Nunavut Government Study: “the [polar] bear population is not in crisis as people believed,”

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From the Daily Globe and Mail in Canada:

Healthy polar bear count confounds doomsayers

The debate about climate change and its impact on polar bears has intensified with the release of a survey that shows the bear population in a key part of northern Canada is far larger than many scientists thought, and might be growing.

The number of bears along the western shore of Hudson Bay, believed to be among the most threatened bear subpopulations, stands at 1,013 and could be even higher, according to the results of an aerial survey released Wednesday by the Government of Nunavut. That’s 66 per cent higher than estimates by other researchers who forecasted the numbers would fall to as low as 610 because of warming temperatures that melt ice faster and ruin bears’ ability to hunt. The Hudson Bay region, which straddles Nunavut and Manitoba, is critical because it’s considered a bellwether for how polar bears are doing elsewhere in the Arctic.

I located the survey done by the Government of Nunavut, here:

http://env.gov.nu.ca/sites/default/files/foxe_basin_polar_bears_2012.pdf

It seems sound in methodology. Some excerpts from it are posted below.

Summary
Polar bear population assessment in North America has historically relied on physical mark-recapture. These studies are logistically and financially intensive, and while widely accepted in the scientific community, local Inuit have voiced opposition to wildlife handling. To better reflect Inuit values and provide a rapid tool for monitoring polar bear population size, we developed and implemented an aerial survey in the Foxe Basin subpopulation (FB) during late summer, 2009 and 2010. FB, a seasonally ice-free subpopulation, spans some 1.1 million km2 in Nunavut. Polar bears concentrate along the coast during late summer, so we delineated survey zones based on proximity to the coastline.

We used coastal contour transects, inland transects oriented perpendicular to the coast, and total counts on a sample of small islands and ice floes. We focused effort in the high-density coastal region and designed protocols to enable simultaneous collection of double-observer and distance sampling data from a helicopter. We flew >300 hours and 40,000 km during each year’s survey and observed 816 and 1,003 individuals in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In both years, we observed high numbers of bears on islands in northern Foxe Basin and on Southampton Island, neighboring islands and near Lyon Inlet.

Encounter rates were highest near the coast, although bears were observed >40 km inland. The shape of the detection function differed substantially between years, likely attributable to observer experience and variable sighting conditions. However, our abundance estimates were highly consistent between years and survey methods, (~2,580 bears (95% CI: about 2,100 – 3,200), and were comparable to an estimate from the early 1990s. Our results suggest that Nunavut’s management regime has enabled polar bear abundance in FB to remain relatively stable.

Whereas mark−recapture data provide direct estimates of population growth, aerial survey data yield information population on trend only via a time series of population estimates; accordingly, reliance on such data may require more conservative harvest management. The FB aerial surveys provide a framework for future studies during the ice-free season. Ongoing analysis will evaluate the distribution of bears in Foxe Basin and assess alternatives for long-term monitoring.

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Figure 2. Transects flown during the Foxe Basin polar bear subpopulation aerial survey, August to October, 2010.

Results
We completed the FB aerial surveys during August – September, 2009 and August – October, 2010. We successfully sampled nearly all planned transects in both years (Figure 2), despite particularly challenging weather conditions in 2010. We observed 816 and 1,003 polar bears, including 616 and 790 independent bears, in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Observed litter sizes were similar between years: in 2009, cub of the year (coy) and yearling / 2-year-old litter sizes averaged 1.57 (SD: 0.55, n = 75) and 1.55 (SD: 0.54, n = 53); mean litter sizes were 1.53 (SD: 0.57, n = 80) and 1.40 (SD: 0.50, n=65) for coy and yearlings / 2-year-olds, respectively, in 2010.
The distribution of polar bears was generally consistent between years (Figure 3). High concentrations of bears were observed in central Foxe Basin near Lyon Inlet and on Southampton Island and neighboring Coats, Vansittart, and White Islands and in northern Foxe Basin on Rowley, Koch, Prince Charles, and the Spicer Islands. Relatively few bears were spotted along Hudson Strait and in the Bowman Bay region of western Baffin Island, and sightings were rare near communities. Bears were most frequently observed along coastal contour transects, in the nearshore inland stratum and on large and small islands, but sightings were documented across all strata (Figure 3).

Total Abundance
Despite different analytical techniques and detection functions, the four preliminary abundance estimates were remarkably consistent (Table 2). Model averaging yielded a preliminary overall abundance estimate of about 2,580 bears in the Foxe Basin subpopulation, with a 95% lognormal confidence interval of 2,093 to 3,180 (CV: 10.7%).

Survey done by the Government of Nunavut, here:

http://env.gov.nu.ca/sites/default/files/foxe_basin_polar_bears_2012.pdf

It seems like a superior methodology to say, seeing three drowned polar bears at sea after a storm and then extrapolating that to the entire population like one now discredited and disgraced researcher did. Of course, honest science like what was done in this survey doesn’t make headlines or wailing and gnashing of teeth by NGO’s and Al Gore, and even Science magazine who much prefer to stick to the view of a declining Ursus Bogus population:

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==============================================================

Back to the Globe and Mail article:

The study shows that “the bear population is not in crisis as people believed,” said Drikus Gissing, Nunavut’s director of wildlife management. “There is no doom and gloom.”

Mr. Gissing added that the government isn’t dismissing concerns about climate change, but he said Nunavut wants to base bear-management practices on current information “and not predictions about what might happen.”

The debate over the polar-bear population has been raging for years, frequently pitting scientists against Inuit. In 2004, Environment Canada researchers concluded that the numbers in the region had dropped by 22 per cent since 1984, to 935. They also estimated that by 2011, the population would decrease to about 610. That sparked worldwide concern about the future of the bears and prompted the Canadian and American governments to introduce legislation to protect them.

But many Inuit communities said the researchers were wrong. They said the bear population was increasing and they cited reports from hunters who kept seeing more bears. Mr. Gissing said that encouraged the government to conduct the recent study, which involved 8,000 kilometres of aerial surveying last August along the coast and offshore islands.

===================================================================

What I found most interesting is the clear message that polar bears are thriving in an environment where sea ice (NSIDC includes Hudson Bay as sea ice) seasonally disappears entirely.

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Note in the Cryosphere Today comparison image above, Hudson Bay is completely ice free around the time of Arctic maximum melt ~ Sept 30.

It seems the Polar bears can adapt to non-existent sea ice and do just fine.

Of course this isn’t news, as I’ve previously reported: Polar Bears Survived the Ice Free Arctic

So when you see claims like this one from the National Resources Defense Council

Scientists predict that Arctic summers could be ice-free by the middle of this century-without sea ice, polar bears cannot survive.

Or this one from Polar Bears International

Asked by CNSNews.com about the IUCN body’s findings regarding populations remaining stable, Buchanan pointed out the group’s acknowledgment of insufficient data in some of the 19 sub-populations. He concluded that “without ice polar bears can’t survive.”

…we can pull out Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.’s handy button that he provided for the IPCC SREx report and apply it to polar bears and sea ice, citing the survey done by the Government of Nunavut.

 

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94 Responses to Nunavut Government Study: “the [polar] bear population is not in crisis as people believed,”

  1. mrsean2k says:

    In the 20th / 21st Centuries, Polar bear population has generally been a reliable proxy for CAGW, right up to the point where it stopped responding correctly to the dangerous increase in global temperature anomaly.

    This is well acknowledged in the literature and, while we await further funds for investigation, we strip the known incorrect values from the proxy data. It’s just a neat trick.

  2. Latitude says:

    too hot…..too cold…..just right

    Stupid bears wouldn’t even be here if it didn’t do that………

  3. Bill Thomson says:

    What is most remarkable is that this was published in the Globe and Mail.

  4. Milwaukee Bob says:

    What? The vast majority of the sightings of the bears were on land or on the shoreline?? WUWT?!? I thought they all lived on ice…. /sarc

  5. Ray says:

    No sighting of polar bears on the ice. So we can conclude that there is no ice. They were right.

    /sarc

  6. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    The comments section for that article are hilarious.

    Must really, really hurt the G&M to have to print that. They have been major AGW Fear Monger spreaders since they figured out it helped sell advertising space & jumped their revenues.

    Dr. Suzuki gets a particularly appropriate reaming in the comments.

    As someone who lived there for a couple of years I will always take the word of an Inuk hunter over some trumped up PhD “ishiamahongitook” type who thinks he is cool because he drives a Prius.

  7. Dodgy Geezer says:

    How long will it be before you read:

    ‘Polar Bears saved from extinction by Carbon Trading laws! We must redouble our efforts, says Greenpeace – this shows that funding Greenpeace can really pay off…’…

  8. TomRude says:

    @ Bill Thomson, but Andrew Desrocher is featured prominently too in order to undermine the study…

  9. Michael Palmer says:

    Bill Thomson says:
    April 5, 2012 at 9:18 am

    What is most remarkable is that this was published in the Globe and Mail.

    And with the pithy title to boot.

    Maybe global warming doesn’t kill polar bears after all, but just makes them bipolar?

  10. Ockham says:

    Hide the incline !

  11. Milwaukee Bob says:

    “without ice polar bears can’t survive.”
    So, do they hibernate in the summer? No Alice. P. bears live on the land (except for the dead of winter) but hunt from the shore, or ice flows, or the edge of the ice as it expands and contracts. Why? Because that is where their food hangs-out. See, with non-humans Alice, you follow the food of our prey, as any good human hunter will tell you. You could say the same of our ancestors, but of course with modern humans you follow-the-money…. especially if they are Climate Scientists.

  12. albertalad says:

    If anyone with half a brain actually understood the high Arctic, and I have lived there, would have known the Polar Bears were in no danger. We’ve even been having stories of polar bears all the way from Newfoundland, all up the Labrador coast, all over the place in Nunavut and other high Arctic areas local have been seeing for 20 years. Only the AGW “professionals” who barely spend a few days in the high Arctic would claim Polar Bears were in trouble. And of course Southerners who know nothing about nothing North of their own house. It was laughable to being with – and outright lies to continue – the usual idiocy Southerners lap up directly because they WANT to believe what newspapers write and what AGW talking hears like Gore and others tell them. Even worst – none of them want to know the truth. I’ve been on this for years knowing full well what the Inuit, Newfoundlanders, and those living on the coast of Labrador have been claiming for decades. Polar bears were in good shape and their population growing. When Sarah Palin tried to correct the record she was called dumb, stupid, and an idiot. And SHE lived in Polar Bear country – while those who called her ever name under the sun never saw a polar bear in their lives. THAT is the state of society today – shameful!

  13. pat says:

    “Prof. Derocher also said some details in the survey pointed to a bear population in trouble. For example, the survey identified 50 cubs, which are usually less than 10 months old, and 22 yearlings, roughly 22 months old. That’s nearly one-third the number required for a healthy population, he said. “This is a clear indication that this population is not sustaining itself in any way, shape, or form.”

    This warmist, a backbencher in Alberta, is really pissed the wildlife management group not only accepted the study, but seemed elated.

  14. “Over all, about 450 polar bears are killed annually across Nunavut.”

    As Ace would say, hundreds of Polar Bears are killed each year by global warming and bullets, but mostly by bullets.

  15. pat says:

    Best comment in the G&M. It appears drinking Coke is good for them.

  16. David Larsen says:

    I have probably said this before but I used to hunt moose up there for a number of years. We got checked by the province once for license and the man had just come off detail rounding up polar bears in town on the Hudson Bay. They had to routinely haul them via truck and dump them away from town. They would tranquilize them and throw them in back of a pick up. One was so large it filled the bed and legs hanging out touched the ground. They also had a family move into an abandoned house there recently. All the comforts of home.

  17. rgbatduke says:

    I’m perfectly happy to believe that polar bears are at some risk, but not from climate change. Humans hunting them, humans hunting or altering the habitat of their primary prey, that sort of thing has very definitely had a significant impact on many animal populations. Polar bears are relatively dangerous animals, and as people encroach on their habitat, conflicts that the bears are going to lose in the long run are inevitable. Grizzlies suffer from the same problem — big, dangerous, ill-tempered bears that one doesn’t want to disturb in close quarters and that one is inclined to shoot if it happens anyway and you’re armed. The choice being to be torn to bits and eaten…

    Otherwise, polar bears are apex predators. They eat almost anything, and nothing eats them (but maybe an Orca in open water). As long as there is food in sufficient abundance, they will be fine, and polar bears can in a pinch survive in the same places and the same ways that a grizzly can. They might overheat in a desert, but even in summertime the ocean waters of Hudson bay are going to be damn cold.

    rgb

  18. Jeff Norman says:

    Please note that this survey of the Fox Basin polar bear population probably underestimated the actual population. Since the survey was sponsored by the Nunavut government, it only covered the coastal areas in Nunavut and did not cover the coastal areas in NW Quebec.

    There is an interesting jurisdictional conflict at work here. The Nunavut government probably wants to promote tourism including hunting of polar bears. The Quebec government wants to promote the AGW scare to promote their abundance of hydroelectric resources.

    I agree that the Globe and Mail probably published this story through clenched teeth.

    There was another story in the National Post last week about a man waking up in the middle of the night in his home in Newfoundland (yes the island, not Labrador) to discover a Polar Bear in his kitchen. They shot it, of course.

    And then there was the story from two or three years ago about the polar bear and her two cubs wandering into Whitehorse. They shot them of course.

  19. Steve C says:

    Quickly, legislate to permit polar bear hunting again, to “correct” the figures!

  20. crosspatch says:

    Ice is not a polar bear nutrient.

  21. Allen says:

    I want that red button! “That was bull—-!”

  22. Stilgar says:

    Doesn’t matter.

    The polar bears are protected now because they might be harmed at some future date by what may happen if the projections of some computer models are correct.

  23. Jeff Norman says:

    BTW, for those who don’t know, Hudson Bay is usually ice free during the summer and has been so since at least the early 17th century when Henry Hudson first started mapping it. Those polar bears clearly need better indoctrination.

  24. Stacey says:

    “Global Warming is causing the Polar Bear population to increase to such an alarming size that the indigineous innuit people and harp seals are threatened with extinction. This is a direct result of the planets pain caused by CO2 emissions. Basking sharks never before seen in the arctic ocean are in abundant supply and are now the staple diet of the polar bear.”
    Many a true word spoken in jest ;-)

  25. Luther Wu says:

    So who cares how many studies claim to “prove” that mankind isn’t destroying this lovely planet? It’s all big oil propaganda, anyway.

    We all know we’re guilty.

  26. Gary says:

    Shelby Steele, writing in today’s Wall Street Journal about the Treyvon Martin tragedy, makes a point about what he calls “poetic truth.”

    Poetic truth is like poetic license where one breaks grammatical rules for effect. Better to break the rule than lose the effect. Poetic truth lies just a little; it bends the actual truth in order to highlight what it believes is a larger and more important truth. … The great trick of poetic truth is to pass itself off as the deep and essential truth so that hard facts that refute it must be dismissed in the name of truth.

    This applies to global warming alarmism and polar bear populations as a specific example just as well as. The point is that truth is absolute (despite what people say to justify themselves). A little bending makes it no longer the truth. And if something isn’t true, it’s sure to do you more harm than good.

  27. Nick in vancouver says:

    Polar Bears have been making it onto Newfoundland, with the increase in sea ice, this year. Having a ball eating sheep and chickens. Not great for the 4 or 2 legged locals, one had his house broken into by a nosy bear and another, which was the ultimate insult to a canuk, had his snow mobile trashed.

  28. HaroldW says:

    The Globe and Mail understates the case. They wrote, “The number of bears along the western shore of Hudson Bay, believed to be among the most threatened bear subpopulations, stands at 1,013 and could be even higher.” However, the study makes it clear that 1013 bears were actually sighted, and the estimated bear population is actual 2000-3000. It would seem that it is this number (2-3K) which should be compared with Environment Canada’s prediction of 610. In other words, EC wasn’t within a country mile.

  29. shrnfr says:

    Big Al Gorge can hardly “bear” to hear the news…

  30. Political Junkie says:

    “Environmentalists” ALWAYS heed and yield to the wisdom of the aboriginal elders (except when the elders report something positive!).

  31. P Walker says:

    I’ve been wondering for years why anyone thought that Polar bears needed ice to survive .

  32. kim2ooo says:

    Michael Palmer says:
    April 5, 2012 at 9:29 am
    Maybe global warming doesn’t kill polar bears after all, but just makes them bipolar?

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    THATS CUTE!! Thank you for the link! :)

  33. Bob Diaz says:

    // SATIRE //

    What’s wrong with there stupid bears? The computer models and environmentalists are saying that their numbers are dropping like crazy. Clearly the bears need to be properly educated. Please send large sums of money to ….

  34. Paul Westhaver says:

    After suffering the effects of a beating stick by we skeptics, some science has now been done. Low and behold the results are the OPPOSITE oo what the EPA based putting the polar bears in the “at risk” category.

    Message to you so-called scientists…. if you want to remain credible and not be relegated to the ash-heap of history as priests of a dead green religion… just shut up about things you don’t understand and stay out of politics, particularly when the science affecting the politics has not been done.

    This is yet another case in point of Abuse of Science by Greens.

    The federal government of Canada ought to investigate the abuse of federal funds in “green” research. They should prosecute researchers who engaged in science fraud.

  35. The North mayby lousy with polar bears tripping over each other and waiting their turn by the dumsters, but one of this matters. Warmies are just doubling-up on the message, holding a steady course until their ship goes down. Then they’ll walk to the shore on the back of crowded polar bears and will jump on the next pork wagon, “sustainablity.”

    Btw, Stilgar, as in Stilgar the Naib at Sietch Tabr? Ok, all Dunies here raise a hand; mine’s up.

  36. The doomsayers need to l’arn sompfin from dem b’ars. First of all, Bears and Models are mutually exclusive, unless Daryl Hannah is in the mix. And then, it’s only a one-time affair. Secondly, Ursus Maritimus is adept at adaptation. After all, it BECAME so as a result of climate change. You know, it adapted, see? Like a Ptarmigan or a Snowshoe Hare, only cuter and more dangerous. Thirdly, Doom and Gloom are so last year. Now it’s gloom and disruption. Where’s Kari Norgaard when you need her?

  37. Luther Wu says:
    April 5, 2012 at 10:09 am

    We all know we’re guilty.

    Like I said, where is Kari when we neeeeeeeed her.

  38. Russ R. says:

    It’s worth taking a look at the comments section in the Globe and Mail article.

    The commentary from online readers is predominantly skeptical of environmental alarmism.

  39. kim2ooo says:

    BREAKING

    In October, two IG agents interviewed Jeffrey Gleason, an avian biologist and Interior employee who co-authored that paper. In a tense conversation — revealed in the transcript PEER released today — agents Eric May and John Meskel questioned the validity of the database Gleason and Monnett used to conclude an uptick in polar bear deaths in open water.

    Now investigators are turning their sights on the current operator of that database: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In an email sent in January, and provided by PEER, May asks to interview the employee in NOAA’s National Marine Mammal Lab who oversees the surveys recorded in the database…”

    http://junkscience.com/2012/04/05/update-polar-bear-gate-investigation-goes-interagency/

  40. crosspatch says:

    That’s 66 per cent higher than estimates by other researchers who forecasted the numbers would fall to as low as 610 because of warming temperatures that melt ice faster and ruin bears’ ability to hunt.

    Wasn’t it those researchers’ forecasts that were the basis for EPA’s regulating CO2? Since that has now been falsified by observational data, wouldn’t that justify the reversal of EPA CO2 regulations?

    The coal mining industry might be interested in that study. The United Mine Workers are pretty upset at the EPA right now.

  41. lowercasefred says:

    I’m so surprised. But did they see the manbearpig?

    1. Have they told Al?
    2. What did he say?

  42. Baa Humbug says:

    I’ll let you all in on a secret but please don’t tell the warmists.

    The Tourism Bureau of Nunavut employed out of work oil drillers and uni students to wear polar bear suits during survey flights. There is NO evidence that the sighted bears were bears.

  43. Michael D Smith says:

    Good comment at G&M:
    “Polar bear population feared healthy, Big Environment fundraisers find”
    or
    “In serious climate change, the polar bear will migrate south and the homeless will become part of their natural diet”

    (homeless no doubt created by anti-carbon initiatives)

  44. Jenn Oates says:

    Well…I didn’t believe it.

    But I don’t live in the echo chamber, and reception is much better out here. Facts have a habit of actually making it through on a regular basis!

  45. Tenuk says:

    Populations not recovering. Just lots of Inuit hunting guides crawling round wearing polar bear skins. They depend on rich hunters from the West for a good part of their income./sarc

  46. RHS says:

    As long as the Polar Bears don’t run out of Coke and Penguins, they’ll be alright.
    /Sarc

  47. Latitude says:

    They tried this same ‘trick’ with manatees…..
    the green groups were in control of counting manatee populations

    Until Fish and Wildlife had to answer to the commercial fishing, diving, and boating industries….
    …and the real numbers came out

    Manatees were not endangered at all………….

  48. Cam_S says:

    From January 2008…

    Local Inuit hunters say there are lots of polar bears.
    But Greenpeace says they are in danger from global warming.

    Bear litigation a ploy, say Inuit groups
    Environmentalists’ lawsuit “is not very constructive, but meant for publicity.”
    http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/archives/2008/801/80118/news/nunavut/80118_858.html

  49. KNR says:

    Now normal the AGW fan club are very keen on ‘Native Wisdom’ it suits all that Gaia BS.
    But I have a feeling in this case these native’s wisdom will worth nothing compared to the ‘experts’

    By the way how is the ‘king of the polar bear scare ‘ doing these days , he was under investgation but that has all gone quite , so anyone know?

  50. Mike Smith says:

    Solar power, polar bears, entire countries submerged by the ocean, hockey sticks, tree rings, hurricane frequency, thermometers adjacent to air conditioners, wind farms… this so called “science” just keeps on comin’.

    One starts to wonder if the real agenda is less about global warming, or even the redistribution of wealth. And more about the destruction of science itself.

    Science has represented a lethal threat to ideology in many periods throughout history. I’m sure there are some who would like to see that threat neutralized through a comprehensive discrediting of its findings.

  51. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    They want to “base management practices on current information and not predictions about what might happen”.

    I propose a constitutional ammendment that requires the government to do just that!

  52. Pointman says:

    “In conclusion and moving back to conversations with young people, I always agree with them in the end that the Polar bear situation is terrible but what I’m really thinking is terrible, is just how successful propaganda can be.”

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/polar-bears-going-extinct-yawn/

    Pointman

  53. AJ says:

    Here’s an interesting article about the polar bear fur trade. Looks like the Inuit hunters/guides are harvesting about 500 bears a year. A good pelt can go for over $10,000 at auction:

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/02/16/were-shooting-polar-bears/

  54. Crispin in Johannesburg, not Waterloo at the moment says:

    “But many Inuit communities said the researchers were wrong. They said the bear population was increasing and they cited reports from hunters who kept seeing more bears.”

    But what would people on the ground know about local ‘anything’? Like temperature, snow, bears, rain, tree frogs…?

    I am astonished that the Globe and Mail printed this. It has become a vessel of unreadable diatribes against climate realism with the demi-god Suzuki as their database-in-residence. I had no doubt that they would soon start a campaign against Inuit kayaks as being so inherently unstable they are therefore impossible to use as a mode of maratime conveyance – a computer model of the craft having proven this in numerous simulations. No doubt an engineer fell over trying to paddle one during an empirical test.

    Polar bears are at risk wherever there are people because they are ruddy dangerous, the bears, that is.

  55. Latitude says:

    Global Warming Link to Drowned Polar Bears Melts Under Searing Fed Probe

    Special agents from the Interior Department’s inspector general’s office are questioning the two government scientists about the paper they wrote on drowned polar bears, suggesting mistakes were made in the math and as to how the bears actually died, and the department is eyeing another study currently underway on bear populations.

    Biologist Charles Monnett, the lead scientist on the paper, was placed on administrative leave July 18. Fellow biologist Jeffrey Gleason, who also contributed to the study, is being questioned, but has not been suspended.

    Investigators are also examining Monnet’s procurement of one of those research studies on polar bears conducted by Canada’s University of Alberta, as well as the “disclosure of personal relationships and preparation of the scope of work,” according to a July 29 memo from the Interior Department’s inspector general’s office.

    In particular, investigators are asking questions about the peer review work on Monnett’s drowned polar bear paper, which was done by his wife, Lisa Rotterman,….
    as well as Andrew Derocher,…..
    the lead researcher on the Canadian study under review by the inspector general’s office.

    [Moderator's Note: Latitude, this is old news and not entirely accurate. Dr. Monnet's suspension involved potential conflict-of-interest issues in his administration of grants. He has since returned to work but without grant supervision or administration. The full scope of the inquiry and any possible further action have apparently not been revealed. Commenters are asked to NOT post misleading or partial information that may be detrimental to a person's reputation. -REP]

  56. clipe says:

    Remember the Caribou story?

    “They believe the insidious impact of climate change, its tipping of natural balances and disruption of feeding habits, is decimating a species that has long numbered in the millions and supported human life in Earth’s most inhuman climate.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/24/caribou-supposedly-roasted-by-global-warming-found-unharmed/

  57. Ursus maritimus, the maritime bear, capable of swimming over 600kms in nine days; the Arctic apex predator, in fact the largest land carnivore anywhere; the females can fast for eight months or more and still be fit enough to hunt. Ursus maritimus is the ultimate adaptor. It can swim prodigious distances; it can run 25kph when necessary. It doesn’t depend on the strangulation bite to subdue its prey which Panthera leo does. No, the bear simply crushes the skull of its prey with one bite. It hunts walrus which are twice its size and has been known to catch and kill adult narwhales.
    It interbreeds successfully with the brown bear, it is known to hunt land mammals.
    It is the ultimate survivor. It will not disappear for many centuries to come, no matter what the climate in which it lives.

  58. Paul Westhaver says:

    You may find this amusing. The greenpeace eco religion priest employed by the Globe and Mail, Martin Mittelstaedt, wrote this heap of lies in December 2005.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article925628.ece

    6 and 1/2 years later a government study, the subject of this posting by Anthony Watts, says the complete opposite.

    These two articles from the same news paper is evidence that The Globe and Mail was involved in deliberate propaganda to mislead the public. Mittlelstaedt still writes for the G&M but mostly on finance matters. Just google “Martin Mittelstaedt polar bear” and a huge listing of his lies are there for you to judge for yourself.

    This guy was supposed to be a reporter… with ethics…. He knows nothing of ethics… he simply lied, ignored contrasting opinion and advanced his religion of Greenpeace on the rest of the public.

    The facts are out… he’s a liar. He should be fired.

  59. George Lawson says:

    I’m just waitng for Richard Black of the BBC to cover the story in a news bulletin. He must be so anxious to let the world know the true facts about Polar Bears. And he must be so very excited that the Polar Bear population is growing and that they are not likely to go extinct after all. Maybe he’s doing a special programme on the subject in order to reinforce the news to the world that ‘ ‘it’s not as bad as we thought it was.’. How elated he must feel at the wonderful findings of this research group, and how anxious he must be to tell everyone that ‘the warmists were wrong’ and we want to tell you the truth. I wonder when we will see his story, after all the BBC have a reputation for putting out un-biased truths, ….don’t they?.

  60. Latitude says:

    [Moderator's Note: Latitude, this is old news and not entirely accurate. Dr. Monnet's suspension
    =====================================
    From the article linked in this post:
    The study’s conclusions drew concern from Andrew Derocher......................“This is a clear indication that this population is not sustaining itself in any way, shape, or form.”

    From the article about drowned polar bears:
    Special agents from the Interior Department’s inspector general’s office are questioning the two government scientists about the paper they wrote on drowned polar bears,

    In particular, investigators are asking questions ..................….
    as well as Andrew Derocher,…..
    the lead researcher on the Canadian study under review by the inspector general’s office.

    ................The article posted quoted Andrew Derocher ...... he has a history

    [REPLY: Comparing quotes is fair game. Outdated speculation that the investigation was focusing on the drowned-bear report when in fact it was not, and suggesting that Dr. Monnet was still under suspension, when he is not, is out of line. WUWT will not be party to defamation. Please exercise discretion. -REP]

  61. Trevor says:

    Anthony Watts Wrote:

    “What I found most interesting is the clear message that polar bears are thriving in an environment where sea ice (NSIDC includes Hudson Bay as sea ice) seasonally disappears entirely.”

    ————-
    The Food Habits of Polar Bears of
    James Bay and Southwest Hudson Bay
    in Summer and Autumn

    RICHARD H. RUSSELL1

    ABSTRACT. A study of summer and autumn food habits of polar bears (Ursus
    maritirnus Phipps) on some islands of James Bay and the coastal mainland of
    southwest Hudson Bay was conducted in 1968 and 1969. Analyses were made of 233 scats collected from islands in James Bay and 212 scats gathered on the southwest coast of Hudson Bay. Birds, primarily Anatidae, were the most commonly used summer and autumn food of bears in James Bay. Marine algae and grasses were the foods most often eaten by bears on the mainland. The diet of the bears from James Bay probably provides a better preparation for winter than the diet of those from the mainland, but evidence suggests that bears in both regions are generally in good physical condition.

    http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic28-2-117.pdf

    ————-

  62. Stephen Skinner says:

    “But many Inuit communities said the researchers were wrong.”

    Do the Inuit have a particular word for researchers not being able to count Polar Bears, or are there several?

  63. Latitude says:

    sorry didn’t mean to give you the false impression that it had anything to do with Monnet at all……the only thing I was pointing out was that the article linked quoted Andrew Derocher as poo pooing the results…..and that Andrew Derocher was the LEAD researcher in the paper on drowned polar bears…the paper that caused such a stink

    [REPLY: Thank you for the clarification. -REP]

  64. Brian H says:

    Milwaukee Bob says:
    April 5, 2012 at 9:33 am
    … P. bears live on the land (except for the dead of winter) but hunt from the shore, or ice flows,

    Or floes, even.
    _________
    This study is just another in the accumulating mound of evidence that any and every claim of the warmists can be counted on to be approximately 100% wrong. Try using that as a guideline; you’ll like it!

  65. kim2ooo says:

    Dear Moderator REP

    This seems to be new information related to what Latitude posted 0 just out today.

    “Update: Polar bear-gate investigation goes interagency

    Greenwire reports:

    An investigation into a wildlife biologist at the Interior Department has evolved into a multiagency probe of his research for a 2006 paper that galvanized the global warming movement, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

    Interior’s inspector general office began its investigation of Charles Monnett two years ago. Officials first said the probe was related to his role in a sole-source contract for a current polar bear study, but investigators have repeatedly focused their questions on Monnett’s famous 2006 paper that linked the death of polar bears to melting ice caps.

    In October, two IG agents interviewed Jeffrey Gleason, an avian biologist and Interior employee who co-authored that paper. In a tense conversation — revealed in the transcript PEER released today — agents Eric May and John Meskel questioned the validity of the database Gleason and Monnett used to conclude an uptick in polar bear deaths in open water.

    Now investigators are turning their sights on the current operator of that database: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In an email sent in January, and provided by PEER, May asks to interview the employee in NOAA’s National Marine Mammal Lab who oversees the surveys recorded in the database…”
    http://junkscience.com/2012/04/05/update-polar-bear-gate-investigation-goes-interagency/

    Greenwire reports it today as:

    “INTERIOR:
    IG turns to NOAA in probe of biologist’s 2006 polar bear paper”
    http://www.eenews.net/gw/

    [REPLY: Kimmie, you are very good. I was in fact searching for an update like that earlier today before answering latitude. Keep in mind that PEER, the source of Steve Milloy's article, is an activist organization working to make the investigation look like a witch hunt. Corroborating information from a more official or neutral source would be good. If you locate additional information, post it here or in Tips and Notes if this thread becomes "stale". So far, however, the report is simply that there seems to be an on-going investigation of something but no one is actually being accused of anything. Yet... -REP]

  66. Steve O says:

    The inclusion of the photo of the bear on the ice floe may be tongue in cheek. I believe I may recognize it from one revealed to have been photoshopped.

    In any case, I would expect a bear that size, on an ice shard that small to make some ripples in the water. Just a small weight shift would move the flow enough to cause a disturbance in the water, unlike what shows in that particular photo.

  67. michael eiseman says:

    So, at this point, I guess we can expect the Alarmista’s to go and change the name from Polar Bear Extinction to Polar Bear Disruption.

  68. David Ball says:

    Cannot wait until “environmentalists” are declared an endangered species.

  69. ntesdorf says:

    Pull out Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.’s handy bullshit button and let’s hear it for the Polar Bear. The Polar Bear has just eaten another canary in the cage.
    Anyone who has seen a Polar Bear Close up knows that they are the ultimate survivor and a huge terrifying predato not a cute and cuddly Green Peace Icon. It will not disappear for many, many centuries yet no matter what the climate in which it lives is up to, it will just adapt to it.
    Let’s see you swim 700km. in nine days, then kill and eat a walrus.

  70. J.H. says:

    There you go….. It’s amazing what you find when you actually go outside and look….;-)

  71. Billy says:

    This is all very interesting but I still hate bears. I would like to kill every one I see. There is nothing good about bears.

  72. Chris Wright says:

    Honest data beats the doom mongers and fantasy climate models every day.
    In one TV program – maybe one by the alarmist David Attenborough – it was noted that during the winter polar bears often go hungry. It’s only when the summer comes, and the ice breaks up, that they eat well. It’s obvious why. If the Arctic is completely covered by ice the bears will starve, because most likely the only source of food for them or their prey comes from open water. The bears probably won’t put on much weight by eating ice. In other words, they actually need areas of open water to survive.
    .
    If you and your friend are being attacked by a polar bear, you don’t need to outrun the bear. You just need to outrun your friend.
    Chris

  73. Disko Troop says:

    I would love to see a polar bear close up. Preferably from over Al Gore’s shoulder.

  74. Tim Minchin says:

    The best methamphetamines comes from South East Asia , and all polar bears are secretly meth heads, hence the statement, polar bears can’t live without SEA-ICE. /droll off

  75. kim2ooo says:

    Dear Moderator REP

    Thanks!! :)
    I found nothing more at the OIG [ Office of Inspector General ] pages. http://www.justice.gov/oig/new.htm They [ OIG ] probably wouldn’t be saying much, as it being an on-going investigation, though?

    I will ask if I can e-mail Mr Eric May at OIG.

  76. David says:

    I’m so glad the £3 the WWF commercials wanted us in the UK to send to help the polar bears has worked – I sort of visualised a WWF operative sidling up to a polar bear and saying: ‘Here’s three quid. Go and get yourself a nice fish supper…’
    I resisted the temptation, even though they would have sent me a nice cuddly polar bear toy in appreciation…

  77. Richard says:

    1,013 is considered a thriving population in an area as enormous as the western shore of Hudson Bay? Give me a break. I don’t believe in AGW, but those numbers are not healthy. How low does the population have to go before it inter-breeds itself into extinction. Or the population gets so low and spread far apart that they don’t find mates. And I don’t trust aerial counts. They could be counting the same bear 2 or 3 times.

  78. Richard says:

    “Prof. Derocher also said some details in the survey pointed to a bear population in trouble. For example, the survey identified 50 cubs, which are usually less than 10 months old, and 22 yearlings, roughly 22 months old. That’s nearly one-third the number required for a healthy population, he said. “This is a clear indication that this population is not sustaining itself in any way, shape, or form.”
    ————————————————————————————————————-
    Only one third the number required for a healthy population. And the cubs aren’t as fat and healthy as they were in the past. And if the adults can’t find food, they will eat their cubs. Or they will hunt more on land, increasing the chances of being killed by people. Lets not fool ourselves. Polar bears are in a lot of trouble, and it’s getting worse.

  79. Blade says:

    “Or this one from Polar Bears International

    “Asked by CNSNews.com about the IUCN body’s findings regarding populations remaining stable, Buchanan pointed out the group’s acknowledgment of insufficient data in some of the 19 sub-populations. He concluded that “without ice polar bears can’t survive.”””

    Huh? Are you kidding me? (~sigh~) These people are really too stupid to describe. How do they remember to eat and breathe?

    New York City …

    San Diego …

    Chicago …

    Kansas City …

    Germany …

    There are probably Polar Bears in every city that has a zoo. This is the consequence of arguing and debating with idiots – they multiply and spread their mental illness. These people are corrupting your own childrens’ logic and mental development while you pay taxes to support them. They must be ridiculed and humiliated.

  80. kim2ooo says:

    Richard says:
    April 6, 2012 at 6:56 am

    1,013 is considered a thriving population in an area as enormous as the western shore of Hudson Bay? Give me a break.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Not when you consider home range.
    http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/polar-bear/habitat-&-distribution.htm
    MIGRATION

    1.
    Polar bears travel throughout the year within loose, individual home ranges.

    Home range size varies among individuals depending upon access to food, mates, and dens.

    Home ranges tend to be larger than for other mammal species because sea ice habitat changes from season to season and year to year.
    °
    A small home range may be 50,000 to 60,000 sq. km (19,305-23,166 sq. mi.). Small home ranges can be found near Canadian Arctic islands.
    ° A large home range may be in excess of 350,000 sq. km (135,135 sq. mi.). Large home ranges can be found in the Bering or Chukchi seas.

    • Polar bears don’t mark their home ranges.

    2.
    Polar bears undergo seasonal migrations, following the movements of the ice pack. Some bears prefer to remain at the edge of the ice pack year-round, making extensive migrations as the ice advances and recedes. On the southern shores of Hudson Bay, some bears move onto land for summer and disperse over ice for the winter.

    3.
    Polar bears are capable of traveling 30 km (19 mi.) or more per day for several days. One polar bear was tracked traveling 80 km (50 mi.) in 24 hours. Another polar bear traveled 1,119 km (695 mi.) in one year.

  81. kim2ooo says:

    Richard says:
    April 6, 2012 at 6:56 am
    How low does the population have to go before it inter-breeds itself into extinction.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Polar Bears are natural inter-breeders.

    “Scientists believe there are 15 relatively discrete polar bear subpopulations (four others are recognized for management purposes). A subpopulation is a group of polar bears that interbreed with a range independent of but overlapping that of other polar bears. For example, two subpopulations live in the James/Hudson Bay area, one in western Hudson Bay, and the other in northwestern Ontario and James Bay.”

    Richard says:
    April 6, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Or the population gets so low and spread far apart that they don’t find mates.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    “The ratio of males to females is approximately one to one.”

    http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/polar-bear/habitat-&-distribution.htm

  82. Andrew30 says:

    The question is:
    Who is going to try and correct the Wikipedia miss-information?

  83. pwl says:

    “The study shows that “the bear population is not in crisis as people believed,” said Drikus Gissing, Nunavut’s director of wildlife management. “There is no doom and gloom.”

    Mr. Gissing added that the government isn’t dismissing concerns about climate change, but he said Nunavut wants to base bear-management practices on current information “and not predictions about what might happen.””

    When it comes to the CO2 doomsayers “gloom and doom” the Nunavut Government is clearly having none-of-it. [;)]

  84. Stephen Skinner says:

    Richard says:
    April 6, 2012 at 6:56 am
    “1,013 is considered a thriving population in an area as enormous as the western shore of Hudson Bay? Give me a break. I don’t believe in AGW, but those numbers are not healthy.”

    I thought the total Polar Bear population was around 5000 in the 1950s, which would mean the population on the western part of Hudson Bay should have been much less than today.

  85. Richard says:

    Thanks for the info, kim2000.

  86. feet2thefire says:

    Forgive me for seeming really really thick, but what could POSSIBLY cause a warm-blooded mammal to die simply from a few less degrees of cold?

    What kind of freaking logic is that, anyway? What POSSIBLE mechanism are they imagining???

    This is NOT a snarc. This has always just made me smack myself up side of my head.

  87. CRS, DrPH says:

    According to this article, there are plenty of polar bears & they are having a grand old time, feasting on tasty seals in Newfoundland and Labrador!!

    http://news.yahoo.com/pack-ice-near-shore-means-polar-bear-encounters-210223235.html

  88. Les Johnson says:

    I don’t know if anyone noticed, but there is a tie in here, and with Monnett (Drowning Polar Bears) and this story.

    The expert who spoke out about the low number of cubs, Andrew Derocher, was the recipient of $1,000,000 from Monnett’s department, after Derocher gave Monnett a positive review for his paper on the bears drowning.

  89. kim2ooo says:

    Richard says:
    April 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for the info, kim2000
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    You are very welcome.

  90. jrwakefield says:

    In case you missed it:

    Nunavut may be too optimistic about its polar bears

    The government of Nunavut says it has wonderful news for those worried about the decrease in the polar bear population. After sending planes and helicopters to survey the Western Hudson’s Bay area, Nunavut Tunngavik reports that the frosty white bears aren’t really in peril, despite dire warnings from environmental experts. Really?

    “There are concerns about the effects of global warming,” allows Drikus Gissing, Nunavut’s director of wildlife. “But they are not endangered.” In fact, he says, there are about 1,000 bears in the Western Hudson Bay area, up from the 935 estimated in 2004.

    Hold on a minute. Groups such as the World Wildlife Fund Canada say the Nunavut survey doesn’t state the whole story. Over the past few decades the bears have lost six weeks of hunting time due to the late freeze and early thaw of sea ice. This affects their health and the number of cubs, explains Peter Ewins, the WWFC’s director of species conservation. “No ice, no bears,” he says.

    The news about healthy polar bears reflects a bit of self-interest on the part of Nunavut. It wants to increase the quota for hunting bears, a profitable venture for the Inuit. Hard to shrug off 30 years of studies by environmentalists, though. No bears, no hunt.

    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/1157577–nunavut-may-be-too-optimistic-about-its-polar-bears

  91. Chris Edwards says:

    MM computer modelling can be sound, the EU had cruise ships studied and in 11 out of 16 scenarios the modelled cruise ship turned over with a minor gash in its side, just like for real in the Med recently, sadly this model was rejected by the EU but then the dynamics of a modern ship are but a drop in the ocean compared to the earth we live on but the monolithic and stupid management to the EU is just the norm for megalomaniac socialist policies !

  92. Les Johnson says:

    jrwakefield: 6 weeks of lost time on the ice? Nope. The melt season has an insignificant shortening trend over the record, according to Walt Meier. Shortening, not lengthening.

  93. Les Johnson says:

    my mistake.

    The melt season has had an insignificant increase, over the record of 0.07 days per year, 2.3 days total. Over the record, the maximum is coming very slightly earlier, but so is the minimum. The melt is starting sooner, but so is the freeze up.

    The record is remarkably smooth. There are only 9 years outside 1 SD (10.16 days), 5 with shorter melt seasons, and 4 with longer melt seasons. There is only 1 year outside 2 std dev, when 1997 had the melt season over 20 days over the average. 2003 had the shortest melt season in the record. Since 1998, 8 out of 14 years have had a SHORTER melt season than the average. Since 1997, all years are inside 1 SD, except 2003.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/timeseries.anom.1979-2008

  94. kim2ooo says:

    jrwakefield says:
    April 7, 2012 at 5:26 am

    In case you missed it:

    Nunavut may be too optimistic about its polar bears”

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    I can’t tell by your post if you are agreeing with the article.

    I can tell you – If I tried to use an opinion piece, without authorship and references, to bolster my debate…in my school……..

    I went for a BING search for these words.

    “Peter Ewins, the WWFC’s director of species conservation. “No ice, no bears,” he says.”

    HERE IS RESULTS:
    [ " All Results
    1-1 of 1 results·Advanced
    Nunavut may be too optimistic about its polar bears - thestar.com2 hours ago "]

    ON GOOGLE:
    [" 1 result (0.30 seconds)

    Search Results
    Nunavut may be too optimistic about its polar bears - thestar.com
    http://www.thestar.com/.../1157577--nunavut-may-be-too-optimisti... - Canada
    10 hours ago – This affects their health and the number of cubs, explains Peter Ewins, the WWFC's director of species conservation. “No ice, no bears,” he says ... '']

    My bold:
    The name on the Picture Credit is, “jonathan hayward canadian press”

    Who is a Photojournalist:
    http://npac.ca/?page_id=5170
    http://www.thecanadianpress.com/news_and_events.aspx?id=97

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