Peer reviewed science: Polar bears of the past survived warmth

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick to death of hearing about the polar bears as a proxy for Arctic ice issues. Yesterday, Steve Goddard pointed out the ramifications related to polar bears of NSIDC’s Dr. Walt Meier’s part two on Arctic Sea Ice saying: Polar Bears Survived the Ice Free Arctic

Today, we have new research from the University of Alaska (and they should know) that shows polar bears did just fine in warmer periods of the past.

“This is verifying that the polar bear lived through at least one warming period,” Talbot says. “The Eemian was a very hot period, and polar bears survived it,” she says.

So next time you have somebody sniffling and tearing up over polar bears and sea ice, show them this research and hand them a Kleenex. Now, they can worry about the polar bears eating hippos in the future. (see story)

A polar bear near Barrow. Photo by Ned Rozell.

This column is provided as a public service by the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, in cooperation with the UAF research community. Ned Rozell is a science writer at the institute.

An ancient jawbone has led scientists to believe that polar bears survived a period thousands of years ago that was warmer than today.

Sandra Talbot of the USGS Alaska Science Center in Anchorage was one of 14 scientists who teamed to write a paper based on a polar bear jawbone found amid rocks on a frigid island of the Svalbard Archipelago. The scientists determined the bear was an adult male that lived and died somewhere between 130,000 to 110,000 years ago, and that bear was similar to polar bears today. Charlotte Lindqvist of the University at Buffalo in New York was the lead author on the paper, published in the March 2010 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

An Icelandic researcher in 2004 found a fossilized lower jawbone, in excellent condition and complete with a canine tooth, on a narrow spit of land on the far west edge of Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago. It was a stunning find because there aren’t many fossils of polar bears around. The largest bears in the world spend most of their lives on sea ice, so they often die there, and their remains either sink or get scavenged by something else.

With bone and tooth in hand, scientists got to work with the latest techniques for finding the age of formerly living creatures and determining their genetic backgrounds. The latter is the specialty of Sandra Talbot. She is a research wildlife geneticist who earned her doctorate degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks by helping determine that the mitochondrial DNA of brown bears on Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof islands of Southeast Alaska is more closely related to that of polar bears than to the DNA of other brown bears.

Talbot says the evidence of a polar bear from 130,000 years ago shows that the creatures somehow survived conditions warmer than they face today.

“This is verifying that the polar bear lived through at least one warming period,” Talbot says. “The Eemian was a very hot period, and polar bears survived it,” she says.

During the Eemian, about 125,000 years ago, the planet was warm enough that hippos lived where London is now. Polar bears, now adapted to eating seals that live only near sea ice, somehow made it through a few thousand years when there may not have been much sea ice, if any existed at all.

“It gives us hope that they survived that stage,” Talbot says. “It does make you think about refugia more.”

“Refugia” are places that polar bears may survive without ice. The Svalbard Archipelago may have been one of those places. Biologists today think polar bears would have a difficult time living on land, because other species like the grizzly bear could outcompete them.

The warm period of the Eemian might have come at a time when the polar bear wasn’t such an ice specialist, Talbot says.

“We can’t predict whether the polar bear is too far out (in its evolution towards a life on ice),” she says. “It’s interesting that there are a few examples of hybridization (between polar bears and brown bears). That’s something worth watching.”

And maybe polar bears have been trying to adapt to life on land, but one species has blocked that avenue of evolution. Polar bears that wander onto land, especially near a human settlement, tend to get shot. And humans — who didn’t wander out of Africa until about 45,000 years ago — weren’t present on the edge of the sea ice when polar bears first made it their home.

“We weren’t impacting them then the way we are now,” Talbot says.

Though the polar bear perhaps prospered through hot times in the past, what they have in store ahead may be their greatest challenge ever.

“We’re going into a very similar period of time, but it’s generally thought that this is going to be warmer than (the last great warm period),” Talbot says.

Source: http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF20/2018.html

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50 thoughts on “Peer reviewed science: Polar bears of the past survived warmth

  1. I like the use of animals for a proxy. That is a priority now. Loud claims of extinction of species creates a lot of emotion. It can tie into a perfect strawman argument. If I disagree, I must therefore not care about the extinction of poley bears. I must be a bear hater. ( Monkton was charged with hate speech)
    As with many other arguments, I say this calls for us to demand they give us accurate counts of population from 50, 100, 150, 200 etc years ago so we can see a trend. All we will expect is forecasts and no long term verified historical data. Who knows, there may have been a cold period and a small sleeper cell of bears that grew back into larger numbers. I do know alGore is intentionally innacurate in what he claims about bear populations.

  2. But they don’t understand, it was the warm period that killed that bear. 😉
    and of course, it’s going to get warmer now and it’s going to be worse than we thought.
    Is that line required on all papers having to do with climate science? It’s got to be in the rule book somewhere………..

  3. That was quite a no brainer… If you got polar bear today, at some point they must have survived.
    Unfortunatly, maybe the polar bear population at that time was larger then today without the man as the main predator.
    REPLY: And what proof do you have of that? Got some numbers from that era? Show ’em. -Anthony

  4. “We weren’t impacting them then the way we are now,” Talbot says.
    Great, check Polar Bears off the AGW list.

  5. I had a dream that polar bears attacked East Anglia. It ranked up there with the dream where I won the Powerball Lottery.

  6. Naw, they don’t care about the polar bears. They just want to fill thier pockets with our money so’s they can live like kings when the Planet plunges into the next icy hell. That’s why they put all that effort into that stash at the Svallbard Global Seed Vault. Thier parting words will be “Stupid people gave us all this wealth”.

  7. The author writes, “And humans – who didn’t wander out of Africa until about 45,000 years ago – …”
    There is increasing recent evidence from genetic diversity studies, aided by both palaeontological and archaeological work, that human migration pre-dates this figure by some margin, perhaps even dating to over 100,000 ybp in southern Asia and 60,00 in Siberia.
    http://jbiol.com/content/8/2/18 , and here
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/human-migration.html
    O/T – A fantastic array of thought-provoking posts on WUWT. Keep ’em coming!

  8. I’m imagining telling people about the Eemian. And just as I imagine saying it, I realize that I don’t know how to pronounce it. I mean, who knows how those two e’s are pronounced in a word like that. So I look it up. The Eemian stage was recognized from bore holes in a bed that somebody called, in French, the “Système Eémien,” after the Dutch river Eem. I’m glad to know that the two e’s aren’t pronounced as two syllables, but I’m still wondering whether I should pronounce them like an English double e or instead like a French é or Dutch double e, which would come out more or less like an English long a. I can’t find the pronunciation anywhere. I even tried Google video, hoping to find a recorded lecture on interglacials. I mean, imagine mentioning the Eemian and somebody saying hah, ya can’t even pronounce it!
    Please, would somebody tell me how to pronounce “Eemian”?

  9. rbateman says:
    July 15, 2010 at 6:06 pm
    Naw, they don’t care about the polar bears. They just want to fill thier pockets with our money so’s they can live like kings when the Planet plunges into the next icy hell. That’s why they put all that effort into that stash at the Svallbard Global Seed Vault. Thier parting words will be “Stupid people gave us all this wealth”.
    ________________________________________________________
    You forgot all the DNA banks. Farmers were freaking out when they found out 4-H kids had to have their prize animals “DNA tested” aka DNA stored in vaults. And then there are the states requiring DNA tests and banking of newborn genetics and Monsanto et al Seed banks in third world countries.
    Check out
    Global Diversity Treaty: http://www.bioversityinternational.org/publications/pdf/1144.pdf
    Seed Sharing or Biopiracy: http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/bio0712.php
    If you want a real scare checkout: http://www.psas-web.net/patenting_info.htm
    It has books for sale like:
    Patenting Agriculture (2001) Barton, John H, Berger, Peter. Issues in Science and Technology.
    The Future Control Of Food. A Guide to International Negotiations and Rules on Intellectual Property, Biodiversity and Food Security (2008) edited by Geoff Tansey and Tasmin Rajotte. earthscan, IDRC and QIAP.
    Farm Animal Genetic Resources. Safeguarding National Assets for Food Security and Trade (2004) Ilse Köhler-Rollefson. GTZ, FAO, CTA.
    Livestock Genetics Companies. Concentration and proprietary strategies of an emerging power in the global food economy.
    Rights to Animal Genetic Resources
    Food, Energy and money, there is a power grab for all three happening now.

  10. “We’re going into a very similar period of time, but it’s generally thought that this is going to be warmer than (the last great warm period),” Talbot says.
    Now wait just one bludy damned minute here!
    The prior remark was:
    “During the Eemian, about 125,000 years ago, the planet was warm enough that hippos lived where London is now.”
    THAT is a contrary statement! Are ‘hippos’ freely residing in and around London presently?
    Too cold, you say?
    And “… it’s generally thought that this is going to be warmer than (the last great warm period),”
    Yeah, sure, ya betcha! And pigs fly too, right?
    Let’s see a picture of those ‘hippos’ that were around last winter when the UK was completely covered in snow.
    Question: Why did the polar bear leave the arctic?
    Ans.: Because he had an arctic hare across his ar …..

  11. In reality, we know very little about the dynamics of extinction. Knowledge of those in pre-historic times is limited by relatively scant evidence; understanding of those in modern times prossibly over-emphasizes human influence (think Dodo and Passenger Pigeon). Refugia during the last ice age are what allowed the expansive temperate forests of today to recover. Appalachia is a biologically rich area of eastern North America today, but was highly reduced in area 20 kyr ago. Just how biomes recover and what causes species to disappear or persist needs much more work — both theoretical and experimental.

  12. Polar bears, now adapted to eating seals that live only near sea ice, somehow made it through a few thousand years when there may not have been much sea ice, if any existed at all.
    I have a college geology textbook from the mid ’80s in which the observation is made that permanent ice on earth (e.g., mountain glaciers, ice caps) is very much the exception rather than the rule in the history of the planet. I have often wondered if that datum is still reavealed in modern textbooks.

  13. http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=globalwarming&thread=1179&page=63#
    “The interval from ∼230 B:C: to A.D. 40 was one of exceptional
    warmth in Iceland, coinciding with a period of general warmth and
    dryness in Europe known as the Roman Warm Period, from ∼200 B:C:
    to A.D. 400 (23). On the basis of δ18O data,reconstructed water
    temperatures for the Roman Warm Period in Iceland are higher than
    any temperatures recorded in modern times.”
    http://climateresearchnews.com/2010/03/c….perature-proxy/
    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100308/full/news.2010.110.html?s=news_rss
    The research of Dr. Patterson (University of Saskatchewan) would seem
    to indicate that the current conditions in the North Atlantic are not unusual at all.

  14. The age of the fossil as found is right at the emergence of the polar bear as a species. In fact the press release raises the question “was the bear such an ice specialist” at the time. We just don’t know. However, the species as it currently stands is an ice specialist. The polar bear is a very young species — it emerged during the Eemian – and has been evolving since then.
    Of course, there is some evidence that H. Sapiens Sapiens evolved around the same time, and we don’t really know how we have physically evolved since then, but our current mode of life emerged during the holocene.

  15. “We’re going into a very similar period of time, but it’s generally thought that this is going to be warmer than (the last great warm period),” Talbot says.
    When there are hippos in the Thames then I will stop being a skeptic and definitely become a true believer. Until they I will hold my reservations!

  16. Karl Maki says:
    July 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm
    Polar bears, now adapted to eating seals that live only near sea ice, somehow made it through a few thousand years when there may not have been much sea ice, if any existed at all.
    I have a college geology textbook from the mid ’80s in which the observation is made that permanent ice on earth (e.g., mountain glaciers, ice caps) is very much the exception rather than the rule in the history of the planet. I have often wondered if that datum is still reavealed in modern textbooks.
    =============================
    Polar bears, as cute/cuddly as they may seem, are carnivores.
    The seals, and other prey know this.
    When the arctic is frozen, the bears wait for the seals to come on to the ice to rest.
    When the arctic is thawed, the bears wait for the seals to come on to the beach to rest.
    I know it is much more complicated than this, the bear doesn’t.

  17. Mike Odin says:
    July 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    “The interval from ∼230 B:C: to A.D. 40 was one of exceptional
    warmth in Iceland, coinciding with a period of general warmth and
    dryness in Europe known as the Roman Warm Period, from ∼200 B:C:
    to A.D. 400 (23). On the basis of δ18O data,reconstructed water
    temperatures for the Roman Warm Period in Iceland are higher than
    any temperatures recorded in modern times.”

    The arctic ice was at the time reported (through Pliny) to be one day from Thule. Assuming that Thule was Iceland, it could make sense, and the ice extent was no less than today. These accounts can hardly be considered accurate, though.

    ā Thūlē ūnīus diēī nāuigātiōne mare concrētum ā nōnnūllīs Cronium appellātur.

    Plīnius, historia nātūrālis, IIII.104

  18. we’re going into a very similar period of time but they weren’t affected by man like they are today…
    That has to rank in circular il-logic with the line from science skeptics where one very devout believer told me…. well yes 10 million years and every 30,000 years ago CO2 incline and decline followed temperature decline and incline.
    But it has changed since then.
    I still scratch my head over that… Climate acts the same way for millions of years… because it’s inconvenient, it’s flipped and acts differently now and we have no proof, we just know it did.
    Can I ask the question that begs to be asked?
    All animals have to face predators or face extinction. If the polar bear lived at a time that was most likely hotter than it is now and survived, what difference does mankind’s interaction differ?
    Mankind’s only contribution to the loss of polar bears was over hunting… since that was stopped, polar bear families have grown in large numbers.
    The senior biologist for the Canadian Fish and Wildlife Department says that the families in warmer climes are growing faster than the ones in the extreme cold climes of Hudson’s Bay because their main food source (seals) don’t like the extreme cold and they have left the area. They can handle cold just fine but if their food source dwindles, they dwindle. DUH! Is Homer Simpson in charge of the ACGW movement?

  19. Gail Combs says:
    July 15, 2010 at 6:59 pm
    Gail if you really want a giant scare check out the codex alementarius that we are currently ignorant of in the world (especially America) but have been living under since the WTO treaty.
    Monsanto is just a drop in the bucket when you know the truth.
    The codex was originally a tool of the Hapsburg empire to control the farming and food production in it’s large empire.
    The modern Codex was re-invented by the man who sold and provided the chemicals for the gas chambers at Auscwhitz and Bergennau during WW II.
    His company still exists and is actually the owner of the company Bayer of Bayer Aspirin.
    The codex allows for all kinds of poisons to be added at the farm or ranch but they consider vitamins and nutritional supplements as poisonous to humans.

  20. Mike Odin says:
    July 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    “The interval from ∼230 B:C: to A.D. 40 was one of exceptional
    warmth in Iceland

    Never mind my reference to Pliny. On closer inspection his source seems to be Pytheas, who reached the arctic around 325BC, a hundred years before.

  21. The article has a number of problems that have varying degrees of influence on the conclusions:
    “And humans — who didn’t wander out of Africa until about 45,000 years ago ”
    Paleoanthropologists are pretty well agreed that there were several migrations out of Africa. Certainly there was one during the Eemian between 135,000 and 105,000 ybp because anatomically modern humans inhabited the Eskhul cave complex in present-day Israel. It was at this time (and place) the first signs of “culture” appeared in the form of worked shells for decoration or trade. Interesting for this discussion is that the sea shore was only a few hundred meters from the caves at that time. The shore is now several kilometers away. The 45 kya out-of-Africa scenario was the post-Toba exodus from Africa.
    “polar bears would have a difficult time living on land, because other species like the grizzly bear could outcompete them.”
    In the Southeast Alaska environs of today (that are similar to those of the last Interglacial), harbor seals are common, but the brown bears do not feed on them. An explanation I find more plausible than competition on land is that a group of bears tended away from the berries and salmon crowd to prey on abundant seals. Perhaps they had adapted to the cold of the glacial period in which they made their split (180 kybp) in Southeast AK and moved north to keep up with the cold as the Northern Hemisphere warmed up approaching the Eemian Interglacial. Their full-on adaptation to the Arctic solidified during the glacial period between the Eemian and Late Holocene.
    “Refugia”
    A paper presented at a Society for Marine Mammalogy Biennial Conference about seven years ago pointed to an anomalous cold refugia in the Hudsons Bay-Greenland area during the last Interglacial. Greenland did not loose its major glaciers during the last Interglacial (the Eemian). That this area was a refugia for the P-bears makes sense to me.
    “We’re going into a very similar period of time, but it’s generally thought that this is going to be warmer than (the last great warm period),”
    If one looks at the entire span of the Eemian and compares it to the Late Holocene, the similarity that stands out is that both interglacials peaked in the first third of the period, then cooled in an irregular sinusoidal downtrend before falling off a cliff. The best proxies already show that the Eemian was demonstrably warmer than the present Interglacial at its peak. If we are “going into a very similar period,” we should expect the Russian predictions of a distinct cooling period to play out, not warming. Should a warming trend kick in, it would have to be so warm as to raise the sea level 3 m in order to attain the maximum of this Intergalcial during the Roman Warm Period and another 2 or 3 m on top of that to reach the Eemian maximum sea level. That’s not very likely. Even the IPCC’s worst case scenario has the sea level rising only less than 1 m, and that would only get us to the average sea level during the Medieval Warm Period!

  22. Ben U.: July 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm
    The Eemian stage was recognized from bore holes in a bed that somebody called, in French, the “Système Eémien,” after the Dutch river Eem. I’m glad to know that the two e’s aren’t pronounced as two syllables, but I’m still wondering whether I should pronounce them like an English double e or instead like a French é or Dutch double e, which would come out more or less like an English long a. I can’t find the pronunciation anywhere. I even tried Google video, hoping to find a recorded lecture on interglacials. I mean, imagine mentioning the Eemian and somebody saying hah, ya can’t even pronounce it!
    Please, would somebody tell me how to pronounce “Eemian”?

    When in doubt, go with the original derivation. Since it’s named after a Dutch river, go with the Dutch pronunciation. After all, everyone uses the German “th” when pronouncing “Neanderthal” — right?
    Oh, wait.

  23. “The author writes, “And humans – who didn’t wander out of Africa until about 45,000 years ago – …””
    Yeah, that is why I heard on the news last week about newly a discovered set of ancient human tools in England that dated almost 1,000,000 years old. Other people have the human exodus from Africa first happening 1.8 million years ago.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/jul/07/first-humans-britain-stone-tools
    [REPLY – He means Homo sapiens. Homo erectus was bumming around outside of Africa long before HSS evolved. They were tool and fire users. So far as I know, the Australopithicenes never made it out of Africa. OTOH, I have read that HSH, HSN, and even HSS were well out of Africa by 60,000 ya. maybe there’s new scholarship on that one. ~ Evan]

  24. @899 Maybe we can replace ‘When pigs fly’ with ‘When i see Hippo’s in London’ to outragious claims by the warmists?

  25. ” Shevva says:
    July 16, 2010 at 12:58 am
    @899 Maybe we can replace ‘When pigs fly’ with ‘When i see Hippo’s in London’ to outragious claims by the warmists?”
    Well according to the Alarmists, the Hippos will have to compete with Polar bears as global warming will cause the North Atlantic Conveyor to shut down and cause glacial conditions across the whole of Northern Europe.
    That is the problem with the Alarmist camp. CO2 will cause extreme warming AND extreme cooling and more droughts and floods and therefore, any change in weather is attributable to man-made climate change and this becomes a hypothesis which cannot be disproven. Whatever change happens is caused by man. It is not falsifiable, therefore is NOT scientific.

  26. “Refugia” are places that polar bears may survive without ice.
    Since they hunt on dry land quite as well as they hunt on the ice, most of the Northern Hemisphere is one vast refugium.

  27. It also begs the question why didn’t polar bears die off from some malaria-like tropical disease that they would not have had any immunity against?

  28. Gail Combs says:
    July 15, 2010 at 6:59 pm Check out
    Global Diversity Treaty:
    Thanks Gail

  29. “We’re going into a very similar period of time, but it’s generally thought that this is going to be warmer than (the last great warm period),” Talbot says.
    Too bad she felt the need to add that completely unscientific statement. Being part of the CAGW/CC establishment, though, I suppose she had to. Keeping the funding gravy train rolling along for as long as possible is, after all, a huge priority. Science is secondary. One must have ones priorities straight.

  30. You may be surprised that I, too, am heartily sick of everybody going on about Polar bears in the Arctic, as if they were the only animals there.
    I think part of the mistake people make is that they are not in the strictly scientific sense a distinct “species” at all. They are a pale furred variety of the “Brown Bear” which includes the North American Grizzlie. From the PBS “Nature” program web site:

    Proving their genetic compatibility, brown bears and polar bears can mate and produce viable, or fertile, offspring. It is this reproductive viability that establishes that an animal belongs within a given species. In 2006, a hybrid grizzly/polar bear, which some call a “pizzly,” was discovered in the Canadian Arctic, providing researchers proof that polar bears and grizzly bears can interbreed, even in the wild. And when researchers in Alaska compared the DNA of brown bears from around the world, looking for genetic links, they made an interesting discovery about one population of brown bears in particular. Analysis of the DNA of a distinct population of brown bears living on Alaska’s ABC islands, 900 miles south of the nearest polar bear, revealed that the ABC bears were even more closely related to polar bears genetically than they were to other brown bears.

    As a variety of a very adaptable animal, I would imagine that even if their numbers were to dwindle, some populations of Polars will be able to adapt to a lack of Summer sea ice by varying their diet and interbreeding with neighbouring populations of Grizzlies. Either that or they will die out completely with other, more omnivorous, Browns moving in to fill the evolutionary niche left behind. No doubt, given a few hundred thousand years, if the ice returns, those Grizzlies might develop paler coats and a taste for Seal meat again!

  31. I find it difficult to understand why the Warmists use the Polar bear as their poster-child for the imagined perils of a slighty warmer world. These creatures seem quite able to survive in a huge range of climate types and temperatures by hunting and by scavenging; the only factor that has diminished their numbers is not the presence of Man per se, but the presence of Man equipped with weapons, Man who absolutely has to display large bear rugs in his residence. Having casually observed Polar bears in zoos located in very temperate climes, I am convinced that, if a Polar bear were to be released in the English, North American or, indeed, any countryside where other animals can survive, Pb would survive just fine without ice. That may be a little rough on any other quadruped or biped that got too near to Pb, however.
    And the final statement in the article just had to inject the usual Warmist forcast that academics seem required to employ as caveats to continue funding.

  32. Mike M: July 16, 2010 at 4:24 am
    It also begs the question why didn’t polar bears die off from some malaria-like tropical disease that they would not have had any immunity against?
    Malaria isn’t a tropical disease — the anopheles mosquito is quite happy living in the Arctic. The worst malarial outbreak of modern times happened in Siberia, with thirty thousand deaths in Arkhangelsk alone, which is right on the Arctic Circle.

  33. I’ve said on other posts that if the ice disappeared, the polar bears’ hunting paradigm changes from a two dimensional surface to a linear surface – the seals have to come ashore and are easier to catch. I believe it also possible that seals in California and the seal-like manatee in Florida are likely vestiges of former ice critters of the ice age – maybe they migrated south away from the polar bears as the ice melted and reduced their safety.

  34. And maybe polar bears have been trying to adapt to life on land, but one species has blocked that avenue of evolution. Polar bears that wander onto land, especially near a human settlement, tend to get shot. And humans — who didn’t wander out of Africa until about 45,000 years ago — weren’t present on the edge of the sea ice when polar bears first made it their home.
    “We weren’t impacting them then the way we are now,” Talbot says.

    I’m sure things will work out just fine for the polar bear once the climate change pushes it out of it’s current remote habitat.
    Unlike the fate of giant sloths; short faced bears; giant polar bears; California tapirs; peccaries; the American lion; giant condors; Miracinonyx (“American cheetahs”, not true cheetahs); saber-toothed cats like Xenosmilus, Smilodon and the scimitar cat; Homotherium; dire wolves; saiga; camelids such as two species of now extinct llamas and Camelops; at least two species of bison; stag-moose; the shrub-ox and Harlan’s muskox; horses; mammoths and mastodons; and giant beavers as well as birds like teratorns — North American Pleistocene megafauna that went extinct during the Quaternary extinction event:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleistocene_megafauna
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaternary_extinction_event
    Polar bears are very adaptable – I saw one living in Central Park NYC, once.

  35. Anu : July 16, 2010 at 1:56 pm
    I’m sure things will work out just fine for the polar bear once the climate change pushes it out of it’s current remote habitat.
    Unlike the fate of
    [insert laundry list of extinct Pleistocene fauna]
    Yup. Polar bears, black bears, and brown bears all survived quite nicely, didn’t they?

  36. Anu says:
    July 16, 2010 at 1:56 pm
    I’m sure things will work out just fine for the polar bear once the climate change pushes it out of it’s current remote habitat.
    Historically, climate has always had one of two directions; warming OR cooling.
    Alarmists always seem to forget that. The polar bears may actually have to adapt to much colder, LIA-type conditions in the coming decades, just as we humans would. Cooling, in fact, is far more likely. Anthropogenic C02 has about as much effect on climate as a rowboat has on an ocean liner.

  37. Polar bears, now adapted to eating seals that live only near sea ice, somehow made it through a few thousand years when there may not have been much sea ice, if any existed at all.

    My understanding was that they’re pretty well adapted to eating unarmed humans too.
    DaveE.

  38. Polar bears have adapted to eat anything that can’t move faster than they can — and they’ve been doing it for a long, long, *long* time.

  39. latitude says:
    July 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm
    But they don’t understand, it was the warm period that killed that bear. 😉
    and of course, it’s going to get warmer now and it’s going to be worse than we thought.
    Is that line required on all papers having to do with climate science? It’s got to be in the rule book somewhere………..

  40. latitude says:
    July 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm
    Is that line required on all papers having to do with climate science? It’s got to be in the rule book somewhere………..
    I do not know how it is done in climate science, but there was a certain period here, in Hungary, when communist rule was starting to get weaker but was still in power. Then one could publish pretty much anything, even in social sciences, provided it had a Marxist tail. At the end of the paper one was expected to pay homage to the general idea of scientific socialism or some similar bullshit, but a brief lip service was enough, no one took it too seriously, not even the censor. The actual content of the paper could be the very opposite of what would have been suggested by Marxist theory, no one cared.

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