Ooops! Much-touted 2006 Polar Bear survey used by ESA to list them as ‘threatened’ …now invalidated

 photo polar-bear-face-palm.jpgWhile AP’s resident alarmist Seth Borenstein reports

“The polar bear is us,” says Patricia Romero Lankao of the federally financed National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., referring to the first species to be listed as threatened by global warming due to melting sea ice.

WUWT reader “Windsong” writes:

Dr. Susan Crockford has a timely post on her site today  about the International. Union for Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission (IUCN/SSC) Polar Bear Species Group walking back the basis for polar bears being listed as “threatened” in the U.S.

Excerpt:

But now, in an astonishing admission, the PBSG have acknowledged that the last population survey for the SB (Regehr, Amstrup and Stirling, 2006), which appeared to register a decline in population size and reduced cub survival over time, did not take known movements of bears into account as it should have done.

In other words, that 2006 study almost certainly did not indicate bears dying due to reduced summer sea ice in the SB, as biologists said at the time — and which they presented as evidence that polar bears should be listed by the ESA as ‘threatened’ — but reflected capture of bears that were never part of the SB subpopulation and so moved out of the region.

As the PBSG said about the 2006 estimate:

“…it is important to note that there is the potential for un-modeled spatial heterogeneity in mark-recapture sampling that could bias survival and abundance estimates.” [my emphasis]

Spatial heterogeneity” means that the sampled bears could have come from more than one population, a possibility which violates a critical requirement of the statistics used to generate the population and survival estimates. “Un-modeled” means that the ‘movement of bears’ problem was not factored into the mathematical models that generated the 2006 population size and survival estimates as it should have been.

Ecologist Jim Steele pointed some of this out in his book and his guest post last year, so it’s not news that this was done.

What’s shocking is that the PBSG have now admitted that the ‘movement of bears’ issue essentially invalidates the 2006 population estimate and the much-touted ‘reduced survival of cubs.’ The reduced survival of cubs data from that SB study was a critical component of the argument that US bears were already being negatively impacted by global warming and thus, should be listed as ‘threatened’ under the ESA (US Fish & Wildlife Service 2008).

More at http://polarbearscience.com

 

 

 

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94 thoughts on “Ooops! Much-touted 2006 Polar Bear survey used by ESA to list them as ‘threatened’ …now invalidated

  1. I am neither astonished or shocked, and I doubt whether many of your readers will be either. Inaccurate science leading to alarmist conclusions seems to be and to have been the order of the day.

  2. And yet once again we see so-called scientists violate elementary rules of logic and statistics to further their alarmist agenda. How many such examples do we need before we come to the conclusion that all of “climate science” is corrupted beyond redemption?

    I am reading Dr. Ball’s book “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science” on this issue. Well worth getting on your Kindle or other e-reader.

  3. Policy based Climate and environment claims are mostly the wagon or tool to scare people toward leftist policy/solutions nationally and internationally. It’s about international socialism ans saving socialism. Not about saving nature or climate. Bjorn Lomborgs book the Sceptical environmentalist showed that they have lied since day one. And the Icebear should stop drinking?

  4. “Oops! Our bad. We can’t give back your money. We spent it. Give us more money so we can try again. Well do better next time; pinkie swear.”
    >:-(((O)))

  5. if this

    “in Anthony Everett’s fine biography of the Roman emperor Hadrian that polar bears and seals were among the animals that Nero displayed in the arena (this is on page 66 )”

    and the roman temps compared to now were a lot higher

    then what is the problem? No need to ‘worry’ until temps get higher than the roman period? And maybe not even then?

  6. Bear and the face palm, would we not love to see a Mann do the face palm? At least the bear had the humility.

  7. Maybee the Icebear ate an environmentalist and is having huge problems digesting the crap, bullshit and hot gas?

  8. So bears, Himalayan glaciers, Kilimanjaro, frog in South America, hockey stick, no warming for 17years six months, our children won’t know what snow is, tornados/hurricane decline……..

    Wow, the predictions and causes of agw seem to have taken a battering,

  9. This is just plain unbearable. This is the sort of garbage that makes me sick and makes me despise most environmentalists. Half cocked, emotive, hair brained non science. Will the sanctimonious environmentalists ever do anything, or ever think, properly? or honestly? They just don’t cut it when it comes to hard numbers and hard thinking and the pursuit of the truth. They like to claim noble but they can’t claim “No bull”. I feel I have just passed the point of being tolerant and amiable with environmentalists.

  10. Re Wills comment on the polar bear face palm – could Josh or someone add a ‘doh!’ speech bubble?

  11. Thousands of peer pal-reviewed studies have shown that polar bears lie;

    /sarc. ( Is it really necessary)

  12. This admission has a purpose. It is no different than the well-worn tactic of adjusting even recent temperatures (1998) down and present temperatures up to create a trend that fits their narrative. “2010 was the hottest year on record!”
    Raising bear populations in 2006 is important if you want to raise the meme “Your SUV killed Knut’s babies!” in 2014.
    I predict that by mid-summer we start to see studies that polar bear populations have fallen by the fastest rate on record… tipping point… Hiroshima bombs.
    Ironically, the extremely cold winter this year probably will have more to do with the bear’s suffering than anthropogenic global warming.

  13. Yes – that’s a great shot of the Polar Bear…

    As time goes by it is becoming clear that just about everything that has been said by the warm-mongering classes for the last 25 years has been total and utter bollocks.

  14. asybot says:
    March 25, 2014 at 2:15 am
    Bear and the face palm, would we not love to see a Mann do the face palm? At least the bear had the humility.

    Or, even better, see the bear do a face palm on Mann.
    Now the countdown till this shows up on the msm. Ten trillion and ten, ten trillion and nine….

  15. So the supposed/claimed decline of polar bears was because of some fact (or two) they did not model as opposed to what was actually observed. And to think, polar bears, in spite of the models, continue to live and breed as they damn well please. They appear to be surprise by this. Wow. Just wow.

  16. 97% of polar bears do not believe int AGW.

    Shocking they must been misled by a small number of evil fossil fuel funded skeptic bears.

  17. I ran a model that predicts the probability that the Polar Bear will be removed from the ‘threatened’ list given that the basis for the listing has been shown to be bogus. It shows a probability of near 0%.

  18. Two explanations for the reversal come to mind. 1. A few have suddenly regained their desire to be careful scientists. 2. The numbers of polar bears are exploding and they need to back track on this past result to not look like fools.

  19. “Polar Bears”……..putting so many “Ice-Holes” into the “Science” of “Global Warming”….using the THICK Antarctica Ice….. much to the recent chagrin of “The Stuck-The-Ice Climate Change Scientists”…………………

  20. O/T.. sorry. .. What percentage of environmentalists believe that solar power is good for the environment?
    – ‘Analysis Shows Solar Modules Cause More Greenhouse Gas Emissions Than Modern Coal Power Plants!’ –
    “Ferrucio Ferroni writes … how China is the number 1 manufacturer of solar panels globally and that the production of solar panels there requires immense amounts of electricity, which in China is mainly produced by coal power plants. Moreover the manufacture of solar panels also involves substantial amounts of potent greenhouse gases that leak out into the atmosphere.”
    ~~ More here :-

    http://notrickszone.com/2014/03/25/analysis-shows-solar-modules-cause-more-greenhouse-gas-emissions-than-modern-coal-power-plants/

  21. John V. Wright says:
    March 25, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Re Wills comment on the polar bear face palm – could Josh or someone add a ‘doh!’ speech bubble?

    That’s easy.

  22. As penance, all the clowns responsible for the study should be made to go apologize personally to the polar bears. Any survivors will be given a full pardon.

  23. just goes to prove that you can’t do science on a computer, you need to get out and LOOK.

  24. Oh no – They told us there were bear-ly any bears left; that they were bear-ly surviving! That there were none in the Bear-ing Strait! Now it turns out they were bear-faced lies? This is unbearable.

  25. There are times when I would just love to put the fluffy cuddly bunny tree hugger brigade in a pit with a fluffy cuddly Polar bear that hasn’t eaten for a few days, & watch the result! They might just gain some modicum of respect for these creatures in context to their environment, & perhaps they may even gain some common sense, perhaps! But then again, I am not a violent nor aggressive person, unlike some of the fluffy cuddly bunny tree huggers!

  26. “did not take known movements of bears into account as it should have done.”

    They cannot be that stupid. Even the biggest idiot scientist knows that a Polar Bear is not a vegetable. So this is activist pseudoscience. These people knew exactly what they were doing.

  27. Just a reminder. Canada’s recently appointed Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq is from Nunavut. [Aglukkaq was born in Inuvik, Northwest Territories and raised in Thom Bay, Taloyoak and Gjoa Haven (formerly in the NWT but all three are now in Nunavut). ]
    I doubt that she ever believed the BS on polar bears published by the Alarmists.

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

    Also, the polar bears lived in Vancouver’s Stanley Park zoo for years where the temperature rarely went below freezing and zero ice.

  28. DaveF @ 4:28 am says;

    Oh no – They told us there were bear-ly any bears left; that they were bear-ly surviving! That there were none in the Bear-ing Strait! Now it turns out they were bear-faced lies? This is unbearable.

    It’s the old & wise poley bears you need to worry about.

  29. We learned yesterday that Arctic Ice vanished completely 6k yrs ago in the Holocene Max so the Polar Bear story must go something like this:-
    1) Polar Bears can’t survive Ice Free conditions (Source: Al Gore- Inconvenient Truth)
    2) Polar Bears are alive in the arctic now (Source: Numerous ind.verified sightings/D.Attenborough)
    3) Ergo Polar Bears must have evolved in last 5k years or so
    4) Damn…just when I thought I had evolution sussed…

  30. So number of polar bears in the Southern Beaufort region is increasing after all, not decreasing as previously surmised. However, the root cause of this grave finding can’t be anything else, but Climate Change, therefore it is certainly worse than we thought.

    Just imagine thousands of cute baby seals being ruthlessly butchered by ferocious predators, an utterly obnoxious scene. And this repulsive mass murder of babies is brought about by our actions, so our own responsibility for this horror can no longer be denied.

  31. It seems the polar bears are doing just fine. They didn’t go extinct 6000 years ago when there was far, far less ice, and they’re not going extinct.

    If anything’s going extinct it’s common sense and scientific integrity.
    Chris

    If you and your friend are being chased by an angry polar bear, you don’t need to outrun the bear. You just need to outrun your friend.

  32. Once again, skeptics are proven right:
    Right on the facts and right to be skeptical of AGW claims and predictions.

  33. This is not a surprise. They were trying to present the cute white fluffy polar bears as endangered, but could not officially do so, as to be classed as endangered, the species MUST satisfy a very strict criteria. To be “threatened” they do not have to have as strict a criteria. In fact, an increasing population could still be listed as threatened, due to habitat loss, if such a habitat were small enough and unique in the world.

    But only in CAGW world could a population which has increased five fold in 60 years, inhabit a massive and natural and untouched habitat of several million square Kilometers, and still qualify as threatened, due to a political prediction of what may or may not happen a century from now.

  34. So, an I to understand that when they conducted their population surveys, (over a tiny area, and then extrapolated the rest based on models stuffed with other flawed assumptions), that when they could not find any previously seen polar bears, that they simply assumed that they were dead? (killed by climate change) Did they really, not account for polar bears being migratory? Seriously?

    That reminds me of the millions of animals (deer IIRC) north of the artic circle that scientists had thought disappeared, killed by climate change, a few years ago and were astonished when they appeared again. When they asked a local, he told them, “they move”.

  35. Politically the damage was done for the alarmist cause, this is a usual pattern. Consider the veracity of the “97%” mythology? It serves the media purpose, reinvents itself in new and more dishonest forms.

    Polar bear lying will continue in another new form about…….ten minutes after this story is ever reported if at all. It never gets old in Greenshirt communities. Bill Nye is talking smack about Manhattan sinking just the other day and so on……

  36. How will global warming affect polar bears?

    What the science says…

    Polar bears are in danger of extinction as well as many other species.

    Climate Myth…

    Polar bear numbers are increasing

    “A leading Canadian authority on polar bears, Mitch Taylor, said: ‘We’re seeing an increase in bears that’s really unprecedented, and in places where we’re seeing a decrease in the population it’s from hunting, not from climate change.’” (Scotsman.com)

    [snip]

    In conclusion, the reason polar bears have been classed as threatened comes from the impacts of future climate change on the bears’ habitat. Current analysis of subpopulations where data is sufficient clearly shows that those subpopulations are mainly in decline. Further habitat degradation will increase the threats to polar bears.

    Last updated on 30 September 2010 by Anne-Marie Blackburn.

    And from the comments (emphasis mine)…

    60. Rob Honeycutt at 03:03 AM on 18 May, 2012
    matzdj @ 58… “The above statements don’t make me think there is significant data that this species is in trouble.”

    If you are seriously interested in this topic you might want to take the time to engage someone who is actively involved in the research. I can pretty much guarantee you that everyone doing the research is going to tell you that the species is very much in danger.

    What is the polar bears’ primary habitat? Sea ice. Specifically summer sea ice prior to the winter when they are feeding on ring seals in preparation for the coming winter. The sea ice is disappearing at an alarming rate. Within 20 years the Arctic sea will seasonally ice-free. Habitat gone. Does that mean every last polar bear will die? No. But it means that there will be a massive and rapid change in their numbers.

    There needs to be some accountability for the propagation of this junk science. Names & quotes, easily accessible to media.

    Poptech?

  37. Ric Werme says:
    March 25, 2014 at 5:01 am

    It also proves I still can’t spell Medieval without assistance.

    You are not alone; there are support groups for this affliction. And you will be relieved to know that under the Affordable Care Act you cannot be denied coverage because of this pre-existing condition.

    There is even a movement you can join: Americans for Sustainable Solutions in Efficiency Spelling (ASSES). Many people are unaware of just how much extra greenhouse gas is emitted by all the extra unnecessary letters standard (ha!) english spelling requires. Extra letters require extra paper and ink to print, the manufacture of which emits CO2.

    Not to mention all the extra web searches required by people just like you who are terrified of misspelling words like “medieval” in a public forum. The extra CO2 from trips to therapy after committing the ultimate fox paws in an otherwise insightful and socially important tweet like:

    Dude!!!! yer like midevil or sumthin

    well it’s probably incalculable, or at least a very, very large number. Enough to give James Hansen nightmares, and we all know the effect his nightmares have on his grandchildren.

    It’s not too late, but we have to act NOW!

  38. Jim Bo says:

    March 25, 2014 at 5:57 am

    How will global warming affect polar bears?

    What the science says…

    Polar bears are in danger of extinction as well as many other species.

    There needs to be some accountability for the propagation of this junk science.

    Agreed.

    However, there is no accounting for the junk science at that site. Their half-truths, distortions, and deliberately misleading statements are the norm.

    Their motto should be “We put the “junk” in junk science.”

  39. Now go to a warmist site and tell them the polar bear studies were screwed up and there is no decline in polar bear numbers.

    They will call you a conspiracy nut and then go on and on about how the bears are nearly extinct, all the studies say so. And then there will be 150 posts about renewable energy.

  40. MarkW says:
    March 25, 2014 at 5:58 am

    “What are the odds that the EPA will reverse the endangered finding?”

    Oh, Mark… the date to reverse is already set, didn’t you hear? It’s on the 12th of Never at 3:00 pm. Be there. (Wear warm clothes. Hell will be frozen over.)

  41. Drought and flood. Heat and cold. Thick and thin snow pack. Now AGW causes polar bear populations to fall AND rise in yet another dazzling display of its mythical powers.

  42. Truly astounding how much science is just models. Models and more models. These people never get off their fat arses and go get some data.

  43. RE Ken Hall at March 25, 2014 at 5:25 am

    “So, an I to understand that when they conducted their population surveys, (over a tiny area, and then extrapolated the rest based on models stuffed with other flawed assumptions), that when they could not find any previously seen polar bears, that they simply assumed that they were dead? (killed by climate change) Did they really, not account for polar bears being migratory? Seriously?”

    Ken,
    Let’s have some informed outrage. If you read the post, you’ll discover their problem was exactly the opposite of what you describe.

    They took their samples from the entire range of the Southern Beaufort subpopulation (there is a map provided to show you) knowing that there was a 50% or more chance of bears at the ends coming from adjacent subpopulations (Northern Beaufort on the east, Chukchi Sea on the west).

    Which means that when many of the bears they captured a bear at the ends of the SB range went home (to the CS or NB), the model assumed they were dead. This would be true for adults and for the cubs of mothers captured in these areas.

    The ‘overlap’ problem had been known for years – there was simply no excuse for ignoring it, as Jim Steele explained in his post, “How science counts bears” (which was carried here at WUWT and reblogged at my site).

    And thanks Anthony, for the link. Love your added pic!

    Susan

  44. I don’t know how the “threatened” finding for polar bears can be reviewed, in the light of this information or the other data showing increasing numbers, but I can bet how it will be spun in the press if/when they are taken off the threatened list:

    “Major win for conservation efforts. The US EPA has today removed polar bears from the endangered species list after a massive effort by governments to restore their habitat.”

    Isn’t that just what has happened in other recent cases?

  45. Who holds these so called scientists accountable? Mistakes like these people made should be grounds for stripping them of their credentials.

  46. dccowboy says:
    March 25, 2014 at 3:33 am

    I ran a model that predicts the probability that the Polar Bear will be removed from the ‘threatened’ list given that the basis for the listing has been shown to be bogus. It shows a probability of near 0%.
    =========================================================================

    Your estimate is too high. I came up with i%

  47. This kind of either sloppy science or agenda driven science seems in a higher gear with biologists. Thank goodness there are scientists like Jim Steele that save the science from oblivion.

  48. Their “research” has already fulfilled its purpose. It may be wrong but the declining polar bear population meme is already ingrained into the AGW movement and it won’t die easy with the MSM ignoring this like they do all other inconvenient truths.

  49. Doesn’t matter. The alarmists will now say that man-made global warming is causing an INCREASE in polar bear populations, and that increase is BAD, because now seal populations are threatened. You see, it doesn’t matter which numbers you look at, or which way or how fast the numbers are changing, whatever is happening is happening because of global warming, and whatever is happening is most certainly VERY BAD. Heat waves? Man-made global warming. Blizzards? Man-made global warming. Decreasing ice in the Arctic? Man-made global warming. Increasing ice in the Antarctic? Man-made global warming. Drought? Man-made global warming. Floods? Man-made global warming. More huricanes? Man-made global warming. Fewer hurricanes? Man-made global warming (and also, fewer hurricanes is bad, for some reason which we will learn when they finally admit hurricane numbers are decreasing). Crop yields decreasing? Man-made global warming. Crop yields increasing? Man-made global warming (and increasing crop yields is bad). Temperatures increasing? Man-made global warming. Temperatures decreasing? Man-made global warming. Temperatures remaining unchanged for 17.5 years? Man-made global warming. There is absolutely nothing that could possibly happen with the climate that cannot be attirbuted to man-made global warming. Man-made global warming is the first ever scientific theory that is completely unfalsifiable, which means you can’t prove it wrong, no matter what the climate does. So shut up, skeptics. Don’t you know the science is settled?

  50. Wiith withdrawal of Lew’s paper, the IPCC’s steps back, the pause, papers giving lower ECS, failures of short term to medium term predictions of temps, recovery in arctic and new records in antarctica…etc. etc. I think we should have a “Status of Climate update and summary” for distribution. A Monckton essay would do it.

  51. Oh no, the polar bear population explosion will cause some of them to starve to death. There just won’t be enough baby seals for all of them to eat. Teehee.

    Hopefully soon, the seals will be able to live without the fear of being eaten by bears. Aren’t we supposed to be saving the baby seals?

  52. Just like the newspapers who print their retractions/corrections on page 8, they will continue to use and quote the original study and ignore any subsequent corrections. Bury the truth and continue with the party line..

  53. If you waded through the series of USGS papers, it is clear they were well aware that there were high rates of migratory bears but they simply dismissed that evidence as not affecting their model.

    But even worse, revealing their political bias, was they way they tried to support the model’s results arguing the bears body condition was deteriorating. To push the idea that recent ice loss had caused nutritional stress, Amstrup and his co-authors highlighted cherry-picked statistics to suggest bears were starving. In the abstract they wrote, “Declines in mass and BCI [body condition index] of sub-adult males, declines in growth of males and females, and declines in cub recruitment suggest that polar bears of the Southern Beaufort Sea have experienced a declining trend in nutritional status.”

    However sub-adult males comprised a mere 5% of all measured bears. The abstract failed to mention that the body condition for 95% of all the other bears, both adult males and females, sub-adult females as well as all cubs, showed no signs of nutritional stress. In contrast, adult females represented about 34% of all captures, and despite being under the most stress due to an eight-month fast while giving birth and nursing their cubs, their body condition had improved.

    To read that good news you had to search the results section: “There was no trend in mass of adult females during the study, but the mean BCI of females increased over time”. They also wrote there was “no trend in mass or BCI of adult males over time.” Likewise, “There was no trend in mean BCI of sub-adult females over time,” and “there was no trend in the mass of the cubs.”602 So why did these experts focus on just 5% of the population?

  54. The final deception was arguing lower cub survival. Their abstract also implied “a decline in cub recruitment” to support their model’s uncharacteristic dive in survival rates. But that too was an illusion. Recruitment compares the number of cubs in the spring with the number of cubs in the fall. Their observed results found that the number of cubs per female had increased between 1982 and 2006 during the spring. This would be expected. When the female BCI increases, they usually produce more cubs. However Amstrup and his coauthors argued there was a decline in cubs during the fall, and thus a decline in recruitment. However they had not surveyed in the fall since 2001 and they used zombie data to make their bogus claims.

  55. As I read the summation, I believe it allows for considerable wiggle room here…

    The SB subpopulation is currently considered to be declining due to a negative trend in sea ice conditions, particularly over the continental shelf, resulting from the continuing effects of climate warming. If the region continues to lose high quality polar bear hunting habitat as forecasted by global climate models (Durner et al. 2009), it is likely that the SB subpopulation could face extirpation by mid-century (Amstrup et al. 2010).

    From my uneducated perspective, the recent report suggesting ice free “high quality polar bear hunting habitat” 6-10,000 years ago flies in the face of this “could face extirpation” conclusion.

    Are they reading the same “science” I am?

  56. “Oops” is actually a major ingredient in climate change policy fraud. It back stops the obvious and inevitable mistakes along the way.

  57. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 25, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Love the photo of the polar bear doing the face palm …

    w.
    *************************
    LOL me too, I did a triple take on tha tone :)

  58. Ooops!

    Abstract – February 2014
    Revisiting Western Hudson Bay: Using aerial surveys to update polar bear abundance in a sentinel population
    Capture-based studies of the Western Hudson Bay (WH) polar bear population in Canada have reported declines in abundance, survival, and body condition, but these findings are inconsistent with the perceptions of local people. To address this uncertainty about current status, we conducted a comprehensive aerial survey of this population during August, 2011, when the region was ice-free and bears were on shore. We flew a combination of overland transects oriented perpendicular to the coastline, coastal transects parallel to shore, and transects across small islands. We used distance sampling and sight–resight protocols to estimate abundance. Bears were concentrated along the coast in central and southern Manitoba and Ontario portions of the population, although sightings >10 km inland were not uncommon in central Manitoba. We analyzed 2 combinations of data and derived an abundance estimate of 1030 bears (95% CI: ∼754–1406). This figure is similar to a 2004 mark–recapture estimate but higher than projections indicating declining abundance since then. Our results suggest that mark–recapture estimates may have been negatively biased due to limited spatial sampling. We observed large numbers of bears summering in southeastern WH, an area not regularly sampled by mark–recapture. Consequently, previous mark–recapture estimates are not directly comparable to our aerial survey of the entire population. Whereas our results do not necessarily contradict the reported declines in this population, we believe that improvements are needed in monitoring, and methodological limitations and inconsistencies must be resolved to accurately assess status and the impacts of climate change.

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2013.12.040

    Maybe the researchers have contributed to the bears ‘bad’ situation.

    CLAIM

    There are suggestions the bears, however, may suffer long-term consequences from their encounters with researchers. According to Polar Bears Alive, a non-profit, international organization dedicated to the worldwide protection of the polar bear, studies have shown that darted and tagged female bears consistently produce smaller litters and lighter cubs. If tagged in the den area, pregnant females may abandon the siteb>.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~douglaspage/id89.html

  59. 1 There are no reliability estimates for these kinds of studies.

    2. When these kinds of studies turn out to be wrong, there are no consequences.

  60. But now, in an astonishing admission, the PBSG have acknowledged that the last population survey for the SB (Regehr, Amstrup and Stirling, 2006), which appeared to register a decline in population size and reduced cub survival over time, did not take known movements of bears into account as it should have done.

    You betcha!

    Abstract – 1999
    S.H. Ferguson et al
    Determinants of Home Range Size for Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)
    The mean home range size of female polar bears (Ursus maritimus; 125 100 km2 ± 11 800; n = 93) is substantially larger than the predicted value (514 km2) for a terrestrial carnivore of similar weight. To understand this difference, we correlated home range size and sea ice characteristics. Home range size was related to (i) the ratio of land vs. sea within a given home range (42% of explained variance), and (ii) seasonal variation in ice cover (24%). Thus, bears using land during the ice-free season had larger home ranges and bears living in areas of great seasonal variation in ice cover also had larger home ranges. In another analysis we investigated how variation in a bear’s environment in space and time affects its choice of home range. We found that polar bears adjusted the size of their home range according to the amount of annual and seasonal variation within the centre of their home range. For example, polar bears experiencing unpredictable seasonal and annual ice tended to increase their home range size if increasing home range size resulted in reducing variation in seasonal and annual ice. Polar bears make trade-offs between alternate space-use strategies. Large home ranges occur when variable ice cover is associated with more seals but also a more unpredictable distribution of those seals.
    Ecology Letters – Volume 2, Issue 5, pages 311–318, September 1999
    DOI: 10.1046/j.1461-0248.1999.00090.x

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1461-0248.1999.00090.x/abstract

  61. Someone should inform Coca-Cola that they are once again funding either corruption or downright frauud. GK

  62. Polar bears are in great danger indeed. They will soon be extinct.

    Abstract – April 2013
    Until recently, the sea ice habitat of polar bears was understood to be variable, but environmental variability was considered to be cyclic or random, rather than progressive. Harvested populations were believed to be at levels where density effects were considered not significant. However, because we now understand that polar bear demography can also be influenced by progressive change in the environment, and some populations have increased to greater densities than historically lower numbers, a broader suite of factors should be considered in demographic studies and management. We analyzed 35 years of capture and harvest data from the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulation in Davis Strait, including data from a new study (2005–2007), to quantify its current demography. We estimated the population size in 2007 to be 2,158 ± 180 (SE), a likely increase from the 1970s. We detected variation in survival, reproductive rates, and age-structure of polar bears from geographic sub-regions. Survival and reproduction of bears in southern Davis Strait was greater than in the north and tied to a concurrent dramatic increase in breeding harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus) in Labrador. The most supported survival models contained geographic and temporal variables. Harp seal abundance was significantly related to polar bear survival. Our estimates of declining harvest recovery rate, and increasing total survival, suggest that the rate of harvest declined over time. Low recruitment rates, average adult survival rates, and high population density, in an environment of high prey density, but deteriorating and variable ice conditions, currently characterize the Davis Strait polar bears. Low reproductive rates may reflect negative effects of greater densities or worsening ice conditions. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jwmg.489/abstract

    I think polar bears will be around even IF we get an ice free Arctic ocean in the summers.

    ScienceDaily – January 22, 2014
    Polar bear diet changes as sea ice melts
    At least some polar bears in the western Hudson Bay population are using flexible foraging strategies while on land, such as prey-switching and eating a mixed diet of plants and animals, as they survive in their rapidly changing environment, new research suggests.
    ………..
    In the final paper in the series, published in December 2013 in the journal BMC Ecology, the researchers show that polar bears are, with a few exceptions, consuming a mixed diet of plants and animals. The predominance of local vegetation in collected scat suggests little movement among habitat types between feeding sessions, indicating that the polar bears are keeping energy expenditure down…….

    “……Our results suggest that some polar bears may possess this flexibility and thus may be able to cope with rapidly changing access to their historic food supply.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122104025.htm

    It’s just not as simple as they told me. I vaguely recall that what matters most to polar bears is SPRING sea ice. Summer and Fall no so much.

  63. talldave2 says “There are no reliability estimates for these kinds of studies.”

    To constrain their models in bear mark and recapture studies they compare the model results (apparent survival) to survival of radio-collared bears (biological survival) Biological survival was high and, they reported in scattered places in different papers, that more radio collared bears were out of the study area, not dead, but they dismissed the one measure that revealed their model was unreliable.

  64. Jim Bo says:
    March 25, 2014 at 5:57 am

    How will global warming affect polar bears?

    What the science says…

    Polar bears are in danger of extinction as well as many other species.

    Climate Myth…

    Polar bear numbers are increasing

    They produce such utter garbage it’s beyond me. Right there are 2 flagrant lies that have been debunked time and again.

    Ice free Arctic ocean during the Holocene [Peer reviewed papers]

  65. Just further evidence that the AGW consensus has only served to destroy scientific credibility and has not done one bit of good for the environment it claims to care so much about. Years later this comes out as a huge revelation but they do not realize, many of us have known it all along. The “believers” are getting fewer and fewer because even a sheeple can only deny their lyin eyes for so long.

    ” ‘movement of bears’ problem was not factored into the mathematical models that generated the 2006 population size and survival estimates as it should have been.”

    GIGO: Lately, that term pops to mind whenever I hear about modeled data even though I know it can be quite useful for real time problems like storm tracking. If I were I scientist in any field, I would be pretty ticked right now because the bad apples are spoiling the barrel. None of this will be solved until we make it perfectly clear that we will no longer tolerate sky is falling agenda based science. We need to take their funding away. PERIOD.

  66. Does it occur to these “students” wishing they were scientists, that it is common for prey species, to modulate their breeding habits, according to their recent food experience, so that any ups and downs in apparent polar bear breeding success, could be nothing more than a reflection of that adaptive behavior.

    In California for example, we have a parallel situation; although the State symbol grizzly bear is now extinct. Well NO, they aren’t extinct; there just aren’t many or any in California these days. In Yellowstone National park, I recently heard on a Nat Geo Wild program, that there are maybe 7,000 grizzly bears. Seems a lot to me, but maybe they were talking of a larger total habitat, than just the park. So if any of them want to come to California, I’m sure they can do so.

    But back to the cubbing success of PBs.

    In California, The mountain lion / puma / catamount / panther / whatever , is a protected predator species. In the past, they were legally hunted; great white hunter no need to go to Africa to bag a lion; could get on in California. They make really awful fur coats.

    But now they are protected, but humans keep invading their habitat, to build more goof courses, bike trails, jogging paths, yoga meditation spots, and other green enterprises, and of course hunters want to shoot the deer, instead of letting the lions eat them.

    So there is continuous pressure to open hunting of mountain lions again. Now I’m not against deer hunting. I don’t do it, but more power to those who do, and whatever their reasons are. In NZ they do deer hunting 365 days a year; well except for leap years, when it is 366 days a year. Problem is, no mountain lions in NZ but plenty of deer; every kind known to Noah, except moose. All nuisances, and eat grass that sheep need.

    So California mountain lion encounters, with humans, have increased, and there have been some unfortunate meetings, so the subject of culling the lions a bit for human safety crops up from time to time.

    Problem is, that MLs evidently regulate their breeding to the food supply. A biological expert, whose knowledge, I pay attention to, said that the problem is, that if you really need, or want to reduce lion populations, enough to reduce human encounters, you would have to kill between one quarter, and one third of the total State lion population, all in a single hunting season, because otherwise, their natural adaptation (to resources) would simply compensate, for any small reductions.

    I don’t think anyone is going to slaughter one quarter of California’s mountain lions.

    Personally, I’m for the lions (coyotes too), and don’t expect to get any hysterical calls from m3e, if I encounter one in my travels, I will just let it go on its way, and the squeamish, will never know it was there.

    so I doubt, that it is much different for polar bears. When there is no ice, they will reduce their cubbing, for lack of seals, and when the ice returns, so will the cubs.

  67. urederra says:
    March 25, 2014 at 4:07 am

    John V. Wright says:
    March 25, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Re Wills comment on the polar bear face palm – could Josh or someone add a ‘doh!’ speech bubble?

    That’s easy.

    ==============================================================
    8-)
    Or maybe Mann’s quote about being a reluctant public figure?

  68. george e. smith says:
    March 25, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    …In California, The mountain lion / puma / catamount / panther / whatever , is a protected predator species. In the past, they were legally hunted; great white hunter no need to go to Africa to bag a lion; could get on in California. They make really awful fur coats.

    But now they are protected, but humans keep invading their habitat, to build more goof courses, bike trails, jogging paths, yoga meditation spots, and other green enterprises, and of course hunters want to shoot the deer, instead of letting the lions eat them…
    ==================================================================
    I used to comment on the old “AOL Pet Care Forums” under the topic of “Animal Rights/Animal Welfare”. I remember seeing a story someone put up after a young mother was killed and partially eaten by a cougar that, after the ban on cougar hunting in California, another endangered species (I think it was the mountain goat) was being further endangered by increased cougar predation.
    Unintended consequences.

  69. Da Bears…. I can see a flow chart , Somehow there must be a way to chart counting white polar bears in winter during snow storms, Fudging historical climate statistics, adjusting data from collecting stations land and water, pre-determined future climate agrivated civilization failure due to global average temperature increase of 1.5 to 3 degrees C , ummm how many polar bears figure out how to play hockey, pop-corn consumption, refusal to publicly debate CAGW skeptics, oh hell you get the idea. LMAO

  70. Sled observe count, fly observe count, hunt report count, sail observe count, tag moniter count and then using standard population statistics infer. It seems that even these guys are using some sort of ‘model’ to predict. I much prefer they don’t. I don’t like a model’s output to be consider ‘data’ or fact.

  71. D Coffin writes Karyn Rode discovers Chukchi Sea #polarbears larger now than in the past

    It is well known that different populations have slightly different sizes. Rode was a lead author in a few of the same USGS studies suggesting global warming was causing smaller bears and endangering them. That she now argues AGW is causig bigger bears is just another example of how climate politics is defiling objective science

  72. It’s like the population of Phoenix during the summer after all the “snowbirds” head back north.

    “Scientists”!!! HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!

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