Greens Panic at Evidence of Polar Bear Climate Adaptability

Polar/brown bear hybrid, Rothschild Museum, Tring

Polar/brown bear hybrid, Rothschild Museum, Tring. By Original uploader was Messybeast at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3756354

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The discovery of a rare wild Grolar bear, a fertile Grizzly / Polar bear hybrid, is being treated as a terrifying sign of global warming in the Arctic.

Grolar bears: Climate change could be behind grizzly-polar bear hybrid, scientists say

An unusual bear shot by a hunter days ago in Nunavut, a territory in northern Canada, is thought by experts to be a “grolar” or “pizzly” bear.

But some scientists say the two bear species are breeding more often because climate change is causing them to cross paths.

Chris Servheen, a bear biologist and Adjunct Associate Research Professor at the University of Montana, said sightings of this hybrid bear species have been very rare in the past.

“But they seem to be more common now,” he said.

Mr Servheen said not very much was known about the grolar and pizzly bears, as little contact had yet to be made between them and humans.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-19/grolar-pizzly-bears-climate-change-creating-hybrids/7428354

My question: why aren’t greens celebrating this find, as evidence that Polar bears are capable of rapidly changing their phenotype, in response to radical changes to the polar climate?

Hybridisation is a common form of adaption in the natural world, which allows the rapid spread of important survival traits amongst diverse populations. Modern humans carry the genetic fingerprint of frequent hybridisation, including evidence of likely cross breeding with Neanderthals. Some scientists even claim hybridisation was not only important, but essential to the rise of modern humans.

The Hybrid Origin of “Modern” Humans

Recent genomic research has shown that hybridization between substantially diverged lineages is the rule, not the exception, in human evolution. However, the importance of hybridization in shaping the genotype and phenotype of Homo sapiens remains debated. Here we argue that current evidence for hybridization in human evolution suggests not only that it was important, but that it was an essential creative force in the emergence of our variable, adaptable species. We then extend this argument to a reappraisal of the archaeological record, proposing that the exchange of cultural information between divergent groups may have facilitated the emergence of cultural innovation. We discuss the implications of this Divergence and Hybridization Model for considering the taxonomy of our lineage.

Read more: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11692-015-9348-1

Evidence of occasional fertile hybridisation of Polar Bears is simply evidence that Polar Bears are more adaptable than environmentalists generally accept. If the arctic ever warms to such an extent, purebred Polar Bears are no longer ecologically viable, they would simply be replaced with hybrids, or even near purebred Grizzlies. And when Arctic conditions cooled again, creating strong selection pressure for lighter fur, “Polar Bears” would quickly re-emerge from the diverse ursine gene pool.

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150 thoughts on “Greens Panic at Evidence of Polar Bear Climate Adaptability

  1. Green theory rejects change, unless it is change to how things were. On a recent walk in the city I saw a notice saying that the river environment, traditionally very English with poplars, oaks and grass, is to be converted to how things were in Gondwanaland. I looked at this for a long time, thinking, “You can’t be serious”. Not just before modernisation, or the arrival of people here. Gondwanaland.

      • I mean, like, this whole “pizzly”, worry-wart deal the hive has goin’ could not be simpler to explain. I mean, like, for all the phoney-baloney lip-service the hive’s pie-holes pay to “diversity”, the good-comrades are, behind all their faux color-blind, high-falutin’, flim-flam rhetoric, just your standard-issue, group-think, plain ol’ vanilla defenders of white-bear privilege, horrified that their “lily-white” bruin favorites are gettin’ caught up in the horrors of race-mixing’ miscegenation with not so “lily white” black bears and brown bears.

        Don’t believe me? Well, you don’t have to be Nate Silver, to smoke this one out:

        Goggle: “white bears new york times” and “black bears new york times” and “brown bears new york times”:

        -white bears 6,970,000 results

        -black bears 6,140,000 results

        -brown bears 6,140,000 results

        See what I mean? And note that the number of results is identical for brown and black bears–an obvious quota system goin’ on here, I think we all must agree. I mean, like, the color-conscious mentality at work at the nation’s so-called “newspaper of record” just makes me want to BARF!!! And I think Google should include a “trigger warning” notification any time a “New York Times” result appears in response to a Google search along with a panic-button feature that, if pushed, will create an instant “safe space” for the internet user.

        Jeez…and here I thought we had all moved on from this sort of “dog-whistle”, segregationist thinkin’, but I guess the hive’s brazen-hypocrite, carbon-piggie eco-flakes didn’t get the word, or sumpin’.

    • It is indeed an interesting paradox that Greens are strictly against any changes in the natural realm but are very fervent zealots for social, economic and gender changes in the human sphere. What does this paradox tell us about their psychology?

      • What does this tell us about their psychology?

        Get back to the Old Testament and again read the story of the Tower of Babel.

        All of this is simply Man attempting to replace God.

      • Painful though it is to defend Greens, I’m not sure there is a paradox. Greens want Man to return to his/her pre-Lapsarian state too, which they interpret as socialism essentially.

        Thus they believe tat both nature and Man have been spoiled and ruined by the evils of capitalism and consumerism.

      • @MarkW

        Well, most of them will tell you that they believe in evolution of course, at least in the long run.

        But their extreme eagerness to save every single species and any tiny biosphere, or in other words, their extreme conservatism for current conditions in nature displays a strange contrast to their intense quest to change the conditions of the current state of human societies and traditions.

      • Polar gears and grizzlies are going to have to share toilet facilities with “grolar bears”.
        Oh Wait, they a;ready do.
        See what happens when toilet facilities are shared!

      • Gentle Tramp,

        “It is indeed an interesting paradox that Greens are strictly against any changes in the natural realm but are very fervent zealots for social, economic and gender changes in the human sphere. What does this paradox tell us about their psychology?”

        It tells me it’s not real, as in, a relatively small number of actors/manipulators are displaying various attitudes/positions, and the mass media/propaganda system is presenting them as “role models”, which some imitate without much critical thought.

        In short, virtually no one actually holds strong views along the contradictory lines you draw, it’s a synthetic, make-believe psychology, I believe. It entices and ensnares many narcissistic folks, because they (naturally) do not critically examine their own beliefs/words/actions.

    • You mean, change to how they _think_ things were. In some fantasy Edenic past that never actually existed. Really, most of the tenets of the hardcore Green movement are just that old-time religion, repackaged for a secular age.

      • Old time religion – not retold. They are trying to parallel and re-create God, and God’s work.

        Just as many of us scientists are striving to do. I know I will step on toes to suggest this.

        –The final step is to re-create the planet – this is my explanation for the idea of colonizing Mars, an idea in the scientific realm as far back as the 50s.

    • It is more that greens view nature as a static never changing image. Such as they would see on a post card. How they first viewed some piece of nature is how that piece of nature should and must remain or something is wrong. They have a serious problem with the fact that nature is a dynamic constantly changing system never the same twice.

  2. Humans are hybrids and the pure strains may re-emerge ?
    I am a Crom myself, and always considered the greens to be Nandys

    • But some populations have more than others. Some have very little, not just the original African “Remainers”.

    • Trite but true, and we all don’t have the same 3-4% either. It’s been calculated that in our gene pool, we carry in total approximately 20% of their genome. Current African populations contain no Neanderthal genes, since the latter speciated from an earlier wave out of Africa into the northern climes of Eurasia and therefore there was no possibility to interbreed.

      Pointman

    • But Pointman, the article had a highly scientific study on this new phenomena,
      ========================
      “Chris Servheen, a bear biologist and Adjunct Associate Research Professor at the University of Montana, said sightings of this hybrid bear species have been very rare in the past.

      “But they seem to be more common now,” he said.
      =========================
      See!

    • No, just unprotected sex. Romantic nights under the auroras, and that kinda hot stranger can look really appealing!

      • OH NO!!! The “white bears” are breeding with the “brown bears” and it must be stopped!!!! Which culture will the cubs identify with most? (Equal rights for ALL bears I say! Let them “love” whom they choose to love! Get out of the bear bedrooms! ) muhuhahahahahaha

  3. … the river environment, traditionally very English with poplars, oaks and grass, is to be converted to how things were in Gondwanaland….

    Why stop at Gondwanaland?

    Let’s take it up to several hundred degrees, cover it with lava, give it a red-hot CO2 atmosphere, and occasionally throw rocks into it at supersonic speeds.

    That’s how it was in the Hadean…

  4. I saw a tv programme a couple of years back about a cross-bred bear that had been shot by a hunter and his Inuit guide. Because their license was only for Polar bears, they both ended up being prosecuted by the authorities for killing the bear without the necessary permissions.

    • Bloke down the pub,

      Actually, the *threat* in that case was that the animal shot was a grizzly, when their tag was for a polar bear. Ultimately, the hunters were safe because there are no rules about hybrids – they are fair game for anyone.

      I covered this issue yesterday soon after a CBC article came out, if you want all the background. I was sad to see, Eric, that the story had legs – but of course it would, the press loves any polar bear incident that can be blamed on climate change.

      Notice that these are not the usual “experts” being interviewed for these stories – were the polar bear specialists unavailable or just unwilling to go along with the blame-game?

      Grizzlies are not moving north into the Hudson Bay area – they are moving SOUTH from Nunavut because there is so many of them. Essentially, they may be recovering range they occupied centuries ago. Their movements are not a sign of climate change but a normal result of a recovering population.

      https://polarbearscience.com/2016/05/18/another-alleged-grizzly-polar-bear-hybrid-shot-but-its-not-a-sign-of-climate-change/

      As far as I can tell, whether or not this animal was a hybrid (or a second-generation hybrid) has not been confirmed by DNA testing. Some aspects of it make me wonder…

      So far, DNA tests on all wild-caught hybrids have been crosses between an male grizzly and a female polar bear. One animal (a female) was a second generation cross (she was the result of a mating between a male grizzly and a female grizzly/polar bear cross).

      So we know for sure that female offspring are fertile but there is no evidence yet that males are fertile (they may be but we can’t be sure). This is often the case with hybrids – females usually fertile, males infertile.

      Dr. Susan Crockford, zoologist

      • Yes, Haldane’s Rule

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haldane%27s_rule

        But all it takes is repeated back crossings and out crossings with the fertile offspring to generate a stable cross. The idea of a “species barrier” really is more like “a species strong suggestion”.

        Since Polar Bears evolved from grizzlies it is by definition the case that they interbread more in the past. That it still happens, though rare, just says the speciation isn’t complete yet.

        Canids widely hybridize even in the wild. Bears are related to canids. No surprize that a category with weak speciation barriers has hybrids…

      • Thanks Dr. Susan

        That makes perfect, logical, sense. Population growth induces geographic drift from being territorial.

      • Thanks for responding here Dr Crockford.
        As soon as I see a polar bear story here I scroll for your input and skip reading the post

  5. We should learn to be more sensitive.

    Maybe one of this bear’s parents chose to identify with a species other than the one to which it was born and fell in lust.

    Looking at all the possibilities that we ‘hupersons’ have thought up regarding personal identity, why should we begrudge other species to engage in a little unconventionality.

    • Asp,

      See… I knew nothing good would come from letting anyone use any restroom they want.

      The grizzly should have stuck to the woods and the polar bear should have stuck with the ice. I suppose next my dogs will start wanting to use the litter box.

      Who knows where this will all wind up?

      • EM Smith

        Properly raised wolf-dogs make wonderful farm dogs. Best dog I ever had the pleasure of feeding(spayed female). Listening to her sing with her wild brotheren at night was amazing. Super guard dog.

        Coy-dogs are probably more common that folks realize, especially with so many urban coyotes these days. (the four legged kind, I mean.)

        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        Whether the bear shot was a hybrid or a light coloured grizzly will be determined when the DNA is done.

        White/blonde Grizzly Bears:

        http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildlifenews.view_article&articles_id=314

        I remember seeing cinamon bears and light coloured bears many times out hunting with my dad as teenager in British Columbia. I never considered these bears rare or odd.

        People read an MSM story and without experience in the appropriate wild places, they simply accept it as gospel. Yet a few minutes on the Internet tells you that genetics is complex and animals with white fur are not always albinos. There are several non-albino white moose in the Prince George/Smithers area of BC. Black noses, black eyes, but white coats.

        Life is amazing.

    • Right on, sister. You can be whatever you wanna be. T’aint no one gonna tell you what you have to be. You wanna be a cat, you be a cat.

      • I’ve read that they’re the same basic species as grizzlies, just adapted to life in the Great White North. Arctic foxes and rabbits change their coat colors seasonally from white to brown; the bears might start doing the same. I’m sure they’re more concerned with people shooting them than their climate adaptations.

    • You have to consider that the difference between a grizzly, a polar bear, and a grolar is similar to the difference between a soccer player, an NFL quarterback, and an NBA point guard. In other words, not much. A polar bear has white fur, a longer neck, and a mother that taught it to swim. In other words they are slight variations of one species.

    • Yes, at least some of them are. There is a reason they are both Ursus Arctos. They are just different subspecies (horribilis vs maritimus) because they can breed true.

    • Watch out, some special snowflakes at a university somewhere will start a club: Humans for Bear Apartheid. Better get a safe space ready.

  6. Surely cross breeding usually gives rise to F1 hybrids that are infertile such as the horse and the donkey to give Mules. You cannot breed mules with mules. Mick G 

    From: Watts Up With That? To: mickgreenhough@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Thursday, 19 May 2016, 9:29 Subject: [New post] Greens Panic at Evidence of Polar Bear Climate Adaptability

    Eric Worrall posted: “Guest essay by Eric WorrallThe discovery of a rare wild Grolar bear, a fertile Grizzly / Polar bear hybrid, is being treated as a terrifying sign of global warming in the Arctic. Grolar bears: Climate change could be behind grizzly-polar bear”

    • Not necessarily, it depends on the genetic separation and one would assume grizzly and polar bears are closely related. That said, it is possible for individuals notionally of the same species that cannot interbreed. I recall reading (for the moment I can’t find the reference) a common species of bird distributed around the world has small genetic changes from area to area such that when the wheel comes full circle, the final “product” cannot interbreed with the original.

      • Good example of this in the US is the leopard frog, the one that kids used to dissect in biology class. They exist along the length of the Mississippi from Minnesota to New Orleans. While contiguous populations breed and produce fertile young as one moves southward, individuals from Minnesota and from Louisiana are not able to produce fertile young. One definition of species is a population of organisms capable of breeding and producing fertile young. Using just that definition, the entire population of frogs along the Mississippi are the same species but, are at the same time, NOT the same species. Life has a way of confounding our best efforts to categorize it.

      • Don

        Yea, I have the same problem with women from New Jersey – I think it’s their accent.

    • In terms of a hybrid being fertile, I do recall hearing that two species which share a common immediate ancestor can successfully mate. Whether the offspring is fertile seemed to be a 50/50 proposition. Apparently such hybridisation can occur up to two million years after the initial separation/speciation.

      Pointman

      • It isn’t that simple, and there are some crosses even further removed. Fertility is also more complex (see Haldane’s Rule link above).

        BTW, crosses with different chromosome numbers can also be done. Goat Sheep hybrids are common, for example.

        When you get into plants is is even more exotic. The Triangle of Wu describes the three original species that mutually cross (with doubling of chromosome counts) to make the 3 new “species” families that give us most of our cruciferous vegetables (cabbages, kales, turnips, mustards, etc).

        There are a LOT more.. nature is happy to mix genes between species.

      • Hello EM Smith. Yes, I’m aware this is a complex area, if only because the science (read rules), is very new and far from settled. The relatively new techniques of gene analysis and the acceptance of the previously dismissed idea that hybridisation is a more active component of evolution and therefore speciation than thought in former years.

        Hello MarkW. 75,000 years appears a bit short, while the 2 million number astonished me when I heard it. Perhaps someone out there with expertise in the area can advise?

        Pointman

      • E.M.Smith,

        I quickly skimmed your last sentence and read, “nature is happy to mix greens species” and a naturally provided salad crossed my mind.

    • Recall that horses and mules have different numbers of chromosomes; this is generally considered to account for the sterility of mules (and hinnies).

      I don’t know if grizzlies and polar bears have the same number of chromosomes; if so, I would think that the F1 offspring would be fertile.

      • I have seen a mule and her colt… Dad was a horse in keeping with Haldane’s Rule. Mules are not all sterile and mule breeders usually “do in” any offspring as undesired off types.

    • Not in this case. That’s why Grizzlies and Polars are different subspecies of Ursus Arctos.

  7. “Some scientists even claim hybridisation was not only important, but essential to the rise of modern humans.”

    Since greens hate modern humans with a passion, it gives them another reason to be terrified of hybridisation. Imagine what despicable horrors the grolars will unleash on the world? Nuclear-powered SUVs?

  8. Es tut Einem in der Seele weh ständig mit solchen Schwachheiten behelligt zu werden.

    You’re confronted with people looking, behaving like grownups.Then they tell their storys about unicorns, antropomorphical smiling sun flowers and with equal antropomorphical smiling fluffy pink dolphins train their children sustainability. Because tomorrow earth’s resources are depleted infinetly.

  9. Then you know that’s psychopaths, adressing the same expressions to sun flowers as to their children.

  10. Hybrids? Well, strictly speaking Polar Bears and Brown Bears belong to the same species (being subspecies), since the can produce fertile “hybrid” offsprings. However the white and brown subspecies are very well adapted to their respective environments, so “hybrids” will likely have lower Darwinian fitness and become removed by natural selection, unless the Arctic environment alters to some kind of “hybrid” environment that suits them better..

  11. I’ve long conjectured that when the deep greens wipe out humanity, (along with every ape and monkey down to the smallest lemur on Madagascar), with their Phil the Greek virus, that it would be a race between the dogs, pigs and bears to replace us as the dominant intelligent species.

    My money’s on the bears and the fact that polars and grizzlies, (and black and brown bears), can hybridize so easily, added to their ability to stand on their own two feet and grab food with their front paws, gives them a bit of an advantage.

    I’ve tried to point out to the misanthropic green nutters that their desire to cut the human population back to a half billion would give poor Gaia a break of less than a thousand years before we’d be back building factories powered by coal, and even if they wiped out everything with an opposable thumb, (including the aforementioned lemur), something else would take our place in less than a million years.

    And guys, Gaia doesn’t give a toss which species is on top or how many smoky factories they build. Mainly on account of the fact that there’s no such entity as gaia.

    • My money would be on cats.
      They do what works for THEM.
      Sorry dog lovers, but have you ever seen cats pulling a sled?

  12. [ … ‘Polar bears are thought to have diverged from a population of brown bears that became isolated during a period of glaciation in the Pleistocene or from the eastern part of Siberia, (from Kamchatka and the Kolym Peninsula).

    The evidence from DNA analysis is more complex. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the polar bear diverged from the brown bear, Ursus arctos, roughly 150,000 years ago. Further, some clades of brown bear, as assessed by their mtDNA, are more closely related to polar bears than to other brown bears, meaning that the polar bear might not be considered a species under some species concepts. The mtDNA of extinct Irish brown bears is particularly close to polar bears. A comparison of the nuclear genome of polar bears with that of brown bears revealed a different pattern, the two forming genetically distinct clades that diverged approximately 603,000 years ago, although the latest research is based on analysis of the complete genomes (rather than just the mitochondria or partial nuclear genomes) of polar and brown bears, and establishes the divergence of polar and brown bears at 400,000 years ago.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_bear

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Life goes on.

  13. I’m not sure it would be wise to resist the sexual advances of a grizzly bear. I’ve read that the best thing to do when a grizzly approaches Is to lie on the ground and accept what happens.

  14. According to https://polarbearscience.com/ the bear (I think it is the same bear referred to here) has not been confirmed as a hybrid through DNA testing. It may be an albino grizzly because of its location (on land) and condition (thin like a grizzly that just came out of hibernation). Known hybrids usually have a polar bear mother and thus would be fat on seals at this time of year.

    • David Smith – the bear is not an albino as nose and eyes were black, not pink, but white Grizzly and Black Bears are not unusual. But the rest of what you said is correct.

  15. If grizzlies and polar bears can interbreed and have fertile offspring, then they belong to the same species — they are just different races. Insisting that the hybrids are a problem, and the preferment of pure polar bears, would constitute “racism” and “white privilege.”

  16. “My question: why aren’t greens celebrating this find, as evidence that Polar bears are capable of rapidly changing their phenotype, in response to radical changes to the polar climate?”

    Wait … is the polar climate radically changing?

  17. “…is being treated as a terrifying sign of global warming in the Arctic.”

    Now CAGW is tuning the cute, cuddly polar bears into golar killing machines! It won’t be long before they give up on trash heaps and head straight for schools.

  18. So…..you protect the grizzly bears…..protect the polar bears…..there’s more of them…..they both expand their range
    ….and cross breed
    We play real loose with this “species” thing……

  19. “They seem to be more common now”

    And that could not possibly result from having a much higher population of observers in the arctic than at any time in the past?

    • It could also have to do with having a much higher population of Polar Bears in the arctic.

    • Bingo!!! And this principle applies to every aspect of climate science, and also of life.
      Even non-existent things can become more numerous when their is some incentive to discover them.
      For example, during the witch craze, witchfinders noted that witches were becoming increasingly numerous.
      Of course, now we are discovering more extreme weather, river erosion, glacial retreat, flooding, extinctions, hybrid polar bears etc etc.
      Often, in places where we were not previously looking.
      It seems as though the more we look, the more things we find.
      The general public are far too trusting of the nonsense that is delivered to them as “science”.
      I don’t think that the ordinary person imagines that a “scientist” might be willing to overlook this very obvious consideration.

      • Apologies – the first “their” should be “there”. And I should be more careful when posting.

    • “… sightings of this hybrid bear species have been very rare in the past.”
      “But they seem to be more common now,” he said.”

      1) When you spend more tie looking for something, you’re more likely to find it.

      2) AND as pointed out by Dr. Crockford, above, the larger polar population can/will cause expansion out of its common range and habitat.

      3) But, since the most reasonable 1 & 2 don’t justify the appropriate ends, our (and by “our”, I mean yours) CO2 output must therefore must be assumed to be the primary cause.

  20. “But some scientists say the two bear species are breeding more often because climate change is causing them to cross paths.”
    “Some scientists” say a lot of things. Mostly dumb, unscientific things completely lacking in evidence, particularly regarding “climate change”.
    Since the meme about “climate change” supposedly threatening polar bears except that their numbers were increasing didn’t pan out, I suppose now they’ll try latching onto this ridiculous claim.

    • Obviously, the grizzly bears are not paying attention to that sign on the border of Nunavut that says ‘Polar Bears only beyond this line’.

    • Bruce in addition to “some scientists” you have the quote there “seems” to be more hybrids now than before. Seems like the usual hype. Not one measurement in a carload of somes and seems and maybes and coulds a plenty.

  21. This is something of a rehash of the old dispute between “lumpers” and “splitters” in naming species. Once, there were several named species of brown bears.

    • Even with all the genetic sequencing, there is still the question of how much of a genetic difference is “necessary” to differentiate between species, subspecies, etc. I had a professor who pointed out that one could argue that all “splitting” should have the same requirements across the board: x genes/differences are needed to split into any class, any order, any genus. The same number of differences would be needed to differentiate between insect species as mammal species or bird species. Good luck working that out.

      Of course, thinking our classifications really matter is an anthropocentric conceit. No animal cares besides humans. If they can breed/mate (and feel the urge), they will. If offspring result, the animal is not going to seek an abortion because the baby is a hybrid.

      Things are going to change, whether we like it or not. I am not advocating apathy, but humans need to exercise some humility and gain some perspective. A polar bear is not thinking, “Hey, humans are using fossil fuels. As a result, I now feel an urge to mate with grizzly bears, an urge that did not exist in my species prior to the Industrial Revolution.”

  22. From what I read I understand that green are avaient all what is known since Darwin about evolution
    So can they be qualified as creativist?
    World waw created one way and must ne er change!

  23. A grizzly bear is just a sub-species of brown bear. If the geneticists are correct, Ursus maritimus evolved from the brown bear.

  24. Way off scale on the absurdity index:

    1- “We have only seen a few examples [ever?]” but we are sure this one bear is evidence of a trend caused by climate change. Oh wait, might not even be a hybrid. Oh wait, we might have killed the only living example. The fundamental green hypocrisy – we had to kill the bear to save it.

    2 – Grizzlys don’t like humans – duh – from an early age, young grizzlies learn that humans have bang sticks and kill their parents. Forget the Middle East – the UN should fund a negotiation to end the bear-human hostilities and return the world to its perfect Gaia state, where young children could play and take naps with their bear cub friends while the parents sit around and feast on salmon together.

    3 – Assertions based on zero evidence. Maybe they are being “seen more frequently” because hunters are venturing further north due to climate change.

    But I can’t wait to see the breathless headline in the HuffPuff this afternoon – “Giant Mutant Grizzly-polar Bears Rampaging Through the Arctic Thanks to Climate Change!”

  25. I hate to see a good opportunity to do some science wasted by the CAGW zealots, who only take these opportunities to advance the propaganda, not actually find out what’s going on. For example:

    1. Is this males impregnating females, or the reverse (would imply different range behaviors)?
    2. There is strong evidence (see Susan’s Polar Bear Science blog) that polar bear populations are expanding – is the mating a result of territory pressure (e.g. Polars moving south?), or grizzles moving north?
    3. Polar bears can survive for long periods in southern ranges (ever see any in San Diego at the zoo?), but more importantly, they can spend many summer months away from their source of food, because of spring gorging,
    4. While global temperatures are going up (somewhat, barely) globally, what’s happening locally in Canada ranges where these species are coming into contact? Summer cooling? There is some evidence for that, which would make this mating completely irrelevant to CAGW, or even AGW for that matter.

    I can think of another four or five questions to investigate that similarly don’t prove anything about the alarmist meme – is anybody doing science on that?

    This stuff really irritates me, when there are real scientific questions to answer about phenomena like this.

    • “Is this males impregnating females, or the reverse..”. you will need to explain that a little more.

  26. Wolves and coyotes sometimes interbreed as well. Republicans and Democrats have been known to marry each other. And the point is…

  27. Taylor,

    See my comment above – what’s going on is that tundra grizzlies in Nunavut are expanding and moving south into suitable habitat. They were over-hunted for decades (if not centuries) but are now recovering.

    As I said, note that this article (and the CBC one I cite) did not consult a polar bear specialist for comment. That’s a bit odd, I think.

    Susan

    • Susan

      I’m a fully qualified polar bear non-expert (I know nothing…), and I always enjoy your posts.

      I do have a question about your 7:54 post: you say tundra grizzlies are moving south (presumably into polar bear territory); did you mean the polar bears are moving south (presumably into grizzly territory)?

      • Javert,
        No. It’s the grizzlies that are moving – the polar bears have always occupied NW Hudson Bay. As I understand it, the tundra population (in Nunavut – to the north of Arviat, where this bear was shot) are recovering nicely, and moving south into suitable habitat.

        The only other possibility is that grizzlies on the prairies are moving east (from Manitoba) but according to recent censuses that seems unlikely – just not that many grizzlies around.

    • Aha, Grizzlies moving south – who would have thought? Susan, thanks, another great example of a cranky non expert being enlightened by an expert. Thanks for taking the time to educate me, and also prove that this has little to do with warming. If grizzlies are moving south, and running into polar bears, you could even make a case that this argues for cooling, not warming…

      with wishes for continued success with your blog,

      Taylor

    • I have to thank you for posting that link. One of the funniest things I have seen in quite a while!

  28. How biology has changed. Whatever happened to The Modern Synthesis of Genetics and Evolution?
    http://bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca/Evolution_by_Accident/Modern_Synthesis.html

    Ernst Mayr was instrumental in gaining recognition of his biological species concept, according to which a species is a set of organisms that can interbreed among each other.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/06/2/l_062_01.html

    So are polar bears and grizzly bears different species or merely two varieties of the same species? Are these bears more or less alike than are Great Danes and Saint Bernard dog varieties?

      • Well, dogs are now classified as Canis lupus familiarus. Now every dog owner has a wolf-dog. Even the Pomeranians are now considered wolves. That last fact is probably the best argument against defining species by ability to interbreed. :)

  29. The more likely reason caused by man is the reduction of bear habitat causing polar bears and grizzlies to cross paths more often. If the planet is warming, habitable surface increases and all of this increase occurs in prime polar bear territory, so you would expect less interaction with other species.

  30. The most likely reason is a randy grizzly/polar bear male meeting a randy polar/grizzly female bear and then getting jiggy with it. Or maybe it’s an albino grizzly?

  31. When a group of bears get isolated from the general population, and the lighter-colored ones have greater reproductive success, this is due to a decrease in genetic variability; the light-fur trait was more latent, but in the right conditions has become more common, to the detriment of the full range of genetic variability.

    This is not evolution, addition of information, but devolution, loss of information.

  32. “but essential to the rise of modern humans”

    Radical environmentals consider modern humans to be the source of all problems. So it’s natural that the process that gave rise to them would be considered evil.

  33. This is also evidence that Grizzly’s and Polar Bears aren’t separate species, but merely sub-species.

  34. ” If the arctic ever warms to such an extent, purebred Polar Bears are no longer ecologically viable, they would simply be replaced with hybrids, or even near purebred Grizzlies. And when Arctic conditions cooled again, creating strong selection pressure for lighter fur, “Polar Bears” would quickly re-emerge from the diverse ursine gene pool.”

    Evidence shows that this is exactly what happened in the past when temperatures rose or fell.

  35. The polar bears’ island is sinking; the grizzly bears’ island is sinking, so they are forced to swim out to a third, strange, foreign island somewhere in between. This means loss of identity and culture. Could governments not step in and arrange expensive I mean extensive programs to preserve bear culture and identity? Start by parachuting in grief counselors… Provide safe spaces… And inclusive restrooms…

  36. Perfect planetary conditions were just before the Industrial Revolution and humans commencing the big increase in burning fossil fuels.

    CO2~280 parts per million=perfect(even though plants were starving and would have been shutting down if CO2 had decreased 120 ppm instead of increased that much)

    Global temperature then, shortly after the Little Ice Age has also been deemed as the perfect temperature, to use as a metric to compare where we have come from and where we are headed.

    A snap shot of life on the planet(that we think existed) during that time frame is also seen as the near perfect environment that we should judge all changes in life since then by.

    It is true that humans have had some profoundly , widespread, negative impacts on life and the environment of planet earth. This continues today. However, the increase in CO2 from 280 ppm to 400 ppm has rescued life from dangerously low levels of this beneficial gas.
    The best thing that we could do would be to increase CO2 another 120 ppm and concentrate on cleaning up the real pollution.

  37. It is part of the church dogma for the Church of Climate Change.

    The Roman Catholic Church tried to cling to geocentrist view of the universe even as the scientific observational evidence built that it was at least heliocentric. Then it was church dogma of an earth and mankind ruling over it that wasat the center of God’s creation.

    Today, the Church of Climate Change central dogma is that any change in climate, and by extension any plant or animal adaption in response, is the work of man’s poisoning, defiling, and destruction. This tenet of the church professes on faith that the evil CO2 molecule is “carbon pollution” as the key sin.

    And not just any-old CO2 molecule, but that really nasty anthropogenic CO2 molecule that came from oil, gas, or coal burning, as if climate and GHG physics cared on the provenance of the carbon atom. The magical anthropogenic CO2 molecule thus causing all sorts of environmental mayhem according to CC church dogma. Take it on faith. If you don’t believe, then the congregants have perjorative epithets to label you, just as other religions have for heretics, blasphemers, infidels, heathens, and apostates.

  38. I fail to see the “Panic” part in the quote or in the article. Could me explain where you see that “greens panic”?

  39. If asked, I’d be inclined to remark that wouldn’t increased hybridisation indicate larger populations of both Grizzly and Polar Bear. Meaning more opportunities to interbreed? Surely, given the Greens regular hand waving over Ursus Maritimus being so threatened, should this not be celebrated as ‘good’ news?

    For a given value of ‘good’, as in the Greens little world, it appears all change but the change they say they want is ‘bad’.

  40. “And when Arctic conditions cooled again, creating strong selection pressure for lighter fur, “Polar Bears” would quickly re-emerge from the diverse ursine gene pool.”

    This made me laugh! I hope it was meant sarcastically, otherwise it should go up for most unscientific comment on a science blog ;)

    Cheers
    Ben

  41. Since poly bears survived the Holocene Maximum (HM), when temperatures were higher than now, I think they will survive current temperatures. The Siberian forests were much further north in the HM than they are now, so I imagine the polar ice cap was very small at that time.

  42. If modern Humans were developed through crossbreeding, bear crossbreeds SHOULD be feared. Did Neanderthals ever need to fight about warming/climate change?

  43. “the grolar and pizzly bears, as little contact had yet to be made between them and humans”

    Wise humans will avoid contact with large, fierce, hungry bears.

  44. Are you trying to tell us that polar bears and brown bears are actually the same species? Just different races.

  45. It seems to me that if genetics is teaching us anything, it is that nature creates individuals, lineages, and maybe populations. Species and the rest of the Linean stuff is a human-created classification of the reality that’s out there. it’s another case of confusing the description of the thing with the thing itself.

  46. To the author,

    First of all, thanks for sharing this information. This is pretty cool and a new one to me (in regards to personal general knowledge).

    I think the answer to your question is actually quite simple: They are not celebrating it because it does not support their timeframe for their predispositions, along with its assumptions. I am pretty sure that in these days of rapid information sharing, there is going to be a truth revealed that will pull the wobbly legs out from underneath such a silly theory.

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