Newspapers Mislead Public About Polar Bear Numbers

Press release from the GWPF:

“The main story of new study is the remarkable recovery of Arctic polar bear population”

Earlier this week, the Guardian newspaper ran a headline claiming that the ‘polar bear population in frozen sea north of Alaska falls 40% in 10 years’ – a claim repeated today by the AFP news agency.

Dr Susan Crockford, a Canadian zoologist and professor with more than 35 years experience, has been highly critical of these stories, claiming that they are misleading the public.

A study by US Geological Survey researchers and scientists did find that polar bear survival rates were particularly low from 2004 to 2006. However, the study also found that polar bear populations in the area had largely recovered by 2010.

Indeed, the US Fish & Wildlife Service reported earlier this year that “the number of polar bears observed in 2012 was high relative to similar surveys conducted over the past decade.”

Furthermore, some newspaper columns attributed the low survival rates in 2004- 2006 to thinning ice despite an acknowledgement by the authors that the population decline happened in thick spring ice conditions. In fact, the recovery in polar bear numbers from 2007 onwards occurred when summer sea ice was remarkably low, according to Dr Crockford.

Responding to the claims in the media, Dr Crockford said:

“The main story of this study is the remarkable recovery of the polar bear population by 2010 which has likely continued since then. To suggest that polar bear populations have been declining is hugely misleading.

“The authors have also acknowledged that the cause of the 2004-2006 decline was heavy spring ice conditions. They found no correlation for the decline with summer sea ice conditions.”

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November 19, 2014 10:47 am

And about much else. Print all the news that fits.

Peter R Roach
Reply to  sturgishooper
November 19, 2014 11:12 am

The Guardian, Rag for the Left ?

Insufficiently Sensitive
Reply to  Peter R Roach
November 19, 2014 3:52 pm

The Guardian, Rag for the Left ?
The same story was swallowed whole by the Seattle Times, and broadcast in print to its dozens of subscribers.

Richard G
Reply to  Peter R Roach
November 19, 2014 7:36 pm

I saw the headline of the article in the Los Angeles Times ” Polar Bear population declines 40%” and I never read the article because it immediately set off my B.S. meter. Just as words and phrases such as robust, unprecedented, worse than we thought, highest evah, lowest evah, the end is nigh and we need moar money do.

George Lawson
Reply to  Peter R Roach
November 20, 2014 1:57 am

What a pity the Guardian always want to put a negative slant on every positive story. They ignore the researchers’ comment that ‘although numbers were particularly low from 2004 to 2006, polar bears in the area had largely recovered by 2010’.. We have no records of the numbers of Polar Bears in the Arctic historically, or the state of the population since 2010, which we are told is likely to have continued to recover since then, but once again the doom mongers at this rag have to paint the worst possible image on research findings which are generally positive. No wonder their circulation is plummeting.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  sturgishooper
November 19, 2014 11:34 am

“All the print that fits — that’s news!”
“All the news we print gives you fits”
“All the news that fits our bias, we print”
I realize this is the motto for the New York Times, not the New Zealand Herald, but hey in this modern age of globalization, schlock journalism is everywhere.

D.J. Hawkins
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 19, 2014 2:22 pm

The motto:
“All the news that’s fit to print.”
The reality:
“All the news that fits we print.”

george e. smith
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 19, 2014 3:34 pm

The Polar bear population in New Zealand is actually quite stable and they are doing well. And they do extremely well without any ice at all.
So I don’t know why the NZ Herald would be upset and printing such non stories.
I just read one version of the story of the 40% decline in the arctic, and they ended up telling us how successful the bears now are in killing seals, as they are finding seal kills all over the place.
Make up your minds; are they starving or not ??

Mick
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 19, 2014 9:37 pm

There is nothing in the news that you need to know anyways, it is merely for entertainment only. Think about that for a moment.

joe crew
Reply to  sturgishooper
November 20, 2014 9:47 am

Let not the false narrative be exposed.

LeeHarvey
November 19, 2014 10:55 am

Scientist: report confirms we are on ‘wrong path’ on greenhouse gases

Wait, is the scientist actually acknowledging that blaming greenhouse gases for fluctuations in polar bear population is a total red herring?
I know… I’m a dreamer.

Reply to  LeeHarvey
November 19, 2014 12:11 pm

AGW (The dangerous type) is causing the deaths and declining of “Red Herrings”.

Chip Javert
Reply to  O H Dahlsveen
November 19, 2014 12:49 pm

LOL. That’s classic.

brians356
November 19, 2014 10:56 am

Polar bears eat people if they can. The only good one is a … sleeping one. (Had you going!)
Don’t Polar Bear populations fluctuate, up and down, naturally, like so many wild species? “Self regulation.”

Jeff
Reply to  brians356
November 19, 2014 11:48 am

What’s especially irritating about that photo is that it leads one to think that Polars bears are innocent, gentle, and cuddly. Perhaps stuffed Polar bears are, but the real thing is none of that. A year or two
ago a woman at a zoo found that out the hard way.
When will these fools ever learn (I’m not talking about the fellow holding the cubs, I’m talking about the
idiots distributing the picture out of context). Have to wonder where the mother of those cubs is…

Reply to  Jeff
November 19, 2014 12:24 pm

The mother is likely, the possibly drugged, fury thing the cubs are leaning against.

Will Nelson
Reply to  Jeff
November 19, 2014 12:56 pm

Quote from somewhere:
The victim’s friend pulled back on his arm, and Binky released his grip. “The extent of injuries and nature were not released,” Lampi wrote in a letter to zoo staff years after the incident. “Rumours were that he would not be diluting the gene pool.”
Picture from somewhere:
http://www.adn.com/article/20130426/remembering-binky-anchorage-zoos-beloved-killer-bear

Jimbo
Reply to  Jeff
November 19, 2014 12:59 pm

He’s probably spreading some disease to the poor cubs and wondering why their numbers change. Remember the Chitrid virus on researchers’ boots and tyres?

Alan Bates
Reply to  Jeff
November 19, 2014 2:30 pm

It’s behind you!
Oh no it isn’t”
Oh yes it is!!

Katherine
Reply to  Jeff
November 19, 2014 2:47 pm

Exactly. However, I do wonder if they had to wash the blood off the cubs’ fur before the photo op. It’s quite possible that fellow holding up the cubs is tailoring the shot to the story of how these cute, innocent polar bears need saving.

Reply to  Jeff
November 19, 2014 2:47 pm

Cute and Cuddly wins every time.
Ask the codfish, who lost whole heartedly to the seals.
They shouldn’t be decreasing quotas on cod, they should be increasing quotas on seals…
BUT…the seals are cute and cuddly.

Gavin
Reply to  Jeff
November 20, 2014 5:54 am

There used to be a stuffed polar bear in the airport at Anchorage and it didn’t look cuddly at all. It was on its hind legs and looked like an eight foot tall ferret.

george e. smith
Reply to  brians356
November 19, 2014 3:46 pm

I know that mountain lion populations in California do fluctuate widely from season to season. They self regulate their reproduction according to the food supply (deer)
I read an article by a Mountain lion expert, who was commenting on the need to renew ML hunting in California, because of increasing human encounters, so the numbers needed to be reduced.
Poppycock said the expert; they self regulate their numbers, and if you REALLY wanted to reduce the ML numbers, to get fewer human encounters, you would have to, IN ONE HUNTING SEASON, kill 75% of the entire California population of mountain lions. He said nobody would tolerate approving such a plan, and any less of a kill would never be noticed after a couple of years. And he said, all of the State’s ML hunters couldn’t even find 75% of them to kill in one season.
I’m with the MLs. We could use some in NZ to control the deer. (too risky for the birds.)
They could put up some signs pointing the polar bears to those vast walrus haul-outs, and solve both problems at once. Walrus don’t eat humans; they are too skinny (even in obese California.)

eyesonu
Reply to  george e. smith
November 19, 2014 11:05 pm

IN ONE HUNTING SEASON, kill 75% of the entire California population of mountain lions.
============
What about: IN ONE HUNTING SEASON, kill 75% of the entire California population of voters. lol

Neil Jordan
Reply to  brians356
November 19, 2014 5:04 pm

Re LRshultis
November 19, 2014 at 12:24 pm
The mother is likely, the possibly drugged, fury thing the cubs are leaning against.
The drugged mother is furry. When she wakes up, she will be in a fury.

tom s
November 19, 2014 10:57 am

Don’t let facts get in the way of idiotic alarmism. Just like SLATE is saying the recent lake effect in BUF is because of global warming. I’m losing my mind over these idiots.

Reply to  tom s
November 19, 2014 11:52 am

And see my new post with the details:
Polar bear researchers knew S. Beaufort population continued to increase up to 2012
http://polarbearscience.com/2014/11/19/polar-bear-researchers-knew-s-beaufort-population-continued-to-increase-up-to-2012/

Richard G
Reply to  polarbearscience
November 19, 2014 8:27 pm

Thank you for your assessment of their Polar Bear study. Their method seems to be similar mickey manns whereas if the data begins to go against your desired result, just discontinue the data from that point forward. Well at least they didn’t replace the missing data with something else.

DrTorch
Reply to  polarbearscience
November 20, 2014 7:12 am

Publishing cherry-picked data, including using legitimate data but only within selected time frames that conform to a bias, is called “fraud”.

MikeN
November 19, 2014 11:02 am

Maybe more fish are available in thin ice conditions.

AndyG55
Reply to  MikeN
November 19, 2014 2:37 pm

Maybe in high sea ice conditions, the PBs have to travel further to the edge of the ice to feed, and because of the sea ice surface area, food is further apart.
Imagine a PBs delight if the seals etc came to him/her, because there was less sea ice. 🙂

Latitude
November 19, 2014 11:06 am

hottest decade…..LOL
It hard for seals and bears to make holes in thick ice…….they move somewhere else you morons!

November 19, 2014 11:13 am

Guardian Rag for Left ? Actually, not entirely, the paper does support a variety of view, but they sure have a big tick on Global Warming.

rw
Reply to  roachstaugustine
November 19, 2014 11:19 am

You forgot the /sarc tag.

AlexS
Reply to  roachstaugustine
November 19, 2014 11:36 am

Are you joking? tell me something that is not left in The Guardian?

Oldseadog
Reply to  AlexS
November 19, 2014 12:02 pm

Common sense left the Guardian ages ago.

Peter Carroll
Reply to  AlexS
November 19, 2014 2:29 pm

Their football reporting is quite good.

Eamon Butler
Reply to  AlexS
November 19, 2014 3:37 pm

Truth, Honesty. Though, were probably never there to begin with.

Alx
Reply to  roachstaugustine
November 19, 2014 11:41 am

I don’t know about variety of views, maybe the news portion. Even in “straight news” what is covered and not covered makes all news outlets biased in one way or another.
As far as views, it is rare to see a article in the opinon section that has a rational argument, usually it is blatant emotional pandering to the left. I guess there are decent careers in emotional pandering now a days.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  roachstaugustine
November 19, 2014 11:54 am

Having a giraffe? The Guardian is more pro-left than the BBC! Read up. Feminism, Mansion Tax, AGW, anti-Ukip. The Guardian couldn’t BE any more left!

MCourtney
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
November 19, 2014 1:14 pm

Yes, other than it’s ridiculous support for regressive green energy at the expense of poor fuel bill payers… The Guardian’s great.
(In my opinion).

gazzatrone
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
November 19, 2014 3:38 pm

Monbiot alarmist hysteria is always good for a laugh.

Solomon Green
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
November 20, 2014 3:47 am

Actually, since the BBC seems to take most of its reports from the Guardian, I am not sure that the Guardian is more pro-left than the BBC. But “pro-left” might not be the correct description since both are pro-Hamas and pro-Moslem Brotherhood, neither of which are exactly on the left. Unless, of course, one accepts the thesis that fascism exists on the left as well as on the right.

Auto
Reply to  roachstaugustine
November 19, 2014 2:48 pm

Before I left school, I read several newspapers, for a month or such. As son as I left school, I discarded the ‘Grauniad’ [a Private Eye usage, based solely on the number of typos in the old Guardian].
Sorry – not my scene – though in the Noughties, it was the Social Workers journal of choice for job ads.
No, I’m not a social worker . . . . . . . . . . .
Auto

James
November 19, 2014 11:20 am

“However, the study also found that polar bear populations in the area had largely recovered by 2010.”
No it didn’t. The study actually says
“For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010 … However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period”
Doesn’t say a recover just that it stopped declining. GWPF’s main story from this study is wrong.

Reply to  James
November 19, 2014 11:52 am

Well, actually, from the previous WUWT article, here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/18/study-beaufort-sea-polar-bears-largely-recovered-from-a-2004-2006-decline/
we learn that it isn’t the “Arctic Polar Bears”, it is the “Beaufort Sea Polar Bears”.
And, from this thread we get:
“Indeed, the US Fish & Wildlife Service reported earlier this year that “the number of polar bears observed in 2012 was high relative to similar surveys conducted over the past decade.”
Which certainly does state that in 2012 the number of bears was “high relative to similar surveys over the past decade.”
GWPF seems to be reacting to the New Zealand’s main story which is very misleading.

Alx
Reply to  James
November 19, 2014 12:15 pm

The report says a lot of things.
The decline they claim is over 3 years and is 25% to 50%. A study of three years in one region does not lead to an over generalized statement of Polar Bear population. It is just data, some research, and not that robust since the range is so large (25% to 50%). Population studies in one region in one period of time, could only lead to conclusions if there is specific identifiable conditions in that region which can be isolated and tied to the health of the population. There is none of this in the study and in fact the authors, showing integrity state, “many factors involved in the decline are difficult to unravel”, “For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010” and “…our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival.”
Actually even though their writing sometimes has a slant of subservience to the global warming establishment, their report actually includes zip, zero, nada in terms of GW affecting polar bears. This has not prevented the media from pandering to global warming enthusiasts.

Will Nelson
Reply to  Alx
November 19, 2014 1:08 pm

Its like the moose population in my back yard sometimes declines by 100% for some unknown reason (OK either it is CAGW or they go next door) and then just as mysteriously increases by something divided by 0.

Gentle Tramp
Reply to  James
November 19, 2014 12:23 pm

@James:
OK, so it was no full recovery but why did the newspapers leave out this important message of the study:
>>Improved survival and stability in abundance at the end of the investigation are cause for cautious optimism.<>Extensive ice rubble and rafted floes during winter and spring are thought to have led to past declines in polar bear productivity in the SBS (Stirling et al. 1976, Amstrup et al. 1986, Stirling 2002), as well as during our investigation (Stirling et al. 2008). [discussed here and here]<>Despite the known importance of sea ice, measures of ice availability did not fully explain short-term demographic patterns in our data, suggesting that other aspects of the ecosystem contribute importantly to the regulation of population dynamics.<<
Thus, they have to admit – disguised in rather misleading phrases of course – that their main hypothesis "Thin summer ice does kill polar bears" can't explain their findings at all. Is it not remarkable that the start of the population stabilization begins with the year 2007 when the summer ice was especially weak???

Jimbo
Reply to  James
November 19, 2014 12:28 pm

James,
find out what is more important to polar bears. Spring sea ice or September sea ice?
Does thicker spring ice cause problems for polar bears?
This is your homework for tonight.

Alexander K
November 19, 2014 11:26 am

The New Zealand Herald is losing readers due to it’s Leftist slant and it’s ridiculous alarmism over climate. I was a regular reader once, but have not bought a copy for years. I occasionally flick through it’s Sport section online, but never bother reading other articles in it.

Onyabike
Reply to  Alexander K
November 19, 2014 12:07 pm

Alex, yeah I read the same NZ Herald article. Having read earlier posts on this paper I was pretty gob smacked at how the article blatantly connected the bear numbers to AGW. I have recently read numerous obvious misquotes and scare statements about AGW in the Herald.
I’ve tried writing to the Herald to address their errors. They never reply let alone retract. What really concerns me is that the Herald seems to have taken the NY Times position on ‘climate denial’ and does not acknowledge any correspondence or stories which don’t follow their political narrative. They just wont admit it. After a while it feels a bit like arguing with a door handle.

george e. smith
Reply to  Onyabike
November 19, 2014 4:09 pm

I once wrote a letter to the NZ Herald about a search for Lord Robert Baden Powell’s battle flag, that flew over the town of Mafeking on weekdays during the siege in the Boer war. On Sundays, it was replaced by a much larger Union Jack but the Boers didn’t fight on Sundays, so they didn’t shoot at the flag from outside the town.
The Sunday flag survives, and for years was flown over Boy Scout Jamboree gatherings. It’s probably in the museum.
But the week day battle flag disappeared off the face of the earth.
Well it didn’t actually. I grew up with that flag, during nine years of my life, and it was still in the same place in 1976 and probably up to 1989. Haven’t been able to trace it from there.
Some NZ Army chap “acquired it” in the manner that soldiers get stuff, since he and a bunch of Kiwi folks were among the garrison in Mafeking during the siege.
NZ Herald were not interested in tracing what would be the real Boy Scout flag.
A lady friend from UofA traced it to around 1989, and talked to a woman who new for sure positive, that it was in the same place in 1976.
Herald told me to put an ad in their classified section.
A New Zealand Ensign from the siege, IS in the army museum; izzat in Waiouru ??
Nutz to the NZ bird cage rag.

george e. smith
Reply to  Onyabike
November 19, 2014 4:12 pm

PS The flag had a few bullet holes in it with burned edges , but was otherwise in pretty good shape. I last saw it around 1950.

Reply to  Onyabike
November 19, 2014 7:35 pm

I’m glad it’s not only me that gets that treatment from the NZ Herald. I seem to have read some time ago that Fairfax has some vested interest if the CAGW – investment in wind / solar maybe? There must be some reason they continue to print the tripe written by / for Zena the Warrior Princess – who should have been jailed after being involved in an illegal protest against oil drilling.

Alx
Reply to  Alexander K
November 19, 2014 12:18 pm

It’s the news media market, it is competitive, papers are willing to lose moderate readers in order to lock in a certain demographic, since they need to establish a core market share.
News is entertainment.
News is raings.
News is clicks.
News is business.

Chip Javert
Reply to  Alx
November 19, 2014 12:55 pm

A least in the USA (I know; does not apply to the Guardian), “news” is a constitutionally protected activity, with the implied obligation of accuracy & fairness.

James Harlock
Reply to  Alx
November 20, 2014 1:15 pm

Contact their advertisers and mention “boycott” as the Left is wont to do.

Ian H
November 19, 2014 11:30 am

The obsessive drumbeat in the media about climate is drowning out everything else. In the Google News science section low quality trash about climate like this pathetic mistaken diatribe about polar bears from the Guardian routinely push all the other interesting science news off the front page. Has some climate concern troll working for google assigned climate stories an extra high page rank in their algorithm? Why do I always have to scroll past a page or so of low quality silly noises about climate to get to the real stories about science.

MCourtney
Reply to  Ian H
November 19, 2014 1:17 pm

Climate generates strong opinions on both sides of the debate. That means comments. That means clicks. That means advertising revenue.
Everyone wants to know about the latest pictures of deep space but no-one has anything to say except “nice”.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Ian H
November 19, 2014 8:38 pm

Ian, the answer to the search list question is ‘yes’. I believe the number of people hired for that specific purpose and other climate filtering/ranking activities is 22.
I challenged a senior Google programmer on this point and he flatly denied that there was anything like that taking place, but looked more worried about the question than confident that it was not taking place. I think he had no idea.
It may interest you to know that Google ‘tunes’ the list you get based on your device type and cost, your location and of course search history which is continuously tracked. You may be getting a list of “lessons” on top of the real search result because you search for and jump to items with contents that are ‘off message’.
I believe you can get an unfiltered search at http://www.duckduckgo.com

Christopher Hanley
November 19, 2014 11:52 am

Maybe polar bears live in the Arctic region despite the cold, not because of it.

Kon Dealer
November 19, 2014 11:57 am

The Green mantra is “never let the truth get in the way of a ‘good’ (read it is worse than we thought) story”.

cheshirered
November 19, 2014 12:02 pm

Note how the NZ Herald truncates the media release to deliberately distort the context of the full story. They’ve changed the entire context in one fell swoop. It’s lying by omission, knowing full-well the headline is all that counts.

Oldseadog
November 19, 2014 12:06 pm

I sent this post to The (Glasgow) Herald and asked them if they were allowed to correct stories in “the competition”.
I’m not holding my breath for a reply or indeed any reaction of any kind.

Keith
November 19, 2014 12:07 pm

The real issue here is we should say thank you to Susan Crockford. She has consistently been correcting disinformation from warmists – well played.

Alx
Reply to  Keith
November 19, 2014 12:19 pm

+1

Reply to  Alx
November 19, 2014 3:02 pm

+2

Reply to  Keith
November 19, 2014 3:29 pm

Agreed.

Reply to  JohnWho
November 19, 2014 6:33 pm

Many thanks, guys! I appreciate your support.
Susan Crockford, PolarBearScience

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  JohnWho
November 19, 2014 7:27 pm

I’ve never met a Polar Bear, or a Polar Bear Scientist. But, yes, thank you Susan.
A few years ago I was following a faint trail up hill at about 6,000 feet.
I’d reach the flat part at the top and met a Cinnamon Bear (of the black bear clan) coming towards me on that same trail. We were equally startled.
I took several photos and he circled out to my right, stopped, took a good look at me and then left in high gear. I was impressed.
A small version of the Cinnamon Bear appears on some sites when I post a comment, such as at Jo Nova’s site, here: John’s Cinnamon Bear

Reply to  Keith
November 19, 2014 7:01 pm

Absolutely!

November 19, 2014 12:23 pm

If it bleeds it leads. Truth is the casualty.

Gentle Tramp
Reply to  philjourdan
November 19, 2014 1:07 pm

Truth has no value in the propaganda war against CO2. Only the desired manipulation of the public sentiment counts. That is quite disgusting but the simple reality of our time. Reminds me very much of political propaganda from the old Soviet Union before 1989…
Even official schoolbooks which are approved by German education authorities lie totally shamelessly! Today I discovered in a German science schoolbook the statement that CO2 is “the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere” in spite of the fact that every author of scientific school books must know the truth of water vapor being the most important greenhouse gas. But obviously this simple truth is not allowed in order to reach the requested indoctrination target for the pupils… 🙁

Onyabike
November 19, 2014 12:26 pm

My comment:
November 19, 2014 at 12:07 pm
I have a challenge for you all: If anyone here thinks they can get past the NZ Herald ‘Denier Gatekeeper’ please feel free to have a crack at http://dynamic.nzherald.co.nz/feedback/index.cfm?form=newsdesk
You also might want to ask them about their article August 20th (see I wrote it backwards for the US readers)about Dr Gordon McBean, ‘Nobel laureate’ and his strange ideas about Antarctic sea ice extent.
There aren’t many of us sceptical observers down here in lil’ ol’ NZ and we could use a little help from our bigger mates…

November 19, 2014 12:35 pm

Unfortunately more and more newspapers are relying on news items they receive and print without actually verifying any of the details or facts (if the stories contain any in the first place). There is no investifative journalism as there are no staff nor is there any money for investigation. This is the same for most “news” shows on TV. Unless the story is local and they can send an actual crew on-site, they use the news items verbatim. So when I hear anything pertaining to the doom and gloom predictions I shut off.

Ole
November 19, 2014 12:45 pm

The story has been in most Danish papers as well. Coming out of Ritzau actually. The Danish papers seem to copy these occational warmist stories from Ritzau without any fact checking at all. Journalism at its best. /sarc And, of course, the articles are published without any options for commenting at all.

John in Oz
November 19, 2014 12:48 pm

It appears that the ‘count’ was not an actual head count but the output of a model:

From the abstract:
“We present a new strategy for searching the space of a candidate set of Cormack-Jolly-Seber models and explore its performance relative to existing strategies using computer simulation. The new strategy provides an improved assessment of the importance of covariates and covariate combinations used to model survival and recapture probabilities, while requiring only a modest increase in the number of models on which inference is based in comparison to existing techniques.”

Perhaps the researchers, instead of using models, could stand on the ice and count the bears as they pass. This method means we could count the number of researchers who do not return home and multiply by 2 or 3 to account for the cubs.

Reply to  John in Oz
November 19, 2014 3:33 pm

Well, you know it is very hard to actually count those bears because, well, they are white and the snow is white and they are just hard to see, you know. I mean, it is hard work and, well, isn’t that what computers are for, to make work less hard?

H.R.
Reply to  JohnWho
November 19, 2014 5:48 pm

John, you just have to put a dot of red nail polish on the nose of each one you find and count. That way there’s no double counting and you can easily identify which bears have not been counted.

tty
Reply to  JohnWho
November 20, 2014 5:50 am

Actually they do colour-mark the bears’ fur. A friend of mine was up on Svalbard photographing polar bear last spring. Thirteen out of fourteen adult bears he saw were colour-marked.

H.R.
Reply to  JohnWho
November 20, 2014 10:30 am

tty,
The beauty of the nail polish method is the accuracy of the count. Odds are, anyone who puts a dot of nail polish on a polar bear’s nose is going to get killed. All you have to do is count the number of people hired to count polar bears and Bob’s your Uncle. The only flaw is there may be a slight over-count when some of the polar bears double-dip on the census takers.
If you’ll note, your friend has photo evidence that the stained-fur method isn’t 100% reliable.
Best regards/H.R.

November 19, 2014 12:55 pm

There are Grubers in the Guardian.

D.J. Hawkins
Reply to  David F Thomas
November 19, 2014 2:35 pm

Hmmm, I wonder if there’s a spray for that…

Mac the Knife
November 19, 2014 1:00 pm

Her’s the link to the abstract published in the ‘Ecological Society of America’:
http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/14-1129.1
The full article appears to be paywalled.
“For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010 with approximately 900 bears in 2010 (90% C.I. 606-1,212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival.
They expected reduced sea ice to ‘force population dynamics’ but their ‘short term’ findings suggested other factors than sea ice influence polar bear survival. Their expectations were not met because the data told them their hypothesis was false.
From that, for reasons that are not clear, Dr Steven Amstrup, chief scientist at Polar Bears International, concludes in the Guardian article “In 2007, my colleagues and I predicted we could lose polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea by the middle of this century if we didn’t get on to a different greenhouse gas emissions path,” “This report confirms we still are on the wrong path.”
The sad part of this is the data confirms Amstrup’s statement “This report confirms we still are on the wrong path.” but he can’t accept the implications the data presents and change his belief system to reflect reality. He is the one on the wrong path. but persists in the ‘green house gases are melting the polar ice caps and killing off the polar bears’ meme.

Reply to  Mac the Knife
November 19, 2014 1:38 pm

And in another alarmist rendition of this from yesterday via Seth Borenstein
http://www.sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=103005RZAS18
Mark Serreze talked about declines in summer sea ice for 2007 and 2012, and added:
“There is definitely a relationship here between what’s happening to the bears and what’s happening to the ice,” said Serreze, who wasn’t part of the study.”
Taken out of context, that statement is technically correct – the bears starved because of sea ice getting thick in the spring.
But the implication, from his prior remarks, is that the summer sea ice decline was to blame, which is not at all what the study found – it found no correlation between the decline and summer sea ice conditions.
Did he just make something up because he didn’t read the paper – or is he lying?
These are tricksters, accomplished at manipulating the press.
Susan Crockford, PolarBearScience
PS Mac, if you want a copy of the paper contact me at my blog and I’ll send it to you.

michael hart
November 19, 2014 1:02 pm

For when a single facepalm isn’t enough:
http://m.cdn.blog.hu/ig/igyirnankmi/image/bear2.jpg

Dawtgtomis
Reply to  michael hart
November 19, 2014 3:42 pm

Wow… those critters ARE cute! …Just like Koalas and Pandas!
Honey, maybe we could adopt one from a rescue somewhere…

KNR
November 19, 2014 1:32 pm

You need to understand that there is very big difference between ‘effective ‘ and honest , and in climate ‘science’ its effective which really matters with honest hardly getting a look in. So its no surprise to find its camp followers use the same approch , and their more than smart enough to know that by the time the truth has come out the story has moved on and no one is listening any more .
To be fair one area where climate ‘science’ is leading in , is the science by press release one that has proved to be a very effective way of getting the grant money flowing in .

hunter
November 19, 2014 1:48 pm

This is what happens when scientists and media types try to become marketers. They think people in sales are liars so they become liars as well.

pat
November 19, 2014 2:11 pm

???
18 Nov: UK Independent: Lewis Smith:Years of marine research sunk – because seals ate the evidence
In fact, the quick-learning seals have become so adept at picking up the signals, and realising they meant food was around, that academics fear their attempts to study the movement and behaviour of the tagged fish could have been skewed to a “profound” extent, ruining their findings…
Acoustic tags are increasingly being used by researchers to monitor shark populations. But there is a risk, at least for the smaller species and the young fish, of the subjects becoming “more detectable by prey species such as seals”, said Amanda Stansbury, of the University of St Andrews. She added that experiments in conjunction with the University of Cumbria had provided “concrete evidence” of the so-called dinner-bell effect…
“Research agencies worldwide invest significant resources in acoustic tagging studies to assess fish stocks and determine survival rates.
“As acoustic tags could make a fish more vulnerable to predation, tagging can lead to erroneous conclusions in such studies.”..
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/years-of-marine-research-sunk–because-seals-ate-the-evidence-9868995.html

Leon Brozyna
November 19, 2014 2:53 pm

Good news on the polar bear front … just keep them bears up there in the far north of Canada … we’ve got our hands full here in Buffalo …
http://d2ioe7v385j9xr.cloudfront.net/484_0b4b225f-ae2a-4932-b48e-03350424696a/64db9a40-2a92-449b-b8e3-6098a0dda149.jpg
http://d2ioe7v385j9xr.cloudfront.net/484_0b4b225f-ae2a-4932-b48e-03350424696a/c50d23e2-03d7-423a-b77b-d085add23893.jpg
Seeing what some of my neighbors got makes me feel good about the two feet I got … first time I can think of getting “only” two feet of snow as being lucky.

saveenergy
Reply to  Leon Brozyna
November 19, 2014 4:06 pm

This is what 2 feet of snow really looks like –
http://tinyurl.com/lyqpvnr

Reply to  saveenergy
November 20, 2014 8:33 am

LOL! Well done.

Reply to  Leon Brozyna
November 19, 2014 8:33 pm

Love the doggie photo. Sent it to my kids and grandkids, who had been hearing about the snow in Buffalo.
/Mr Lynn

Reply to  Leon Brozyna
November 20, 2014 8:03 am

Here’s one from your neighbors:
http://youtu.be/dhuAmaYhnwQ
You gotta love it! At least the video, not the snow.

Gerald Machnee
November 19, 2014 2:53 pm

One of our Canadian national TV networks also gave half the story. They said the populations declined but conveniently failed to note that they had recovered after 2007.

sinewave
November 19, 2014 3:05 pm

I notice there aren’t any screaming headlines in the major US media outlets. Probably bad form to try to sell global warming when so many people are digging out from record snow or freezing in unusual cold….

Ralph Kramden
November 19, 2014 3:08 pm

claiming that they are misleading the public” That’s what Alarmists do.

Dawtgtomis
November 19, 2014 3:33 pm

…another example of Keep It Simple And Sufficiently Scary (KISASS)

Bob Diaz
November 19, 2014 4:06 pm

I’m finding that news, accuracy, and truth don’t seem to go together today. I do miss the days of the 1960s and 1970s reporting when reporters tried to tell both sides of a story and tried to be honest.

Tor Hansson
November 19, 2014 6:28 pm

What is a reasonable estimate of the polar bear population these days? Is it still around 25,000? I’ve seen estimates from Norway (albeit somewhat dated, say to the 90s) of 42,000. Anyone have a number or a range?

Reply to  Tor Hansson
November 19, 2014 6:37 pm

Tor,
The PBSG still says 20,000-25,000 with a few “caveats” – i.e., they have finally admitted out loud that this number leaves out a large portion of the Arctic where polar bears have not yet been counted. Here is my latest discussion on that issue:
http://polarbearscience.com/2014/08/05/dodgy-new-clarification-of-global-polar-bear-population-estimate-yes-another/
Susan Crockford, PolarBearScience

November 19, 2014 7:11 pm

Thin ice, seals can break through to be able to breathe. Polar bears can track seals and wait at holes, then eat them. Bears do well.
Ice thick, seals have difficulty in breaking through, prefer to breathe, so move away – polar bears cannot get to them, so get less food, or have to subsist on unwary scientists looking for bears or seals. Unwary scientists are all eaten Bears do not do well. sarc.

mikeishere
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
November 20, 2014 5:00 am

Well, who could argue that if the scientist never returns with a count that that count isn’t zero?
I can’t recall the show, (Smithsonian? Discovery?), examining mother polar bears with their cubs emerging from their dens in the spring and describing that the mother’s fat reserves right then are critically low because the cubs have been nursing for several weeks in the den. The mother has to leave the den and head for the ocean to find food.
The colder the conditions, the thicker the ice, the WORSE her situation becomes. Not only does she have further to go – her cubs have to make it as well. All the while they have to keep nursing thus depleting her fat reserves even faster on top of the energy she herself expends to make the trip.
Who in their right mind concludes that more ice is better for their survival? Just as you imply, FOOD is the important factor and it is in the WATER – not on the ice. All ice = no food = dead polar bears.

Richo
November 19, 2014 7:32 pm

I have seen three instances recently where researchers have been responsible for the decline animal populations. Two different incidents involving king penguins where tracking tags have caused deaths due to exposure and predation and where rare frogs that have been made extinct due to a lethal fungus spread by researchers. It would be interesting to know whether researchers have caused some of the previous decline in the polar bear population?

Marilynn in NorCal
Reply to  Richo
November 19, 2014 8:04 pm

Yes, I have always thought that shooting tranquilizers into wild animals and then manhandling them to attach electronic tags, plus having that unnatural device permanently affixed to one’s body (like teenagers with cell phones) would have to skew the data somewhat. Who knows what part it all plays in an animal’s ability to hunt game or avoid predators? Unlike CO2, it just ain’t natural!

Ian H
November 20, 2014 1:01 am

Hey – it is the NEW ZEALAND Herald. Not too much institutional knowledge about Polar Bears there, or indeed bears of any kind (other than teddy). Their coverage of penguins on the other hand is probably excellent. I bet they cover penguins like seals.

November 20, 2014 2:07 am

“In conclusion and moving back to conversations with young people, I always agree with them in the end that the Polar bear situation is terrible but what I’m really thinking is terrible, is just how successful propaganda can be.”
http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/polar-bears-going-extinct-yawn/
Pointman

November 20, 2014 3:47 am

Polar bears are special.

Russell Johnson
November 20, 2014 4:43 am

In fairness to the Polar Bear Community I demand that Coca-Cola stop using their image to advertise Coke products.

phil Taylor
November 20, 2014 7:06 am

The Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) did a very fair news story on this issue interviewing people who work with polar bears claiming they are surviving very well. To see it click here:
http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV+Shows/The+National/Environment/ID/2505129180/
or google Polar Bears, CBC

Werner Brozek
Reply to  phil Taylor
November 20, 2014 9:08 am

Thank you! I enjoyed it.

Jimbo
November 20, 2014 7:09 am

Someone who has not read on the Arctic and polar bears would be mislead by this.

New Zealand Herald
Polar bears lose about 40pc of their population in the Arctic
Polar bears in the Arctic suffered sharp declines in the first decade of this century, losing about 40 per cent of their population, according to US and Canadian scientists.

They go onto mention polar bear numbers in the southern Beaufort Sea. The headline is misleading and wrong as is the first sentence.

November 20, 2014 7:19 am

“Chip Javert
November 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm
A least in the USA (I know; does not apply to the Guardian), “news” is a constitutionally protected activity, with the implied obligation of accuracy & fairness

(Bold mine).
Uh, evidentially the majority of the US Main Stream Media has not gotten that memo.
/cynic

R. de Haan
November 20, 2014 7:49 am

And the 97% consensus: http://freebeacon.com/issues/scientists-split-on-human-impact-on-climate-change/
And the children that won´t know what snow is: http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/11/19/wednesday-weather/19261905/
And…. well, you name it and I am sure they´ve lied about it.

John Whitman
November 20, 2014 7:54 am

Press release from the GWPF:
“The main story of new study is the remarkable recovery of Arctic polar bear population”
Earlier this week, the Guardian newspaper ran a headline claiming that the ‘polar bear population in frozen sea north of Alaska falls 40% in 10 years’ – a claim repeated today by the AFP news agency.

GWPF does well to expose the chthonic editors who aid in the gross exaggeration at the Guardian.
It seems that the polar bear icon, chosen by PR teams for the crusade for the climate change cause, was a strategic mistake. Their cause is in need of intelligence on the PR teams.
John

D. Monceaux
November 20, 2014 8:21 pm

Only a nitwit would think polar bear, or any top predator population, remains constant. Even high school biology teaches the cyclic nature of predator – prey systems.

Mervyn
November 21, 2014 4:12 am

To suggest that polar bear populations have been declining is hugely misleading.
No no no! It is not hugely misleading. It is a blatant and purposeful lie. It is put out there purely for climate change propaganda purposes.

Darkinbad the Brighdayler
November 21, 2014 4:48 am

Dog bites man = not news
Man bites dog = news

JeffT
November 21, 2014 9:18 am

Start with your ideology and your conclusion, then shape the story accordingly. Voila, journalism 2014.

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