vary tremendously from site to site. I think response heterogeneity is going to be one of the keys to specie’s persistence, community integrity, and ecosystem function as the Arctic continues to warm.
    In addition to Eric Post at Penn State University, the team he led was comprised of biologists, ecologists, geographers, botanists, anthropologists, and fish and wildlife experts from the University of Alberta and the Canadian Wildlife Service in Canada; Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark; the University of Helsinki in Finland; the Arctic Ecology Research Group in France; the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources in Greenland; the University Centre on Svalbard, the University of Tromsø, and the Centre for Saami Studies in Norway; the University of Aberdeen and the University of Stirling in Scotland; Lund University and the Abisko Scientific Research Station in Sweden; the University of Sheffield in the UK; and the Institute of Arctic Biology and the U.S. Geological Service at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, the Environment and Natural Resources Institute of the University of Alaska-Anchorage, and the University of Washington in the United States.

    Support was provided by Aarhus University, The Danish Polar Center, and the U.S. National Science Foundation.”

    I think it is silly to point to the evolution of the Polar Bear from the Grizzly Bear over time as some kind of proof that rapid climate change over the period of a century won’t harm the Polar Bear. The temperature increase in the Arctic will be double the average expected global temperature increase. Species have died off as a result of climate change.

    Since evolution is a chance event, it is also possible that some Polar Bears will develop strategies to survive in the new Arctic Climate, despite the fact that their physical makeup was developed to help them survive in an Arctic environment that is 6C cooler than the one they will face if Global Warming continues. The predictions, that they will die off due to habit change, don’t factor this possibility in its projections, but it is wrong to ridicule them because of this. I don’t know that anyone can figure out how to do this.

    I expect that this post will could be ridiculed for looking at this question sensibly and scientifically, since many posters here ridicule sceince.

  68. The 1973 International Agreement for the Conservation of Polar Bears and their Habitat was signed by the U.S., Russia, Greenland/Denmark, Canada and Norway which provided protections against hunting of polar bears in the Svalbard Archipelago.

    These restrictions have been further expanded since then and now include full protection from hunting as well as any coaxing, pursuit or disturbing polar bears in any manner that may endanger people or bears .

  69. Global Warming causes cooling which kills more Polar Bears by reducing thier food supply through increasing cold & ice conditions.
    If the Arctic were warming, the bears would be very happy, with plenty to eat.
    But, it’s not, only temporary.
    Yes, Polar Bears, like any other kind of bear, will eat anything. Including researchers who are stupid enough to wander around armed only with cameras.
    Save the Polar Bear, send more researchers.

  70. GK (07:21:22) :
    **** The AGW religion, is the modern incarnation of this kind of thought ****

    Fortunately, these “religions” never last more than 75 years…BTW Lenin is dead, as all commisars of that time, however there are some reincarnations around.
    Many people with “good feelings” are prone to adhere to this kind of religions, as they supposedly seek equality among all human beings, ignoring that any equality means enthropy, equilibrium, death. Movement it is only possible where there is a difference, of potential or whatever. Life is possible only as a negentropic development, eros versus tanathos.

  71. Those people criticizing the Telegraph for running this story should know that the Telegraph frequently runs articles that are critical of the AGW theories. Also, it has for many years, in its Sunday edition, published the Christopher Booker column which is strongly anti-warmist (and which regularly directs readers to this site).

  72. Off Topic but very relevant to last weeks discussion on wheat and the change in climate change policy by the National Association of Wheat Growers (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/04/national-wheat-growers-association-reverses-policy-on-climate-change-opposes-epa-regulation/),
    is the news today of the death of Norman Borlaug, whose “invention of high-yielding disease-resistant wheat varieties spawned the ‘Green Revolution,’ making famine a thing of the past in parts of the developing world.”

    http://www.agriculture.com/ag/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/ag/story/data/1252862299233.xml#continue

    His passing reminds me once again that we stand on the shoulders of giants.

  73. Nogw (07:15:34) :

    Most probable scenario: Within 5 years Global Warmers will be extinct.

    Now there’s a prediction that has merit!

  74. “OT. How does a nuclear powered submarine or ice-breaker keep it’s reactor cool?”

    RayBan Aviators, latest iPhone and good tailoring, the usual really.

  75. Two points above seem notable.

    Firstly the mention of the article about 2 German ship using the Northeast passage, smething that the UK MSM have now apparently picked up on and augmented for their own purposes.

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/09/turd-eaters.html

    The second is the point that Prof. Posts article covers more than just Polar bears. Now whether the paper and its content is valid in toto or not we see the MSM is once again latching onto some token image, previously misrepresented, and mindlessly regurgitating the same old mindless rubbish.

    Why do these people get paid? And, given the financial state of many newspaper groups, by whom are they paid?

  76. I read somewhere that more Inuit people die from polar bear attacks than heart attacks.

    Must be the home-grown fresh organic vegetables.

  77. GK (07:21:22) : “A Lie Told Often Enough Becomes The Truth” -Vladimir Lenin

    You can fool most of the people some of the time. And you can fool some of the people most of the time. But you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

    ~Abraham Lincoln

  78. Stephen Skinner (10:27:06) :
    OT. How does a nuclear powered submarine or ice-breaker keep it’s reactor cool?

    Not sure whether ice-breakers care, but the last thing a nuclear sub wants is a thermal trail a smart torpedo can follow…

  79. Here’s a little calculation born out of a lazy Sunday afternoon.

    The ice extent minimum is likely to end near 1,000,000 km^2 above the 2007 low. That converts to about 385,000 square miles. To bring that into perspective, that’s the the area of all New England states plus NY, PA, NJ, DE, MD and DC plus California combined with 25,000 sq. mi. left over. Oh hell, throw in Northern VA. to make it match.

    Now if we could only arrange to freeze those states over, voila, that’s the end of our global warming issue.

  80. Just my two cents worth: commas placed before conjunctions drive me nuts. Mr. Spock would probably suggest that “… placing a separator immediately before a joiner is not logical…” . Also, somewhat logically, if the comma or period following the quote terminates the phrase or sentence the quote is embedded in, it should be outside the quotation marks. A complete sentence used as a quote should either use ellipses, as I have done above, or it should be placed in a separate block quote. Keep in mind that commas are generally placed in locations in the sentence where you wouold normally pause for emphasis or draw a half breath while speaking. Unfortunately, the illiterati that write current style manuals haven’t had the good grace or sense to consult with me.

  81. David in Davis (11:13:13) : …the news today of the death of Norman Borlaug…

    Sorry to hear. But he did live to 95. And he did do a lot of good in the world. “…spawned the “Green Revolution,” …His work saved millions of lives.” He won’t go before God empty handed!

    “We all eat at least three times a day in privileged nations, and yet we take food for granted,” Borlaug said recently.

    http://www.agriculture.com/ag/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/ag/story/data/1252862299233.xml#continue

  82. I have to say that as a (very) long-term Telegraph reader, this is the sort of reportage that makes me cringe. I still take it, mainly for the crosswords, but there was a time when regardless of its political stance (it was always known as the Conservatives’ house magazine or in latter days as the Torygraph) its news reporting was objective and straight down the line.
    This report would have been lucky to see the light of day under Bill Deedes or Charles Moore both of whom would have demanded some decent follow-up by the reporter involved.
    First question: was this a press release? Second question: did you bother to check sources and facts? And that would have applied whether it came from James Hansen or Anthony Watts or anyone else. Editorial comment is different but news, in the Telegraph, used to be sacrosanct.

  83. Omitting the comma before the last item in a series is definitely not mainstream usage. As the New Yorker review correctly states:
    “The book also omits the serial comma, as in “eats, shoots and leaves,” which is acceptable in the United States only in newspapers and commercial magazines.”

    No style guide that I’m familiar with, except those aimed at newspapers (where the extra comma might cause a column-wrap) recommends omitting the serial comma. They usually implicitly recommend it by pointing out that it avoids ambiguity in certain cases, such as when the last item in the series contains an internal “and” or “or,” and adding that its proponents argue that therefore, for the sake of uniformity, it should be used everywhere. I.e., it’s not just a snooty affectation.

    The “serial comma” is also known as the “Oxford comma,” and is recommended in Britain as well.

  84. eric (10:20:25) :

    I think it is silly to point to the evolution of the Polar Bear from the Grizzly Bear over time as some kind of proof that rapid climate change over the period of a century won’t harm the Polar Bear. The temperature increase in the Arctic will be double the average expected global temperature increase. Species have died off as a result of climate change.

    It’s a mammal that has evolved so far in only a couple hundred thousand years, it’s gotta be more adapatable than something like the Cheetah with its tiny gene pool. Even in the last 10,000 years PB dentition has changed:

    http://www.geol.umd.edu/~candela/pbevol.html

    Hecht (in Chaline, 1983) describes polar bear evolution: the first “polar bear”, Ursus maritimus tyrannus, was essentially a brown bear subspecies, with brown bear dimensions and brown bear teeth. Over the next 20,000 years, body size reduced and the skull elongated. As late as 10,000 years ago, polar bears still had a high frequency of brown-bear-type molars. Only recently have they developed polar-bear-type teeth.

    It survived the Medieval Warm Period and others, it survived the last ice age where ice covered Mt Washington NH, which is now 6,288ft (some 2,000m) above sea level. It survived the low ice autumn of 2007, I suspect it will survive the next several warm spells and ice ages.

  85. Eric, I’m a bit naive about stuff, so could you please identify for me (and others) just which northward-migrating species will be geographically displacing polar bears, as opposed to helping diversify their diets?

  86. eric,

    “The temperature increase in the Arctic will be double the average expected global temperature increase. Species have died off as a result of climate change.”

    The problem with research that uses as its evidence the output of theoretical models is that it has no scientific value. You have to take these models as fact in order to come to conclusions about the fate of polar bears. And even if we can have a high confidence in the model’s predictive skill, show me any scientist who can accurately predict the behavioural response of a polar bear to a climate change. Or any animal at all for that matter. How many times have we seen studies that have shown (surprise, surprise) animals adapting to warming by moving North?

    “Arctic environment that is 6C cooler than the one they will face if Global Warming continues.”

    Notice that conditional clause slipping in again?

    “I expect that this post will could be ridiculed for looking at this question sensibly and scientifically, since many posters here ridicule sceince.”

    People here may ridicule sceince, but they embrace science. There is a difference.

  87. eric.

    What Post et al are saying, in a nutshell, is “give us some money, suckers. We need sustaining in our overpaid useless employment.”

  88. DaveF (11:02:47) :

    “Those people criticizing the Telegraph for running this story should know that the Telegraph frequently runs articles that are critical of the AGW theories. Also, it has for many years, in its Sunday edition, published the Christopher Booker column which is strongly anti-warmist (and which regularly directs readers to this site).”

    Dave, I read the Telegraph and have done so for more years than I care to remember.

    I enjoyed the incisive and rigorous editorial. The paper was objective and slightly AGW sceptical. Now under the Brothers Blue, the paper has changed and not for the better either. Geoffrey Lean has joined the staff and I’m sure he’s a nice fellow, but the tone and drift of his loose arguments, are redolent of another ‘broadsheet’ organ. It seems that now in England we have a newspaper consensus on AGW and that is not healthy, the government is spinning mercilessly and I want objectivity!! Once not long ago, the Telegraph would have provided it, now I sometimes despair. When however well intentioned/or boneheaded reporters who should properly research their subject, do not do so and consequently regurgitate the same old same old, tis a trifle trying.
    There are still some of the best reporters working for the ‘Torygraph’ and I shall continue to remind them of their duties to their readership. Mr. Booker on a Sunday is a must read, for me personally.

  89. The reality is that the current polar bar population (approx. 25,000) is probably too large, and the number needs to be reduced by a few thousands.

    According to a 2006 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study (Range-wide Status Review of the Polar Bear), polar bears annually kill up to 44% of new born seal pups in some of their habitats. This is a tremendous number. I don’t know the approximate birth and death rates for a given seal species to avoid its extinction, but I suspect the kill rate of that magnitude is very close to the danger point.

    Indeed, the reported declines in walruses and various seal species populations in the Arctic might have much to do with overhunting by polar bears. The recovery of the arctic summer ice extent that is being observed for the past two years might even exacerbate the decline of those species populations that polar bears prey on, since the increased ice cover would help their hunting tactics.

    It seems that polar bear lovers are up in arms crying foul about how tiny the cute polar bear population is, but very few, if any, are speaking for the cute seal pups that are slaughtered in thousands every day by polar bears. If there are starving polar bears, it probably has more to do with the overall reproductive success of their own species than any drastic climate change in their habitat.

  90. Mike_s (02:09:26) : “One interesting factoid;
    Don’t eat the liver of a polar bear it has deadly levels of vitamin A.–SAS survival guide.”

    And make sure you cook the bear well. Polar bears carry trichinosis. Recent autopsies of polar explorers, previously believed to have died from vitamin A poisoning, revealed trichinosis.

  91. michel (01:35:11) :

    tokyoboy

    The question whether to put a comma before the last item of a list is controversial. Mainstream usage is like this:

    a,b,c and d

    But the Economist uses the form

    a, b, c, and d

    You are probably safest to use the form without a comma before the ‘and’. But the other form is not really incorrect, just unusual.

    I learned that the latter was the correct method, and the former was used by professional writers. So either is correct as far as I know. Guess things have changed since the 70′s ;)

    Back on-topic. I blogged about this with respect to the WWF claims, here: http://whatcatastrophe.com/drupal/node/40

    And even though the WWF says, on their own site, that Polar Bears are not currently endangered, their future is far from certain. Yet the only reason they say that is due to “forecasts” decades down the road.

  92. Assuming it gets so warm in the Arctic that all North Pole ice melts (it looks like that won’t happen but that North Pole ice is in a growing trend) polar bears will be just fine. It was warmer on earth during the Medieval Warming Period than it is now and polar bears are lived through it.

    No one can say that polar bears will all die if the earth gets a little warmer. If they do say it I would like to see the evidence for them to make that claim–I think they don’t have any and they are just making it.

  93. I take the DT every day as well and it has become much more in line twith the “science is decided” type of reporting. It assumes AGW as a given and accepts ridiculous reports with a shoddy disregard for checking even simple facts! It si not alone in this. I despair! Christopher Booker in the ST and Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail are the only ones who argue an opposition to this.
    Those in USA beware and try to argue now against the loss of incandescent light bulbs!!!! Very little logic in the reasons given for the change and absolutely no reason in terms of a green agenda ( they are not as efficient as claimed. They do not light as bright as claimed and they are only more efficient if left on for continuous stretches of time – negating the point of them.) Not to mention the hazard of the Mercury vapour on disposol.

  94. George PS (13:05:14) I somewhat agree but don’t know the numbers. Imagine the hysteria from the AGW crowd if the bear population increases to some point and it hits the wall of overpopulation, not enough food. Birthrate may drop, disease and starvation may set in, I don’t know how it would play out. The AGW crowd, well we can imagine how they would play it.

  95. “Now, more seriously…Anyone else curious how the Bears have survived for at least 110,000 years? Shouldn’t the last interglacial have wiped them out? Hell, what about when Coastal Northern Russia was between 2.5 to 7 degrees warmer in July than the present from about eight thousand to thirty five hundred years ago?” – timetochooseagain (00:50:56)

    It’s no wonder that the arctic is all out of kittens or other cats or other large critters as the polar bears ate them all to survive for the last 110,000 years! That’s a lot of other animals they’ve eaten to stay alive up in the highly variable temperature Great White North over all those ages.

  96. Melting ice is causing their numbers to drop dramatically, they warn.

    If their refers to polar bears, then I assume that they must also be polar bears. So my question .. exactly how many polar bears were interviewed as part of this study.

  97. Animals in danger? Sounds like a job for PETA! Send them in to rescue the poor polar bears and relocate them. Failing that, instead of switching off lights to keep polar bears cool, why don’t environmentalists try shaving them instead?

    Anyway, in other signs of a cooling in the UK global warming market-

    http://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2009/09/12/41320-students-lose-cash-as-energy-college-folds/


    THE shock closure of a Reading college for climate change inspectors has left hundreds of students with their future in tatters and thousands of pounds out of pocket.

    600x£3900 per 9 month course sounds like a nice little earner, and why some folks are so keen to keep promoting inconvenient truths I guess.

  98. Bill Illis (05:13:57) : “‘With global warming, will there still be sea ice in the Arctic?’ There will still be 6 months of darkness in the winter. The average annual temperature at the north pole is -25C. The ice really only melts back for about 2 months out of the year. If the ice melts back a little further and a little earlier, the Arctic will still be frozen solid for at least 9 months out of the year.”

    True. Note that seawater has an emissivity of 0.993, much higher than ice. Sea water is also a far better heat conductor than the ice. The albedo of seawater at high zenith angles overlaps the albedo range of ice. Those three factors favor the presence of ice at the poles.

  99. Not only that, jorgekafkazar (14:31:27), but with those polar bears reproducing all over the place their combined albedo indexes could cause a complete white out. I’m of course assuming that polar bears have an albedo index of 1 or close to it (they do have black noses after all). Maybe that is why scientists, a tasty polar bear treat although not as tasty as kittens but still ok, are so easy to sneak up on – they (the bears) have a natural invisibility cloak.

    “The albedo of an object is the extent to which it diffusely reflects light from light sources such as the Sun. It is therefore a more specific form of the term reflectivity. Albedo is defined as the ratio of diffusely reflected to incident electromagnetic radiation. It is a unitless measure indicative of a surface’s or body’s diffuse reflectivity. The word is derived from Latin albedo “whiteness”, in turn from albus “white”, and was introduced into optics in by Johann Heinrich Lambert in his 1760 work Photometria. The range of possible values is from 0 (dark) to 1 (bright).”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo

    [:)]

  100. And who needs Polar Bears anyway…if the Author of this paper happend to be around polar bears, he’d get eaten alive.

  101. The paper by Post’s research team shows that the effects of Arctic warming have been dramatic so far, especially since the warming amounts to only about 1-degree Celsius over the last 150 years. Post said it is difficult to predict what will happen with the anticipated 6-degree warming over the next century.

    it’s the “the anticipated 6-degree warming ” that gets my attention – utter BS. How can you include statements like that in a reputable science paper?

  102. “Denis Hopkins (13:41:25) :

    I take the DT every day as well and it has become much more in line twith the “science is decided” type of reporting.”

    I cancelled my DT subscription in July for that very reason. The “dead tree press” is going the way of the dodo and it only has itself to blame.

    Do yourself a favour and quit spending money on propaganda. Get the real news from blogs (like WUWT).

    Simples!

  103. GK (07:21:22) : ‘You can fool most of the people some of the time. And you can fool some of the people most of the time. But you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. ~Abraham Lincoln”

    Right, not if 2 million people who haven’t been fooled will show up at a rally in DC.

  104. Pardon me if someone else in the 100+ comments noticed the same thing, but I thought the “rubbish” was left behind by the Caitlin expedition.

  105. Is there any data from the Arctic on how much ice loss is actual melting of the top snow/ice surface, ie thawing (above zero air temp), compared to sublimation (ablation) by summer solar radiation in dry subzero air, particularly during strong prevailing winds? I understand sublimation can account for 40, even up to 80-90% in some terrains studied elsewhere, but am no expert.

  106. Heck with polat bears… Considering things like birth rates this article should have been written about Europeans.

  107. tokyoboy

    a, b, c, and d
    is grammatically correct.

    Commas separate items in a list. The ‘and’ merely indicates that is the last item in the list. The ‘and’ without the comma indicates that ‘c’ and ‘d’ are somehow related in some other way.

    As an example of what I mean -

    Some gun makers are Remington, Ruger, Smith and Wesson, and Winchester.

    ‘Smith and Wesson’ is the name of one company. Leaving out the comma before the ‘and’ would make ‘. . .Ruger, Smith and Wesson and Winchester.’ which is obviously incorrect.

    You cannot rely on the mainstream media to use correct grammar, any more than you can rely on their ‘facts’ about global warming.

    (I had to learn English myself when my parents moved from Tokyo to the U.S.) :-)

  108. “Melting ice is causing their (polar bear) numbers to drop dramatically, they warn.”
    It is a large study, “At the close of the Fourth International Polar Year….” It covers a wide area, judging by the affiliations of the 25 authors. However, nobody is from Russia.
    ;So this study presumably includes new information, since the previous studies,, from previous years. When increasing populations were in post-hunting regions. And, many of the remote populations had not been studied.
    It takes great skeptical confidence and bravery to be trashing the most recent paper before anyone has read it.

    “The researchers found Polar bears and ringed seals, both of which give birth in lairs or caves under the snow, lose many newborn pups when the lairs collapse in unusually early spring rains. These species may be headed for extinction.” Science Daily Notice how this short newspaper article has widened the plight-of-the-polar-bear issue, beyond the obvious no-ice-to-hunt-from issue.
    This is one more adaptation hurdle. How many generations would it take before they learn to look for a den in the forest?

    “The rate at which sea ice is disappearing is accelerating and those creatures (seals, bears) rely on it for shelter, hunting, and breeding. If this goes, so do they.”
    2007 was the summer of the least sea ice extent.
    But 2008 was the summer of the least sea ice volume. The thick stuff was disappearing around Greenland.
    2009 has shown an increase in extent. But what about the volume?
    This is my question: Are there any lifestyle consequences resulting from the increasing areas of first year ice? (Photographs usually show polar bears on thick ice floes.)

    ADAPTATION TO LIFE ON LAND

    This is a story that has already been televised. Public television cameras followed a mother polar bear and her cub when a lack of sea ice forced them inland. They found the berries, but missed the salmon run. She was gaunt and dirty when she curled up for the winter. I don’t remember how it ended.

    “No rational person could review this information and conclude that climate change pre-destined polar bears to extinction.” Mitchell Taylor
    Extinction is a high bar…although the word does appear in reference to pups dying in early spring rains. I think the public sentiment (and mine) would be sufficiently aroused by the possibility of the dying off of all of the polar bears in most of the regions.
    Remember the non-Mann hockey stick graphs. And the recent Arctic temperature hockey stick graph. The most significant aspect is the steepness of the blade. The current warming is happening quicker than past warmings. So there’s less time for adaptation.
    So, it seems inappropriate to bring up “evolution” when the time span will be measured in decades.
    “Adaptation” ignores the presence of the brown bears on land in some regions. There’ll be competition, and interbreeeding. Whatever the genetic outcome, the polar bear as a sub-species will be lost.

    Crossbreed polar/brown bears wouldn’t be new. But I don’t think they’ve been named yet. ‘Prizzly” and “Grolar” have been suggested.

    Male polar/male brown encounters would be more interesting. I think the plight of the polar bear sentiment might have to compete with the plight of the brown bear stories. Besides size, the polar bears could have an (easy to learn) head-butt knockout blow.

    AGW believers decry the global CO2 experiment that is continuing. Personally I think that we should not permit this resulting biological experiment to also take place. Presumably the brown bears have already expanded to the maximum carrying capacity of their region. So interloping polar bears will ultimately just displace an equal number of brown bears. Resumed hunting may be the sad, ugly, selfish, ruthless… …solution, that is still preferable to all the others.

    P.S. Eric Post’s research interests seem to be herbivores (musk ox, caribou) in Greenland. More research is needed to find who to blame for the polar bear conclusions.

  109. I worry more that a lot of people will become extinct within 70 years if the AGW crowd has its’ way. From famine (or poverty, about the same). The warmers seem to want to dig our graves.

    The PB population is limited by food supply. They will increase until there isn’t enough to eat (and I doubt if enough researchers will venture north to compensate). Their numbers may well decline if their primary food supplies (anything that walks or swims) do not get busy and reproduce. (also limited by food supply)

    Supply and demand applies at all levels.

  110. Meanwhile in sunny Northern Australia, July was quite a warm month and the drop bears retreated further into the bush. This caused relief to local people, who live in never-ending fear of that thump on the back followed by those razor sharp teeth lacerating critical veins and arteries of the neck.

    Drop Bears have adapted well to the presence of man. Telegraph and power poles have become particularly useful as drop points. On the other hand, the more modern indoor toilet has largely replaced the outhouse, where the long drop was but a short drop for the drop bear, unless the target stood up at the precise time of the strike. This was a significant mechanism (locally called ‘being in the poo’) for the moderation of Drop Bear numbers, though Climate change effects need much more research by large dedicated regional teams.

    Australia hosts many of the world’s most dangerous creatures, from the Tiapan Snake Oxyuranus scutellatus to the Blue-ringed Octopus Hapalochlaena fasciata to the nocturnal Drop Bear Bruno mercilus. All 3 are on the protected species list and harming them is illegal. Current population estimates are in excess of 100,000 in Queensland alone, this number being derived from the number of volunteers lost as a % of the combined size of the research groups counting them each night.

    It is not yet established if the Drop Bear is completely vegetarian, for the victim is never eaten in hot weather. Funded research into this vital question could answer the question of whether the Drop Bear is allergic to human perspiration, giving future hope that a remedy can be found. With the inexorable advance of Global warming, can we expect attacks to diminish? We locals certainly wish for Global Warming.

  111. I guess I get to do this again with a few embellishments. If the ice were to disappear in the arctic, the seals would have to come ashore and the polar bear would then have only two dimensional hunting ground. This may have happened in the past, driving seals down to southern waters (eg. California). Also the polar bear range from Moosonee in Northern Ontario (and Newfoundland on the east coast) to the top of the arctic Islands. Mean weather in Moosonee is 20C warmer in winter and 12-14C warmer in the summer. This means that arctic bears could certainly survive many more than a few degrees warming. Also to get an idea of the southern reach of the range, from, say, Portland Maine to Gander, Newfoundland is closer than from New York to Chicago, an hour’s flight or so.

    http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/arctic-map/

  112. Paul Maynard (04:15:43) :

    There are two things going on here, one local to the Telegraph the other to do with Copenhagen.

    In my business – the London Insurance Market – the AGW religion is ever more pernicious and intolerant of rationalist views. Still, the refusal of global temps to cooperate and the deluge of real science contradicting AGW hysteria give one hope.

    Regards

    Paul

    Hi Paul, agree with your post.

    I suspect that the insurance industry would thrive on AGW and any scare story without foundation as the most profitiable insurance surely lives in the gap between “perceived” risk and “real” risk.

    Insurance companies could sell more “storm” insurance predicated on the perceived risk of AGW Alarmist scaremongering, while raking in the profits as actual real risk of destructive storms via storm energy has decreased.

    REF: http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/

  113. Geoff Sherington (18:58:06) :

    Meanwhile in sunny Northern Australia, July was quite a warm month and the drop bears retreated further into the bush. This caused relief to local people, who live in never-ending fear of that thump on the back followed by those razor sharp teeth lacerating critical veins and arteries of the neck.

    Drop Bears have adapted well to the presence of man. Telegraph and power poles have become particularly useful as drop points. On the other hand, the more modern indoor toilet has largely replaced the outhouse, where the long drop was but a short drop for the drop bear, unless the target stood up at the precise time of the strike. This was a significant mechanism (locally called ‘being in the poo’) for the moderation of Drop Bear numbers, though Climate change effects need much more research by large dedicated regional teams.

    Australia hosts many of the world’s most dangerous creatures, from the Tiapan Snake Oxyuranus scutellatus to the Blue-ringed Octopus Hapalochlaena fasciata to the nocturnal Drop Bear Bruno mercilus. All 3 are on the protected species list and harming them is illegal. Current population estimates are in excess of 100,000 in Queensland alone, this number being derived from the number of volunteers lost as a % of the combined size of the research groups counting them each night.

    It is not yet established if the Drop Bear is completely vegetarian, for the victim is never eaten in hot weather. Funded research into this vital question could answer the question of whether the Drop Bear is allergic to human perspiration, giving future hope that a remedy can be found. With the inexorable advance of Global warming, can we expect attacks to diminish? We locals certainly wish for Global Warming.

    Geoff – are you insane??? Any increase in warming will only increase the range and duration of the deadly “Hoop Snake” Oxyuranus Hulaii; that vicious and ferocious outback predator that lurks on high ground, only to grasp it’s tail in its mouth and roll down hill – hoop like – before launching itself onto the throats of unwary and unsuspecting humans.

  114. We had the NZ Actor Lucy Lawless going on about she didn’t want to see Polar Bears drowning. That was one of the main reasons she was one of the NZ actors along with Keisha Castle-Hughes fronting the Greenpeace NZ Sign on for 40% emission reductions by 2020 Propaganda Crap campaign.

    Yep she could adopt a drowning Polar Bear. If she can find one. She’ll become extinct before the bear does though!

  115. Jack Simmons (08:56:21) :

    tallbloke (04:58:37) :

    Aron (23:40:17) :
    us who are always credited with destroying life but because of us many species have a chance of survival that they never had before.

    Could you expand on this a little please.

    Here’s at least three species doing much better with mankind:

    Blattella germanica

    Canis latrans

    Rattus rattus…… and some more species doing well because of humans.

    Equus ferus caballus

    Felis catus

    Ovis aries

    Bos primigenius

    Columba livia……

  116. The DMI keeps dropping like a rock, hugging the norm line.
    The sun goes down up there in 1 week.
    Last year, it stayed well above the current temps, so it’s at least 2 degees colder this year.
    This keeps up and the AMSR-E is going to take off like a Saturn V.
    My Polar Cap runneth over.

  117. Francis,

    “The current warming is happening quicker than past warmings. So there’s less time for adaptation.
    So, it seems inappropriate to bring up “evolution” when the time span will be measured in decades.”

    Utter nonsense! Why do alarmists only think of adaptation in evolutionary terms? Any zoologist knows that adaptation has a behavioural dimension, especially when you are talking about higher organisms, viz birds and mammals. This simple fact constantly confounds the doomsayers as they wave their arms despariingly at the millions of years needed for evolutionary change. Yet all the while, behind their backs, these cunning critters are proving more than a match, amazing us all with their abilities to adapt their behaviour.

    And this is just common sense really, because for your information, prehistoric climate shifts have occured with lightning speeds, with temperature shifts of a few degrees occuring in less than a century.

    The ignorance of so-called learned people never ceases to amaze me.

  118. In the photo in the opening thread header, it looks like someone has photoshopped some rough floating ice in the background. If this was the real article, then it was created for effect, obviously.

  119. Thomas J Arnold 12:54:16:
    Denis Hopkins 13:41:25
    NickB 15:20:05

    Hi, all. I agree that the Telegraph is not as it was; nevertheless it still prints articles that don’t follow the AGW line. I can’t give you chapter and verse of everything I’ve read, but recent articles by Janet Daley and Gerald Warner were very critical of the London School of Economics’ idea of reducing population to reduce CO2 emissions for instance; Jeff Howell is openly sceptical in his column about house maintenance and James Delingpole is as anti-AGW as you can get and there have been others. I was just trying to be fair, that’s all.
    Denis, about light bulbs: Millions of people have replaced their incandescent bulbs with halogen lights fitted into the ceiling or on tracks, and typically use four to six of these where they previously only had a 100-watt bulb. At 50 watts a go they’re now burning 200-300 watts per room, but nobody wants to ban halogens. Funny, that.

  120. janama (17:03:43)

    Thank you for that reference, but the point that I was raising was that observations in a variety of glacial terrains indicate that a surprisingly high proportion of snow and ice loss has been attributed to dry state evaporative loss to cold dry air below freezing point, and it may or may not be wise to just equate loss of Arctic ice solely to temperature variation. Atmospheric humidity and wind speed may be significant controls, but until data has been obtained at high latitudes there remains uncertainty. The possible significance to AGW claims is that variation in ice thickness is not neccessarily a straightforward indicator of warming.

    All of this is of course in addition to the effects of prevailing wind vectors/ sea currents on physical break up and drift and cyclicity of variable sub-ice sea temperature discussed on previous WUWT threads.

  121. What’s going on with the background of that photograph? It looks like its been altered. The background seems to have had chunks of ice drawn in to either hide something in the background or possibly to put the idea of breaking ice in the viewer’s mind. Further to that, the ice in the foreground and middle are different colors, although the shadows match.
    What do you reckon?

  122. Francis (18:29:38) :

    Presumably the brown bears have already expanded to the maximum carrying capacity of their region. So interloping polar bears will ultimately just displace an equal number of brown bears. Resumed hunting may be the sad, ugly, selfish, ruthless… …solution, that is still preferable to all the others.

    No a thousand times no. Biologist used to have the golden rule that you do not intervene in the outcome of the natural the processes that you are observing.

    If you intervene in an event that you find distasteful then you haven’t understood and nor can you convey the essence of our natural world.

    This in no way conflicts with the concept of conservation where man has a direct interaction with the environment and therefore has a natural part to play in the outcome.

  123. Excuse me, but did anyone notice the Telegraph’s related stories to this? Included on their Web page is a link to this piece: “Polar bears face damage to hearing from Arctic industrialisation.”
    Apparently polar bears are not only at risk for drowning and starvation, but also at risk for hearing loss. Nowhere in the story do they mention the sorts of noisy industries that are moving into the Arctic. Has GM opened a new assembly plant at the North Pole?? Are road crews jackhammering a new highway between Siberia and Greenland?? Where do these people get this stuff??
    Just when you think things can’t get anymore ridiculous….

  124. I was going to post a link to a web site (Polar Bears International) which *had* an ‘ask the experts’ section regarding polar bear population.

    Unfortunately:

    that article has changed to reflect the views of the web site owners.
    the name of the scientist/expert who answered the question has been removed.
    the response concentrates on discussing ice loss as the cause of declines than the actual populations.
    the majority of factual information was removed.

    Note to self – if there’s something that you find is important on the internet, get a screenshot and capture the text of the page.

    The current page is here: http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/ask-the-experts/population/

    Although I wouldn’t advocate the site as necessarily an authority on Polar Bears, there is some decent *basic* information if you can avoid the [AGW] propaganda and ‘touchy feely’ stuff (disclaimer: do not touch or feel polar bears as they are liable to rip your arm off and use it as seal bait. Any pictures you may see of people hugging polar bears is done by trained professionals who have accepted the loss of an arm, leg or even their head as a minor inconvenience compared to getting The Message across).

  125. Apparently WWF doesn’t read its own publications. On page 9, they present a table of the arctic polar bear population status. They divide the arctic into twenty different regions (the arctic is not one monolithic climatic entity). The polar bear populations of 6 regions are unknown, 10 regions are stable, 2 regions are decreasing, and 2 regions are increasing. There are asterisks on two of the stable regions and one of the decreasing regions–it means those trends are uncertain. It is interesting to note, that those arctic regions where the temperatures are stable, the corresponding polar bear populations are also stable; those regions where the temperatures are increasing the corresponding polar bear populations are also increasing; and those regions where the temperatures are decreasing the polar bear population are also decreasing.

    Wikipedia claims a more sinister outcome due to a recent survey (Proceedings of the 14th Working Meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group. 32.) 5 of the 19 polar bear subpopulations are in decline. All 5 surveys showing decline were done by a computer model (the PVA model RISKMAN–PVA means population viability analysis).

    Jim

  126. The results show that spring begins considerably sooner than before. The blossoming and pollination period of plants starts as much as twenty days sooner in comparison to the situation ten years ago.

    I said.

    I know better than to take their statements at face value. Over the next week or so I’ll see what the surface stations show.

    With this one it’s obvious that spring in the first three years were not only earlier but much warmer at the outset. I might use a running average over subsequent plots and see if it makes a better visual.

    Canoing our way to Burrow Alaska we hope to find robust evidence of earlier springs in the Arctic harming the native critters.

    As you can see, early spring in the later years came in with a cold snap but that shouldn’t have disturbed the lemmings little ice holes.

    After that they track close until later in spring when the later years are warmer.

    So far no “spring begins considerably sooner”.

  127. You know what polar bears call other animals encroaching on their territory?

    Dinner.

    (I tried it with prey, breakfast, and lunch – and dinner seemed the best idea…)

  128. First, man-made global warming is a farce, and everybody knows it, including the communists and control freaks who are pushing it.

    Second, twenty or more species go bye-bye every single day on this planet, and it’s been going on since long before man appeared on the stage.

    Anybody who thinks that we can, or should, preserve every single species on this planet is too stupid to get a job as a spell-checker in an M&M factory.

  129. I especially like the part about part of the problem of arctic animals being pushed out of their range by encroaching species from farther south. Now I know they tried to deflect this thought with talking about foxes, but I just really enjoy the mental picture of anything from down here “pushing” the largest land predator on the planet.

  130. POlar Bears are the perfect animal for running a fund raising scam:
    They are unapproachable- both by distance and hazard.
    They are nice looking in their furry white coats.
    Very few people actually see them, or ever will. ‘Experts’ can say just about anything they want without much fear of being shown to be fibbing.

  131. I was recently at Longyearbyen in the Svalbard Archipelago. The locals estimate the polar bear population in the archipelago at 2500 to 5000, and growing! The farthest south population I know of, at James Bay, is also growing. One would ask how the “projections” are made. Murray

  132. So what if polar bears become extinct? Millions, possibly billions, of species in the history of the plant earth that have failed to adapt to changing conditions have gone extinct. That’s what we call “evolution” and “survival of the fittest”. “Adapt or die” is the most basic law of nature and polar bears are just as subject to those laws as the dodo birds were.

  133. Vincent (03:13:46)

    Sudden cooling is fairly common…i.e., from volcanoes or asteroids. Or the freezing of all those Russian mammoths, with flowers in their stomachs.
    And I think the polar bears could handle the cold spell, if the seals can.
    Other causes of sudden (the non-Mann hockey stick blade) warming are harder to envision. Any suggestions?
    The MWP doesn’t come into play. It makes an appearance on the recent Arctic hockey stick graph, but only a small one.

    ADAPTATION:
    Obviously, the first step would be to read the paper, for more specifics. Then the next step would be to ask a zoologist. How long would it take for polar bears to give up hibernating on the ice, and learn to do it in a den?
    1. Need enough polar bears to learn it…to maintain genetic diversity.
    2. Will they be too warm for comfort underground?
    3. Do hibernating bears dig their own dens?
    But I don’t know enough to be an interesting conjecture-er. So remember from the paper, “These species may be headed for extinction.”

  134. Robert E. Phelan (12:10:20) :

    “Just my two cents worth: commas placed before conjunctions drive me nuts. Mr. Spock would probably suggest that “… placing a separator immediately before a joiner is not logical…” .”

    In addition to the necessity for a comma before a conjunction is a serial list to avoid ambiguity (as has been pointed out above), it’s generally recommended to place a comma before a “but,” which is generally where a pause for breath occurs and where a logical turn occurs.

    “Also, somewhat logically, if the comma or period following the quote terminates the phrase or sentence the quote is embedded in, it should be outside the quotation marks. A complete sentence used as a quote should either use ellipses, as I have done above, or it should be placed in a separate block quote.”

    That’s the style followed in Britain, and it makes more sense. For several years I used it myself, for that reason. But unfortunately the alternative style is now cast in concrete in the US and it is impossible to change it. (I’ve read that it was adapted because typographers thought it looked prettier.)

    “Keep in mind that commas are generally placed in locations in the sentence where you would normally pause for emphasis or draw a half breath while speaking. Unfortunately, the illiterati that write current style manuals haven’t had the good grace or sense to consult with me.”

    That’s because everybody has different ideas about where to pause for breath, which makes for chaos–and sometimes these idiosyncratic choices make it harder to follow the logic of a sentence. It’s been years since I’ve read material on the matter, but the justifications I read in favor of “logical” rather than phonetic comma-placement were very persuasive.

    (However, in fiction and poetry, idiosyncratic comma placement is not only OK but sometimes essential. James Thurber once showed Harold Ross how mangled certain famous passage of poetry would become if they were edited in accordance with the New Yorker’s style.)

  135. MartinGAtkins (05:29:58)

    “…the golden rule that you do not intervene in the outcome of the processes that you are observing.”

    I’m sympathetic to such principles from academic biologists. But I note that they’re on the losing side of the argument. (I’ll pass over the condor and the whooping crane, as special cases.)

    A FEW EXAMPLES:
    …Poisoning of small lakes, to kill off the intruder species.
    …Alaskan killing of wolves from helicopter to increase big game populations.
    …Similar hunting season decisions elsewhere.
    …In the west, rounding up wild horses, to favor burros and the desert bighorn sheep.
    …Bounties on predators.

    I think that the polar bear situation fits your concept, “where man has a direct interaction with the environment and therefore has a natural part to play in the outcome.”
    In part…I’m only suggesting the reintroduction of the polar bear hunting seasons, that have existed in the past.
    (Obviously, we’re assuming a warming world…whatever the cause.)

    These are triage considerations contemplated only to protect the brown bear gene pool from cold weather genetic adaptations that would be disadvantageous in such a warming world:
    …large size
    …adaptations for head-butting ice
    …greater insulation
    …etc.
    The first thing that comes to mind is running ability. Brown bears are fast. I’ve never seen (on TV) polar bears running fast. But then, they were running on ice…

  136. “”” pat (23:44:10) :

    Hmmm. So those other animals are like……..food to Polar Bears. Right? The largest and meanest carnivore on Earth is scared of lemmings and rodents? Birds and walruses? What am I missing here? “””

    Pat you just won yourself a cigar; maybe a hat too. What really made me laugh my A*** off, is the efficient way you put it.

    According to a recent PBS program, Polar Bears, and Grizzlies (Kodiaks) are darn near the same thing; sort of like Stoats, and Ermine.

    And both those bears are quite happy to hunt and ambush humans, and any other calories on the hoof critter that comes into their territory.

    If I’m not mistaken, Alaska is the only place on earth, where it is not legal to hunt polar bears. Not that I am advocating that; as it turns out I think PBs (Kodiaks too) are kind of neat critters. Growing up in a land that has NO native land mammals, I get a kick out of anything that walks on all fours.

    But thanks for the daily humor Pat; it’s been a week that could use some of that.

    George

  137. “”” jorgekafkazar (14:31:27) :

    Bill Illis (05:13:57) : “‘With global warming, will there still be sea ice in the Arctic?’ There will still be 6 months of darkness in the winter. The average annual temperature at the north pole is -25C. The ice really only melts back for about 2 months out of the year. If the ice melts back a little further and a little earlier, the Arctic will still be frozen solid for at least 9 months out of the year.”

    True. Note that seawater has an emissivity of 0.993, much higher than ice. Sea water is also a far better heat conductor than the ice. The albedo of seawater at high zenith angles overlaps the albedo range of ice. Those three factors favor the presence of ice at the poles. “””

    Over what spectral range does water have an emissivity of 0.993 ? In the solar spectral range water has a refractive index of 1.33 which gives it a normal Fresnel reflection coefficient of 2%, and a Brewster angle of about 53 degrees. So the total Fresnel reflectance is pretty near constant over that 53 deg range, which includes about 64% of the reflected diffuse irradiance. Including the remainder of diffuse irradiance, water reflects about 3% of the solar spectrum. This would seem to limit the emissivity for that spectral range to 0.97.

    I have never seen long wave refractive index data for water, so I can’t comment on the long wave IR emissivity; but somehow 0.993 sounds high but by an irrelevent amount IMHO.

    In any case there is a reason for ice in the arctic; so I wouldn’t look there for any great contribution to earth’s radiation balance. Try the mid-day tropical equatorial deserts to find out where the real radiative cooling of this planet takes place; and it happens in broad daylight for all to see. UHIs also do their part for cooling the planet.

    George

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