Polar Bears Survived the Ice Free Arctic

UPDATE BELOW: Peer reviewed science supports the title!

Famous photoshopped polar bear image: Ursus Bogus - click the bear for the story behind this faked image

By Steve Goddard

In part two of Dr. Meier’s post , he mentioned :

“Examination of several proxy records (e.g., sediment cores) of sea ice indicate ice-free or near ice-free summer conditions for at least some time during the period of 15,000 to 5,000 years ago”

WUWT Reader David Penny astutely noted the implication that Polar Bears must have already survived an ice free Arctic in the not too distant past. According to Wikipedia :

…the polar bear diverged from the brown bear, Ursus arctos, roughly 150,000 years ago

That must mean it is OK to take Polar Bears of the endangered species list. But the decision to put them on the list never had anything to do with science anyway.

The other implication of Dr. Meier’s statement is that a warmer, ice free Arctic occurred when CO2 levels were less than 290 ppm. This implies that there is no long term correlation between CO2 and Arctic temperatures.

Conversely, there was an ice age during the Ordovician 450 million years ago, when CO2 levels were 10X higher than today

http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/2005-08-18/dioxide_files/image002.gif

Conclusion: There is no evidence that Arctic warming over the last 30 years has anything to do with CO2. If it were CO2 causing it, we would see warming at both poles.

UPDATE:

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 U.S. Geological Survey 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.

Details here and here (source)

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Alan the Brit

Surprise, surprise! Who’d a thunk it?
That is a wonderful graph illustrating things perfectly in my view, although I don’t like suppressed zeros at any position. The (lack 0f) common sense, logic, & contradictions of AGW are truly depressing.
OT, on yet another BBC prog about wildlife they had a member of the RSPB talking about Falcons. He couldn’t resist weighing in with the clearly well rehearsed FACT about DDT causing eggshell thinning thus reducing the birds ability to reproduce, explaining the low numbers in the 20th century! However he omitted to point out to the largely ill informed public that numbers were in substantial decline from the mid 19th century, long before DDT was produced for mass agricultural use, but hey, never let a real fact get in the way of a good eco story! Now, where have I heard that claim before???? Are yes, Ms R. Carson I believe, & the RSPB has been “on message” right from the start.
AtB

Christoph Dollis

If it were CO2 causing it, we would see warming at both poles.

Don’t be silly, Anthony. Everyone knows CO2 is attracted toward the northern lights and, in particular, to the cute polar bears. (CO2 has a hate-on for polar bears.)
Thus global warming is a northern problem. This explains why the Antarctic isn’t warming and saves the AGW theory from oblivion. That and controlling the committees that investigate the scientists doing the science, when they’re caught admitting to grievous fraud and intimidation of non-conforming peer reviewed scientific journals.
See how that all works?

Grumbler

I think we should coin a new phrase – ‘the Penny Drops’ [sometimes called an ah ah moment in psychology]. It sums up the essential essence of a sceptic. We just ask a simple, straightforward, obvious question which can’t be answered and demolishes a whole area of policy or research. I do it all the time with young researchers at work. 🙂
cheers David

Ken Hall

Polar bears are not on the endangered species list. This is a common misconception in the alarmist hysteria. For any species to be on the endangered species list, there is a strict criteria of statistical checks pertaining to numbers, breeding pairs, habitat etc…
Some of the strict items which must be checked is that numbers are low, are declining and that breeding is happening at an insufficient rate to increase the numbers without additional protection for the species.
In the case of the Polar bear, this is not happening as their numbers, far from declining, have increased five fold over 60 years.
Another interesting fact is that peoples are allowed to hunt Polar bears, and there is no way in hell that this would be allowed to happen to any species listed on the endangered species list.
The polar bear IS listed on the “threatened” species list. This is a totally different list with a far looser set of criteria. The ONLY reason that the polar bear managed to become included on the threatened species list, is because this list did not take into account current conditions, but accepted the potential, predicted conditions that the Polar bear MIGHT encounter, according to climate alarmists, in future years.
This means that the entire biosphere and all individual species should be on the list too.

Recent study looking at Climate and culture in China suggest things get worse when things get cold!
“It is very probable that cool temperature may be the driving force in causing high frequencies of meteorological, agricultural disasters and then man-made disasters
(wars) in ancient China. In our previous study we found cool temperature significantly increased frequencies of drought and flood, and then locust plagues
(Zhang et al. 2009).”
Links can be found via http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com/2010/07/chinese-study-global-cooling-can-lead.html

AJB

Meanwhile, over at the Independent today we have …
Hudson Bay polar bears ‘could soon be extinct’

Polar bears in the Hudson Bay area of Canada are likely to die out in the next three decades, possibly sooner, as global warming melts more Arctic ice and thus reduces their hunting opportunities, according to Canadian biologists.

But hey, some of the comments offer good entertainment value …

“A warning today that proponents of man-made-global-climate-change are likely to die-out over the next few years, due to predictive malfunctions. The warning was welcomed by Mrs Nora Stubbs of Manchester, who said: “Good riddance to these vicious, dangerous animals”. [ Acknowledgements to “thomasgoodey”. ]

jcrabb

Hudson bay Polar bears are in decline due to receding Arctic sea ice extent,
http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2293 so the proposal that Polar bears are threatened by a decline in Arctic ice has been supported.
As for what happened thousands of years ago, maybe not all sea ice disappeared or the population became very small then flourished when Ice returned, who really knows and is somewhat irrelevant when there is concrete evidence of Polar Bear reliance of Arctic sea ice now.

Kate

I know it must be summer because the “Polar Bears Are Dying Out” scare stories are appearing in the British press, supplied, as always, by some AGW “research” outfit or other. If you ever wondered how these idiotic articles keep being picked up by the media, here is a classic example. This one started here…
The University of Alberta http://www.ualberta.ca/
Motto: “Serving Through Knowlege”.
Concern for polar bears heightened by math
By Brian Murphy May 26, 2010
Contact Brian Murphy: bm1@ualberta.ca
Public Affairs Associate T: 780-492-6041
http://www.expressnews.ualberta.ca/en/NewsArticles/2010/05/Concernforpolarbearsheightenedbymath.aspx
“Ongoing concerns about the plight of polar bears becoming victims of climate change are now heightened with the release of a paper that has three University of Alberta researchers among its authors. Peter Molnar, of the U of A’s Centre for Mathematical Biology, and university professors Andrew Derocher and Mark Lewis, used mathematical modeling to show polar bear populations could plummet if ice-free periods in the Arctic continue to increase. “Mathematical modeling is a quantum leap forward in our understanding of how climate change will affect these animals,” said Derocher. The research team assigned numerical values to study how long male polar bears located on land near Churchill, Manitoba can go without food when they’re cut off from their hunting grounds on the sea ice of Hudson Bay.
“Thanks to previous studies researchers know the weight and energy storing capacity of polar bears and the warming trend in the North is well documented. “We know climate change has increased the ice-free period in Hudson Bay by three weeks over the last three decades,” said Derocher.
“Records also show that since 1990 ice-free periods in Hudson Bay vary from 90 to 135 days and that the current polar bear mortality rate is around three per cent. With climate change, predictions indicate that the ice-free period will increase.
“Derocher has real concerns for the 900 polar bears in the study area. “If the ice-free period extends to 180 days our modeling shows upward of half of those animals will die.” An important finding is that the changes could happen very quickly and this contrasts with the slow decline in polar populations that have been found to date.
“Derocher says long ice-free periods raise real concerns for the town of Churchill, which already has problems with landlocked and hungry polar bears wandering its streets. “They see a lot of bears now,” said Derocher, “but they are not really prepared to deal with several hundred bears stuck in their town for weeks and weeks.”
“The mathematical-modeling study also includes the polar bear mating process and birth rates. Derocher says that when the sea ice is in place, male polar bears set out across Hudson Bay to hunt and search for a female to mate with. Derocher says the male’s age-old system of finding a mate is quite simple. The male heads out on the ice and walks a fairly straight line until it crosses the tracks of a female. If the tracks “smell right” and indicate the female is ready to mate, the male simply follows her tracks. “But when the sea ice breaks into pieces, the female can wind up on a drifting floe and the male will never find her,” said Derocher. “The ice becomes a jigsaw puzzle but there’s no way to put the tracks back together.”
“Accounting for the changing efficiency of males finding females, Derocher says the team concluded the pregnancy rate could drop by 30 per cent.
“Derocher says this research gives Ottawa a longitudinal window into the effects of climate change on an Arctic species and he’s hoping something will be done. “We have two thirds of the world’s polar bears and collectively scientists around the world and people are looking to Canada for leadership but we’ve been very slow to recognize polar bears as a threatened species,” said Derocher. “That has to change.”
“The work of Molnar, Derocher and their colleagues is published in the recent issue of Biological Conservation.”
**************************************************
It’s rubbish like this that ends up in the British press as scare stories, such as in today’s Independent:
(a rehashed article from May) which quotes directly this “research” and adds its own spin:
Hudson Bay polar bears ‘could soon be extinct’
By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
Online editor: m.king@independent.co.uk
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/hudson-bay-polar-bears-could-soon-be-extinct-2026755.html
“…The Arctic sea ice as a whole reached its lowest-ever recorded extent in September, 2007. In the last two years it has recovered, but it is once again declining rapidly this year…
“…The significance of the new study is that it is based on a mathematical model which matches the weight and energy-storing capacity of the bears, which are known – the west Hudson Bay animals are the most closely observed of all polar bear populations – against the annual ice shrinkage and the time they have to spend on land without food.
“Carried out by Professors Andrew Derocher and Mark Lewis, with graduate student Peter Molnar, it has been published in the journal Biological Conservation, and Professor Derocher talks about it at length in the current issue of Environment 360, the online environmental journal of Yale University in the US.”
“…”There’s been a gradual decline in [the bears’] body condition that dates to the 1980s and we can now correlate that very nicely with the loss of sea ice in this ecosystem. And one of the things we found was that the changes that could come in this population could happen very dramatically, and a lot of the change could come within a single year, if you just ended up with an earlier melt of sea ice.”
Do they think we’re stupid? “changes that COULD come…COULD happen very dramatically…the change COULD come within a single year, IF you just ended up with an earlier melt of sea ice.”
And by the way, COULD the Canadian taxpayers please send us some more of that lovely global warming money which COULD be running out because, IF our mathematical models are correct, we COULD be completely cash-free by the end of this financial year.
————————-
I also can’t help noticing that the The University of Alberta is proud of it’s “Energy and Environment” research: http://www.research.ualberta.ca/ResearchStrengths/EnergyandEnvironment.aspx
“…Alberta is often best known for its energy resources, and U of A faculty and alumni have played key roles in developing Alberta’s black gold.
“Key contributions include Karl Clark’s hot water extraction process for separating bitumen from oilsands, and geology professor Charlie Stelck’s idea to search for oil and gas near ancient coral reefs, leading to the discovery of Leduc No. 1 and Alberta’s Pembina Oil Field…”
*********************
AGW research thinking is completely cracked. They accept money from their enemies and their supporters at the same time. They also say nature is all-powerful, and then go on to produce a headline such as “Michael McCarthy: The symbol of nature’s battle with climate change” http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/michael-mccarthy-the-symbol-of-natures-battle-with-climate-change-2026756.html which must be one of the stupidest headlines I’ve seen this year. Nature is nature, it’s natural, that’s the point; it doesn’t “battle” with anything.
Bears, however, battle each other, and the loser gets eaten:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1234066/Is-global-warming-causing-hungry-polar-bears-resort-cannibalism.html
“…But this [global warming] theory is disputed by Inuit leaders in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, who claim it is wrong to connect the bears’ behaviour with starvation. Kivalliqu Inuit Association president Jose Kusugak said: “It makes the south – southern people – look so ignorant. A male polar bear eating a cub becomes a big story and they try to marry it with climate change and so on, it becomes absurd when it’s a normal, normal occurrence.”
“Although infanticide can occur in all species of bear, it can be accentuated among polar bears when they run low on fat reserves and become hungry enough to resort to cannibalism, according to conservation group Polar Bears International.”

Spector

I find it rather interesting that there has been no worry about the fate of Alaska’s Kodiak bears — the largest brown bears in the world. Of course, these animals have fully demonstrated that they can take care of themselves.

TheGoodProfessor

I am planning to point my students to this website – and this thread in particular – as an excellent example of a logical fallacy ‘in the wild’. You can all help out by not mentioning what the fallacy is in the comments, otherwise you will give the game away, so to speak.
Much obliged.
TheGoodProfessor

Martin Brumby

@Alan the Brit says: July 15, 2010 at 1:14 am
Unfortunately the RSPB is now just another fraudulent cAGW alarmist group. They get a £10 kickback from Big Wind every time they get one of their bird spotter members to sign up to one of the “Green Energy” electricity suppliers. And (of course) say nothing about the thousands of birds per year that get shredded by wind generators.
So the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds doesn’t give a sh*t about birds when it suits them. And they still haven’t been able to point to one species of bird anywhere that has gone extinct because of Global Warming. (And as the little blighters fly around, it’s a challenge to see why they should. They can always go somewhere cooler.)
And then you get another mainstream UK Charity (OXFAM), set up to combat famine, spending tens of thousands before Copenhagen 2009 with highly alarmist billboards all over the UK. And, if you check, yes they are in favour of biofuels that have increased famine in the third world.
Morally bankrupt crooks!

Jack Simmons

Alan the Brit,
Spot on the DDT scare story. Rachael Carson did everyone a big disservice by misrepresenting the science of DDT.
Talked about in the wonderful book Kicking the Sacred Cow. A must read for everyone interested in the interplay of science and politics. Modern science is not the popular image of geeky types sacrificing normal social lives to pursue the ‘truth’. It has become a bureaucracy with funding and status issues. Sometimes it works the way it is supposed to, but mostly it is about people trying to hold onto jobs in a culture of groupthink and government funding, with all the strings attached.
See http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743488288/sr=1-1/qid=1279189486/ref=dp_proddesc_1?ie=UTF8&n=283155&qid=1279189486&sr=1-1
See also http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0743488288/0743488288.htm
Try this http://reason.com/archives/2002/06/12/silent-spring-at-40
Rachel Carson is one of the primary saints of environmentalism. How appropriate the so-called science underlying her assertions are false. The ban on DDT is a glaring example of government ignoring the science due to an ill informed public pressuring their representatives to ‘do something’.
Which brings us to
Ken Hall says:
July 15, 2010 at 1:41 am

The polar bear IS listed on the “threatened” species list. …
This means that the entire biosphere and all individual species should be on the list too.

Don’t give them any ideas.

Jack Simmons

Kate says:
July 15, 2010 at 2:28 am

AGW research thinking is completely cracked. They accept money from their enemies and their supporters at the same time.

When money speaks, no one minds the accent.
I got the chance to talk with a hunting guide from the Hudson Bay area a couple of years ago. I asked if he had noticed anything about the climate and its effect on polar bears.
He said the rivers do experience an earlier thaw and later freeze. He also said many polar bears go inland to eat caribou.
Makes sense. Bears are bears. If one source of food dries up, they go after another.
One of the wolf packs in the Lamar Valley region of the Yellowstone specializes in bringing down buffalo. They eat well, they also leave a big pile of table scraps. Or more accurately, they can’t eat the carcass fast enough to prevent its theft by a grizzly bear. As a result, grizzly bears are better fed than in times past.
One nature photographer captured a picture of over ten bears sharing a buffalo carcass. Unheard of a few years ago. Not enough food to share. But there they were, wrapping up a shared meal courtesy of the Lamar Valley wolf pack.
These are good times for the grizzly in Yellowstone.
Good for them.
Amazing what happens to animals and ecosystems when we leave them alone.

James Sexton

jcrabb says:
July 15, 2010 at 2:18 am
“Hudson bay Polar bears are in decline due to receding Arctic sea ice extent,…..”
Well, that’s half right. If that were a true statement, then we’d see a decline on the rest of the Polar bear population. We don’t. Or maybe Hudson Bay Polar bears are a special type unique unto themselves and don’t behave like the rest of the Polar bear population. It’s not like the Hudson Bay bears are a substantial portion of the total polar bear population.
Here’s what has been proven. We have a decline of the Polar bear population in the Hudson Bay area. We have receding Arctic ice extent, but not confined to the Hudson bay area.
That’s not even a true correlation, and no where is causation proven.
Currently we have a population drain in western Kansas. Is anyone postulating that recent global temp rise is killing western Kansans? I don’t know why not, it is the same rationale.

tty

Actually the virtual extermination of peregrines (and many other birds) in parts of Europe and North America in the 1960’s by pesticide poisoning (DDT and mercury compounds) is very well documented and the physiological mechanisms are well understood. I was present when it happened and you could find droves of dying birds during sowing where mercury doped seeds were scattered about. Any number of birds and eggs were analysed and the connection between high quantities of DDE and/or organomercury compounds and the characteristic symptoms was verified by feeding experiments.
[snip]

D. Patterson

TheGoodProfessor says:
July 15, 2010 at 2:36 am
I am planning to point my students to this website – and this thread in particular – as an excellent example of a logical fallacy ‘in the wild’. You can all help out by not mentioning what the fallacy is in the comments, otherwise you will give the game away, so to speak.
Much obliged.
TheGoodProfessor

Polar bears…Mmmphh…mummmphhh!

David Mayhew

There is no doubt that polar bears have survived, but what they had to “go through” to survive isnt clear. Obviously there is no point in extrapolating to the whole population from a few recent observations in one place about them “being affected” by reduction in ice, and I tend to agree with our Inuit friends mentioned above in the comments “It makes the south – southern people – look so ignorant”.
Since this post is about “ice-free” conditions in the Arctic I draw attention to a recent scientific publication covering this (naturally using the current jargon of proxies and forcing). It amounts to a warmist co-opting/rewrite of palaeoclimate evidence as support for the position that were are in a completely new, unprecedented, situation.
But it cannot be avoided that (see abtract below) “Early Holocene summer sea ice limits were substantially smaller than their 20th century average”.
DFM
Abstract/reference below (full article protected by copyright limitations).
Quaternary Science Reviews 29 (2010) 1679-1715
G.H.Miller et al (23 authors)
Temperature and precipitation history of the Arctic
Abstract
As the planet cooled from peak warmth in the early Cenozoic, extensive Northern Hemisphere ice sheets developed by 2.6 Ma ago, leading to changes in the circulation of both the atmosphere and oceans. From ca 2.6 to ca 1.0 Ma ago, ice sheets came and went about every 41 ka, in pace with cycles in the tilt of Earth’s axis, but for the past 700 ka, glacial cycles have been longer, lasting ca 100 ka, separated by brief, warm interglaciations, when sea level and ice volumes were close to present. The cause of the shift from 41 ka to 100 ka glacial cycles is still debated. During the penultimate interglaciation, ca 130 to ca 120 ka ago, solar energy in summer in the Arctic was greater than at any time subsequently. As a consequence, Arctic summers were ca 5°C warmer than at present, and almost all glaciers melted completely except for
the Greenland Ice Sheet, and even it was reduced in size substantially from its present extent. With the loss of land ice, sea level was about 5 m higher than present, with the extra melt coming from both Greenland and Antarctica as well as small glaciers. The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) peaked ca 21 ka ago, when mean annual temperatures over parts of the Arctic were as much as 20°C lower than at present.
Ice recession was well underway 16 ka ago, and most of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets had melted by 6 ka ago. Solar energy reached a summer maximum (9% higher than at present) ca 11 ka ago and has been decreasing since then, primarily in response to the precession of the equinoxes. The extra energy elevated early Holocene summer temperatures throughout the Arctic 1-3° C above 20th century averages, enough to completely melt many small glaciers throughout the Arctic, although the Greenland Ice Sheet was only slightly smaller than at present. Early Holocene summer sea ice limits were substantially smaller than their 20th century average, and the flow of Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean was substantially greater. As summer solar energy decreased in the second half of the Holocene, glaciers reestablished or advanced, sea ice expanded, and the flow of warm Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean diminished. Late Holocene cooling reached its nadir during the Little Ice Age (about 1250-1850 AD), when sun-blocking volcanic eruptions and perhaps other causes added to the orbital cooling, allowing most Arctic glaciers to reach their maximum Holocene extent. During the warming of the past century, glaciers have receded throughout the Arctic, terrestrial ecosystems have advanced northward, and perennial Arctic Ocean sea ice has diminished.
Here we review the proxies that allow reconstruction of Quaternary climates and the feedbacks that amplify climate change across the Arctic. We provide an overview of the evolution of climate from the hot-house of the early Cenozoic through its transition to the ice-house of the Quaternary, with special emphasis on the anomalous warmth of the middle Pliocene, early Quaternary warm times, the Mid
Pleistocene transition, warm interglaciations of marine isotope stages 11, 5e, and 1, the stage 3 interstadial, and the peak cold of the last glacial maximum.

jcrabb: July 15, 2010 at 2:18 am
Hudson bay Polar bears are in decline due to receding Arctic sea ice extent,
http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2293 so the proposal that Polar bears are threatened by a decline in Arctic ice has been supported.

Hudson Bay polar bears are only a fraction of the global population, and they’re declining because communities are restricting their access to *garbage*. They eat it — which is why the Hudson Bay population grew as large as it did, as fast as it did.
BTW, in Canada, polar bears aren’t considered threatened, they’re considered big game. Canada issues about 800 polar bear permits each year.
As for what happened thousands of years ago, maybe not all sea ice disappeared or the population became very small then flourished when Ice returned, who really knows and is somewhat irrelevant when there is concrete evidence of Polar Bear reliance of Arctic sea ice now.
Maybe yes, maybe no, maybe maybe. Polar bears hunt on the ice, but they’re not *reliant* on it, because they do quite well on dry land, too — they just change their hunting tactics. Polar bears are *not* stupid animals, or they wouldn’t have survived in the Arctic in the first place.

Joe Lalonde

If the Polar Bears are declining, I would be more inclined to look in the freezers of the native hunters living in the area.
If not then where are the dead carcasses? Oh ya, they sunk in the open water.

Henry chance

If they are near extinction, let Canadia know. It is my understanding they still sell hunting permits.

Hoppy

Rare bird species suffered declines in population due to egg theft/collectors and gamekeepers guns. (Either that or the French ate them!)
With regard to polar bear numbers – last time I checked no one knew how many there were. Seems a useful start point?

Gerard

TheGoodProfessor says:
July 15, 2010 at 2:36 am
I am planning to point my students to this website – and this thread in particular – as an excellent example of a logical fallacy ‘in the wild’. You can all help out by not mentioning what the fallacy is in the comments, otherwise you will give the game away, so to speak.
Much obliged.
TheGoodProfessor
I see it clearly too. It is however not a different logical fallacy then the one in the AGW theory itself. I do hope I haven’t given it away with that.

Joel

Hi Anthony,
Just wanted to let you know that the polar bear image doesn’t link to a story on the faked image.

Kate

Jack Simmons says:
“…they can’t eat the carcass fast enough to prevent its theft by a grizzly bear. As a result, grizzly bears are better fed than in times past…”
Grizzly bears are now so well-fed, many are getting fat and lazy. It’s been noted that they can barely be bothered to catch fish like they used to. Salmon practically have to swim or leap into the Bear’s open mouth to be caught. Half-chewed salmon litter the riverbanks, which never used to happen. (Though they’ve always left scraps behind.)

hell_is_like_newark

Wait a minute.. 15,000 years ago, were we not still in an ice age? Why would the arctic be ice free?

TheGoodProfessor

Rachel Carson is one of the primary saints of environmentalism. How appropriate the so-called science underlying her assertions are false. The ban on DDT is a glaring example of government ignoring the science due to an ill informed public pressuring their representatives to ‘do something’.

You do know that Rachel Carson supported the use of indoor residual spraying with DDT for public health uses don’t you? Good, I thought you did. I wouldn’t want you to engage in a display of ignorance that might otherwise damage your credibility.
TheGoodProfessor

Hoodlum

On what proxies is that graph of CO2 concentrations vs global temperature based?
I presume it’s not accepted as valid by the pro-AGW crowd, since if it could be verified as being 100% reliable, it offers conclusive proof that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has literally no significant bearing on global temperatures (barring an initial small warming effect logarithmically tailing off as shown in this article)

StanWilli

As with most global warming gobledee-gook (sp?) AGW alarmists are only telling one side of the polar bear story. If you ask the Inuit, who actually live WITH the polar bears, they say they are they ones in trouble, not the polar bears!
http://arcticfocus.com/2010/01/08/polar-bear-hotline-%E2%80%9Cinuit-are-saying-they-are-the-ones-in-danger-not-the-polar-bear/
Polar bears have survivied many ice-free acrtic summers in the past 5 million years of glaciations/inter-glaciations. That is too short of a time frame for them to have evolved the adaptations they have developed to survive -50 degreee Arctic living and to also have survived the interglacial warm periods (like the one we are currently expereincing). They simply change their habits, adapt, if you will, to become land hunters.
If researchers would only ask the Inuit, they would find that the polar bear population is NOT suffering what so ever. They areadapting to this ice-free time (if it is truly ice-free) by: ….”coming into hamlets, chasing children and eating caches of stored food.”
And here is what we all know:
“Wildlife adviser with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., Paul Irngaut, has taken about 30 (bear hotline) calls in the past weeks.
“People from the South only hear one side of the story, which is from polar bear biologists or scientists who are using predictions, using computer simulations and we don’t agree with that. That’s not what we’re seeing up there.” (that polar bear populations are in danger!)
Who knew? computer simulations and models are predicting incorrect outcomes verses reality. Huh.

wsbriggs

tty says:
July 15, 2010 at 4:20 am
“Actually the virtual extermination of peregrines (and many other birds) in parts of Europe and North America in the 1960′s by pesticide poisoning (DDT and mercury compounds) is very well documented and the physiological mechanisms are well understood. I was present when it happened and you could find droves of dying birds during sowing where mercury doped seeds were scattered about. Any number of birds and eggs were analysed and the connection between high quantities of DDE and/or organomercury compounds and the characteristic symptoms was verified by feeding experiments.
[snip]”
Oops, combining organomercury and DDT and discussing sowing of seeds doesn’t work. Please provide the cited publications of the testing.
I’ve been trying to find them for a research project and I’m not having any luck on the web. Since you were there, may we presume that you co-authored the same? If not, I’m sure you can provide the names of the authors.

Polar bears are recent evolutionary responses, they found food in the arctic, moved north chasing a food source, seals they liked to eat and found easy to catch, and turned white to camouflage themselves better to hide from seals. So if they all die off, we can just make more, can’t we? Just ship brown bears north and let evolution fix the loss.
I doubt most people realize how short polar bears have been on earth, given earth’s 4.5 billion year age.

pat

Polar Bears live well in ice free zoos all over the world.

LarryD

“On what proxies is that graph of CO2 concentrations vs global temperature based? ”
Since I’ve seen basically the same graph here, with error-bars, I assume they’re both from the same sources. to wit: Temperature after C.R. Scotese http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm; CO2 after R.A. Berner, 2001 (GEOCARB III) http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/Geocarb_III-Berner.pdf

John from CA

CO2 appears to be a lag indicator of temperature based on the ice core charts. It appears to hang around as temperature drops due to the rate of oceanic intake and lags temperature uptrends.
Based on the link, there are periods when this doesn’t appear to follow the pattern indicating that something else was driving CO2. The something else is likely volcanic activity?
http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/ice-core-graph/

Ben

“You do know that Rachel Carson supported the use of indoor residual spraying with DDT for public health uses don’t you?”
And her science which over-hyped the result on humans in general had nothing to do with the ban at all? When you combine activism in science with politians, you get bad results, this should be a lesson to all.
It didn’t matter that she said it was better to use DDT indoors or not, her work got the chemical banned. Best intentions of mice and men….often go astray. She should be blamed for the ban for using bad science showing a correlation between cancer and DDT. I don’t care what she thought or believed, its the results of her research that matter. Thats what matters.
And yes, DDT has a detrimental impact on wildlife. This is why instead of over-hyping the impact on humans, the reality should be made crystal CLEAR to those in power because they do not understand what the science actually says versus what the scientists allude to that might be a possibility.
Which brings us back to global warming. We have a reality disfunction here where scientists say “this is possible and is one possibility with this GCM.” Activists run with this and convince everyone that CO2 CAUSES the temperature to rise when the correlation is still being worked on. This is science at its infancy, we can not say how much of an impact CO2 has on the environment because all the science is filled with weasel words such as “could” and “possible”.
Maybe the scientists did not say this, but they should be held accountable with their weasel words of “this is possible.” don’t put possibilities into scientific papers, put results and make it crystal clear without being a weasel.
Thats the moral of the entire DDT story. And that should have been a lesson for scientists everywhere on how to not act. Don’t be a weasel monkey. Show your results for what they are and don’t sell your soul for more grant money.

Grumbler

“Ken Hall says:
July 15, 2010 at 1:41 am
Polar bears are not on the endangered species list. This is a common misconception …..”
Ken,
you are right of course but look at a typical headline in the MSM!
http://discovermagazine.com/2009/jan/055
cheers David

hell_is_like_newark: July 15, 2010 at 5:43 am
Wait a minute.. 15,000 years ago, were we not still in an ice age? Why would the arctic be ice free?
Good question. This article addresses it and is as good an explanation as I’ve found for the Arctic being ice-free in the summer — which it *had* to be, based on the types of extinct animals they’ve found.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/fit/chapter2.asp
“Glacial debris indicates that only the mountains of Siberia, Alaska, and the Yukon were actually glaciated. The lowlands, where the mammoth bones are found, were never glaciated. That would explain how the animals could live in these areas during the Ice Age.”
“…the ecology of the [extinct] Siberian animals suggests a much more diverse vegetation with a fertile soil. This further implies a comparatively mild winter with light snowfall and a long growing season. These conditions differ markedly from the modern environment and climate, not to mention uniformitarian computer simulations of the Ice Age climate.”
It looks like the terrain and the *climate* in the Arctic during the Ice Age was not only much different than we thought, it may have been more different than we could imagine.

1DandyTroll

‘Conclusion: There is no evidence that Arctic warming over the last 30 years has anything to do with CO2. If it were CO2 causing it, we would see warming at both poles.’
It would be rather fun it it instead was all those enviromuppets research vessels, chopper and planes was the tipping point of all those government research, military, et cetera vessels, choppers, and planes, not to mention tourism, helping to break up the ice by plowing through the ice, and by vibration, and changing the landscape by buildings, thereby making it much easier for weather to finnish the job.

John F. Hultquist
Crossopter

As to the assumption by some that numbers are declining, it may just simply be that a number of ‘pioneering’ individuals have decided to further extend their geographical range, thereby decreasing population density. As this link from the RSPB Isle of Mull (Scotland) shows,
http://birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=2027 ,
March 2010 was a good month for them, perhaps aided by the ‘titanic’ effects of our exceptionally prolonged and cold winter.
/;-])

Scott

jcrabb says:
July 15, 2010 at 2:18 am

Hudson bay Polar bears are in decline due to receding Arctic sea ice extent,
http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2293 so the proposal that Polar bears are threatened by a decline in Arctic ice has been supported.
As for what happened thousands of years ago, maybe not all sea ice disappeared or the population became very small then flourished when Ice returned, who really knows and is somewhat irrelevant when there is concrete evidence of Polar Bear reliance of Arctic sea ice now.

Hmm, so two things that appear to be true, but contradict each other, so both can’t be true. So either (a) polar bears don’t require summer sea ice to survive, or (b) the pre-historical record is not as true as sold. Actually, I’ll take (c), which is both of the above. I take any pre-historical scientific “facts” to be highly questionable because of the number of assumptions going into radiometric dating, and I also seriously doubt that polar bears can’t survive without summer sea ice.
-Scott

Scott

tarpon says:
July 15, 2010 at 6:20 am

Polar bears are recent evolutionary responses, they found food in the arctic, moved north chasing a food source, seals they liked to eat and found easy to catch, and turned white to camouflage themselves better to hide from seals. So if they all die off, we can just make more, can’t we? Just ship brown bears north and let evolution fix the loss.
I doubt most people realize how short polar bears have been on earth, given earth’s 4.5 billion year age.

You realize that’s just a speculative story, right? According to the above article, polar bears and brown bears diverged only 150,000 years ago. Is that legitimate? Hard to say…assuming a generation of 10 years for polar bears (someone please correct me if that’s far off), that’s only 15,000 generations. Seems like a lot, but it’s not a whole lot to work with really…Lenski’s long-term evolution study has topped 50,000 generations with relatively large population sizes and hasn’t shown very much change. Thus, I’m finding it doubtful that all the above can be true.
Just some thoughts and numbers,
-Scott

P.F.

The bear facts:
Kate at 2:28 am contributed a good deal of information regarding the P-bear that anyone speaking to the subject should know (but most don’t). Here are a couple more:
The divergence between brown bears and polar bears occurred in Southeast Alaska, likely near Admiralty Island. Genetically speaking, the brown bears of Admiralty are closer to polar bears than either are to any other species of bear, even though there are brown bears on the islands (Baranof and Chichagof) and mainland that surround Admiralty.
Adult male bears eating cubs is not an issue of hunger, but a genetic strategy to increase the odds that their DNA survives and the other guys’ doesn’t. It’s a Darwinian sort of evolutionary strategy — survival of the fittest. It doesn’t always work out as planned when the boar nails one of its own, but there’s no way of him knowing that. The same behavior occurs with brown bears in Southeast Alaska and elsewhere.
StanWilli at 6:08 am misstated when he wrote: ? Polar bears have survivied many ice-free acrtic summers in the past 5 million years of glaciations/inter-glaciations.”
Polar bears have not been around 5 million years, rather not more than about 180,000. Much of the assemblage of modern higher mammal species is a product of the Pleistocene climate swings. The modern genera show up around 2.8 mya and the species more recently than that. Take your own species for example. Anatomically modern Homo sapiens begin to show up in the fossil record only about 180,000 years ago. There was something special about the period between 190,000 and 150,000 years ago that hasn’t been fully explored yet. It marks the time of radiation and speciation that appears in many marine mammal species (right whales, killer whales, Lagenorhynchus and Stenella dolphins) including the polar bear, as well as human beings.

John from CA

Bill Tuttle says:
July 15, 2010 at 7:30 am
What about Greenland Bill? The ice-core samples have to be older than 15,000 years.
Note: the ice-cores reflect volcanic events and temperature but the Vostok Ice-Cores are from Antarctica so they don’t reflect Arctic conditions. The Vostok Ice-Cores supposedly don’t contain effects of catastrophic geological changes like petroleum, vermin, weird Venus gasses, red snow, manna in amongst the layers. Also no evidence for rapid rotational changes in the earth, no floods, and no major asteroid bombardments.
No idea why they might expect to find asteroid in the cores but I’m probably missing something.

R. Gates

I think it is interesting to note that the man that many skeptics love to bash, Dr. David Barber (i.e. rotten ice etc.) has noted in a recent presentation that some of the recent changes in Arctic Sea has caused the habitat to actually improve for polar bears in the short term. You can find that brief mention in this presentation:
http://video.hint.no/mmt201v10/osc/?vid=55
His point wasn’t that polar bears were not in jeopardy of losing their habitat in the longer term, and certainly polar bears are not the focus of his research. Like all species, if a habitat changes they will adapt or perish. From what I’ve seen, polar bears are pretty rugged animals, and probably have survived other periods of change in the Arctic, and if they need to move south to hunt because of melting ice, the upside is they’ll reduce the population Canadians…

Pamela Gray

The logic is impeccable and unimpeachable regarding the Hudson Bay ice and polar bears. Therefore I shall use it.
To wit: The warm phase of the Pacific Decadel Oscillation is a reliable predictor of low salmon populations. Therefore we should enact legislation to remove/reduce/control the cause of the warm phase of the PDO.

Jimbo

The post above is the reason why I have remained sceptical of AGW. They need to explain the ice-free / co2 low and the ice-age / co2 ten times higher. As for the polar bear survival I have always maintained that polar bear have survived ice free / low ice extents in the past. They scavenge for goodness sake!
http://www.ngu.no/en-gb/Aktuelt/2008/Less-ice-in-the-Arctic-Ocean-6000-7000-years-ago/
http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice-tony-b/
http://co2science.org/articles/V12/N32/C2.php
As for albedo:
http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/pub/gorodetskaya/irina_ipccpaper.pdf
“The predicted substantial decrease in Arctic summer sea ice concentrations during the twenty-first century may favor cloud formation, which should diminish or even cancel the ice-albedo feedback by shielding the surface.”

Pamela Gray

R Gates, your foot will be vastly improved with a bit of seasoning and perhaps some ketchup?

On 9/22/09 — in this post — I made a similar argument regarding polar bears having already survived one or more summers with zero Arctic sea ice.
I am VERY happy to see the same argument made at WUWT (where a far larger audience will see the evidence). Polar bears are very intelligent and very adaptable creatures. They are doing just fine and they will continue to do so. How well Homo sapiens will survive eco-extremist political tyranny is more in question.
Thanks!

Pamela Gray

I am always intrigued by graphs depicting eras, temps, and CO2. The oceanic currents and tectonic plates have quite an impact on both. I wish the graph had blow-out pictures of the estimated position of land masses and possible oceanic currents for each era. The graph would be vastly improved in terms of its informational content along with its data presentation.

DirkH

jcrabb says:
July 15, 2010 at 2:18 am
“[…] As for what happened thousands of years ago, maybe not all sea ice disappeared or the population became very small then flourished when Ice returned, who really knows and is somewhat irrelevant when there is concrete evidence of Polar Bear reliance of Arctic sea ice now.”
Good point. Who really knows and it’s somewhat irrelevant what happened in the past. So CO2 didn’t cause global warming in the past, but it does now, so we have to decarbonize our economy and raise a lot of taxes, well very good argument that is. Thanks for giving us an example of the strident adherence to logic that is all things AGW.