Expert: Recent studies show September ice extent of 3-5 mkm2 did not kill polar bears off as predicted

Dr. Susan Crockford asks me to bring this to your attention. She writes:

The annual Arctic sea ice minimum for 2016 is imminent and the hand-wringing about polar bear survival has already begun. While this year isshaping up to be another very low sea ice minimum in the Arctic – not as low as 2012 but lower than 2007 (previously the 2nd lowest since 1979) – contrary to predictions, several recent studies show that such low sea ice coverage in summer has had no (or very limited) negative effects on polar bear health and survival. In fact, for polar bears in some areas low summer sea ice has been quite beneficial (although these are not the populations that polar bear specialists predicted would do better).

polar_thin_ice Jessica Robertson_USGS

Since low summer extents of recent magnitude (3.0 – 5.0 mkm2) are clearly not any sort of threat to polar bears, it seems improbable that even an ice-free (≤ 1.0 mkm2) summer (e.g. Wang and Overland 2015) would be devastating to the species [don’t forget Cronin and Cronin 2016: they’ve survived such conditions before] – as long as conditions in spring allow for the necessary concentrated feeding on young seals.

sea-ice-mins_2007_2012_2015_polarbearscienceAbove: Top, minimum at 2012 (16 Sept, 3.41 mkm2, lowest since 1979); Center, 2007 (18 Sept, 4.17 mkm2); Bottom, 2015 (9 Sept, 4.50 mkm2), from NSIDC. Below: sea ice at 10 Sept 2016, 4.137 mkm2 – minimum not yet called).


Recall that in 2006, the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group based their conservation status of ‘vulnerable’ (likely to become threatened within the next 45 years due to reduced habitat) on the predictions of sea ice specialists (see 2008 update here).

Sea ice experts in 2005 predicted such low summer sea ice extents as polar bears have endured since 2007 (3.0 – 5.0 mkm2) would not happen until 2040-2070, at which time PBSG biologists said that >30% of the world’s bears would be gone.

Evidence to the contrary comes from polar bear specialists working in the Chukchi, Beaufort, and Barents Seas – and in Southern Hudson Bay – since 2007. Overall, the latest IUCN Red Book assessment(2015) put the global population size at 22,000-31,000 (or about 26,500).

All of this means that those polar bear experts were wrong: polar bears are more resilient to low summer sea ice conditions than they assumed.

Complete story here

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Tom Halla
September 13, 2016 2:38 pm

But polar bears are so cute they will be used as” threatened” regardless of the facts.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 13, 2016 6:54 pm

And they are vegan as well. They would not even think about eating a baby harp seal. It would not be good for their image.

Reply to  Asp
September 13, 2016 9:12 pm

Save the seals! Buy a Hummer.

September 13, 2016 2:40 pm

“While this year is shaping up to be another very low sea ice minimum in the Arctic – not as low as 2012 but lower than 2007”
Not according to DMI data:
If there is no agreement between datasets, then it is not a sure thing.
Arctic ice is already growing, so the September value is likely to end up higher, not lower.
And yes, polar bears will do fine as long as we don’t kill them or their food.

Reply to  Javier
September 13, 2016 5:39 pm

Would be curious to see the trend graphed in your little highlight box from 2007 thru 2016. Looking positive.

Reply to  garyh845
September 13, 2016 7:29 pm

There has been no significant trend in the last 10 years. Could be because of the very strong trend between 2001-2007 that had everybody alarmed, or in my opinion more likely because in the last 10 years the AMO has not increased, and it is well known that Arctic sea ice responds to AMO. Perhaps we have saved the Arctic. In any case we seen to be having a “Paice” or “Hicetus”.

Reply to  Javier
September 13, 2016 6:02 pm

I agree, it is highly unlikely that the Arctic sea ice will decline further than its lowest point this year. Likewise the Antarctic sea ice is unlikely to exceed the peak volume alraedy achieved to date. Too much energy has been taken out of the system.

Reply to  ozonebust
September 13, 2016 7:43 pm

A few days ago, both Bill Illis and Allan MacRae independently made a prediction that there should be a very cold autumn based on the lagged analogy between temperatures and El Niño. We shall see but their observation appears to be based on the same as yours.

Reply to  Javier
September 13, 2016 8:02 pm

It will only be cold as they predict if the transport of atmosphere from outside the region stalls and falls, that appears to be the case. as there are other events Take a look at the Antarctic which has reduced considerably from its early peak and is unlikely to recover. Both are controlled by exactly the same same source of atmospheric flow. They appear to be directly linked, even though they are poles apart (excuse the pun). The mechanisms that control both are simplistically complex.

Reply to  ozonebust
September 14, 2016 5:47 am

This comment appears to make zero sense.
What are you saying?

Reply to  ozonebust
September 14, 2016 8:19 am

He is saying that temperatures on the planet depend on heat transport from the equator to the poles by the oceans (1/3) and the atmosphere (2/3), and small changes in that transport make a big difference from one year to another. He believes this year the transport carries less heat because a lot of energy has been taken out of the system, presumably by the strong El Niño.
I tend to agree, although I am less sure. I do believe though that the ENSO is a short circuit when the oceanic transport is unable to transport so much heat and it accumulates. The reason is not only that too much heat entered the system, but also changes in the latitudinal thermal gradient (difference in temperature between the poles and the equator), that is the engine of the heat transport in the planet.

Reply to  Javier
September 14, 2016 3:23 am

There seems to be a five and half (plus) year cycle in that data. half a eleven year cycle?

Reply to  B.j.
September 14, 2016 3:25 am

What effect would the weather have on the cycle?

Reply to  Javier
September 14, 2016 8:43 am

The exact amount of ice is immaterial to this discussion. The minimum will be below 5 mkm2 and more than 3 mkm2.
*The point is, since 2007, sea ice has been at levels not expected until 2040-2070*
PBSG experts in 2005 predicted global polar bear numbers would decline by >30% when sea ice levels in summer dropped below 5 mkm2 but > 3 mkm2.
The “future” sea ice has been with us for a decade but there has not been any such decline in polar bear numbers.
In fact, contrary to predictions – despite very low summer ice for most of those years, the Svalbard portion of the Barents Sea population increased by 42% between 2004 and 2015.
Data collected by polar bear researchers themselves shows that the amount of summer sea ice does not really matter to polar bears since they eat so little during that time anyway.
As long as there is sufficient ice (and seals to eat) in spring (March/April to May/June, depending how far south), most bears are able to put on enough fat to last through a long summer fast – whether they spend that time on land or on the sea ice.
Polar bear experts assumed that summer ice would matter but they were wrong.
It is the condition of SPRING ice (and availability of seal pups) that governs polar bear health and survival.
Dr. Susan Crockford, zoologist

Reply to  susanjcrockford
September 14, 2016 11:20 am

One of the ‘little things’ that bother me about published estimates of polar bear population is how frequently polar bears are easily photographed.
Locating polar bears to photograph, that were not town dumpster bears used to be difficult.
From various articles, news sources, adventure trips, all it takes now to find polar bears is to visit any of the polar bear ranges.
Nor are polar bear pictures, solo bears wandering forlornly; instead pictures of groups of bears are common.
Easy pictures of Polar bears multiplied by square kilometers of Arctic is a scarily large number of bears.
What should be worrying is that any super abundance of bears must be predicated on large food sources. As in many predator/prey relationships, when the prey population drops, the predators get very hungry and usually suffer a similar population drop.
Drops that have nothing to do with climate.

Reply to  susanjcrockford
September 14, 2016 1:41 pm

A Theo,
May I suggest, with your leave, not
“Drops that have nothing to do with climate.”
but, instead
“Drops that m a y have nothing to do with climate.”
Climate, we know, does have effects. Other things – H. sapiens, for example, or solar output, or continental configurations – may [MAY] also have an effect, big or small or tiny.
And there are LOTS of other things that may [that PM UK word again!] have an effect on climate.
Cosmic rays
Land use
Ocean and continental topography
MAY [perhaps, might do. Not certain. Etc.]
A suggestion, only.
Very little in this very complex system truly qualifies as ‘The science is settled’ beyond dispute.
Aware that holy water should not be unnecessarily defiled.
But – sometimes – it is necessary.

Reply to  susanjcrockford
September 17, 2016 3:15 pm

While your suggestion has merit, there is zero evidence about climatic effects on polar bear or related populations.
All alleged possible effects are speculation.
Predator/prey population relationships are well documented, without calamitous climate impacts getting invovled.
A) If the polar bear population is growing more numerous,
B) then their food source prey is also more numerous. Whether it’s geese in summer, seals in spring and fall or beached whales.
C) When one or more of their food sources plummets in availability, the predators will similarly decline unless they find new food sources.
Now for climate to have an effect on animal populations, that requires long term impacts.
Not sudden changes in weather.
All of the polar bear prey species along with polar bears have weathered previous changes in climate over millennia.
Warmer? Not a problem, that we can determine.
Colder? Not a problem, all involved love Arctic boundary expansions.
Land use? What land use? All of the land use scenarios are based on mankind’s use of land, not climate.
No distantly possible ‘m a y’ conditions are in evidence. All of the ‘possible’ effects of climate tend to be speculative “what if” scenarios.
While science may not be ‘settled’, hundreds of thousands to millions of year’s survival through Earth history is rather definitive that these involved animals live through previous climatic changes.
I’ll leave the sentence at “drops that have nothing to do with climate”.

September 13, 2016 2:43 pm

Guess these guys didnt get the memo…
Researchers trapped in shelter by polar bears…

Stephen Skinner
September 13, 2016 2:52 pm

What was the evidence that Polar Bears would perish or be threatened by open waters in the Arctic? They are supremely adapted to not only swim for 10s of kilometers but to do so in water near or below freezing. This would indicate that Polar Bears have evolved to swim large distances in near freezing water.

Reply to  Stephen Skinner
September 13, 2016 3:53 pm

I believe the “evidence” was one or more computer models.

Reply to  Stephen Skinner
September 13, 2016 9:30 pm

Polar bears float. They’re covered in a layer of fat.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
September 13, 2016 10:49 pm

Also their hairs are hollow. They can dive under water, but have to work to stay submerged.

Reply to  Stephen Skinner
September 14, 2016 12:43 am

Have you looked at the distance between the Canadian/Alaskan coast and the sea ice edge in the Beaufort in early September? a bit more than 10s of km

Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 8:58 am

Griff, one would presuppose they wouldn’t try to swim distances beyond their ability. I think they’re a bit smarter than you suppose — they deal w/greatly advancing and retreating ice every year.

Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 9:40 am

As if that made a difference.
Try harder Griff, your irrelevance is showing.

Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 11:20 am

Griff, have you discovered that science research has already showed that during the climate optimism,there were little to NO summer ice for a few thousand years?
How did the Polar Bears survive,Griff?

Jeff Hayes
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
September 14, 2016 8:45 am

This reminded me of a Nova episode on polar bears, in which it was shown that polar bears can swim far greater distances than previously thought. The record is 426 miles. Here is the National Geographic article:

Stephen Skinner
September 13, 2016 3:02 pm
“The oldest known polar bear fossil is a 130,000 to 110,000-year-old jaw bone, found on Prince Charles Foreland in 2004. Fossils show that between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago, the polar bear’s molar teeth changed significantly from those of the brown bear. 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).”
From this extract it would appear that the oldest Polar Bear fossil comes from about the time of the last inter-glacial and the significant change in teeth came about during the continuous global warming and ice sheet melting that began 20,000 years ago up to the beginning of the current inter-glacial.

September 13, 2016 3:18 pm

Meanwhile at least two Russian arctic meteorological outposts are besieged by polar bears. The climate change caveat is at the bottom of the article.

Reply to  Keith
September 13, 2016 7:18 pm

Someone pointed out to me that the Newsweek? article about these stations and the bears did not bring up the climate change point. More evidence that the Washington Post is more into propaganda than propagating the truth.

Reply to  Keith
September 13, 2016 9:44 pm

Can’t find Troynoy Island on Google earth. Where is it? Maybe they don’t have a gun to shoot one of those bears to stay alive…

September 13, 2016 3:19 pm

Somehow this piece ended up on my news page this morning under Science – from July 5, 2015 ??
Think the Google News machine was sifting through propaganda pieces ? I got EricH’s peice as well (above). Ah, what to believe from the media. I believe Dr. Crockford.
“Polar bears are in big trouble,” Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director for the Center for Biological Diversity, told the Associated Press. “There are other steps we can take to slow the decline of polar bears, but in the long run, the only way to save polar bears in the Arctic is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Reply to  Bubba Cow
September 13, 2016 6:25 pm

I get that crap from Google too. More like Goebbels News Aggregator.

Reply to  Bubba Cow
September 14, 2016 12:32 am

Center for Biological Diversity says the same about any animal. Check them on penguins, walrus, polar bears, you name it, they use the same words, it’s the script and they have stuck to it for a long time..

September 13, 2016 3:21 pm

Look, just move some of them to Antarctica. Then they can be Bi-Polar Bears….

Reply to  ClimateOtter
September 13, 2016 3:31 pm

Boo hiss… That’s bad. 😄

Reply to  ClimateOtter
September 14, 2016 1:48 pm

Glad I had my trusty glass on its mat.
Nearly wet myself!
And if SMC doesn’t like it, or doesn’t get it, or considers it is an affront to Bi-Polar humans, then I note SMC’s pain, and pass lightly on.
With a Smile on my heart and a Song in my face.
Or v/v.
Maybe it I S getting late . . . .
Mods – an attempt at humour [Humor in the US]; apologies if it doesn’t work too well.

Ray Boorman
September 13, 2016 3:28 pm

Well, consider me very surprised – polar bears, which diverged from their grizzly bear cousins a couple of hundred thousand years ago, are more resilient than the research-grant-demanding, career-enhancing, alarmist “experts” have been claiming.

Reply to  Ray Boorman
September 13, 2016 3:47 pm

Actually, whether polar bears are a separate species is debatable. Depends on the definition. Under the new 4 giraffe species in Africa definition, yes. Under the old cannot interbreed, no. But the old definition has been upturned by ‘coywolves’ such as the federally protected ‘red wolf’ which is actually just a coywolf fertile hybrid, down selected by the NFWS no different than dog breeds at Westminster. Curry’s uncertainty monster is rampant in basic biology. Essays Polar Bears and No Bodies cover this ground rather nicely.

Robert Wager
Reply to  ristvan
September 13, 2016 8:26 pm

The whole concept of species is a human construct. Nature don’t give a hoot about our ideas.

Reply to  ristvan
September 14, 2016 9:45 am

The environmentalists need there to be more species.
1) More species to study. More paying jobs.
2) More species means that each individual species is smaller in number. Easier to get classified as endangered. See point 1.

Reply to  Ray Boorman
September 13, 2016 10:58 pm

The bear “are more resilient than the research-grant-demanding, career-enhancing, alarmist ‘experts'”, period.
The ‘experts’ will become extinct when the grants stop, with the exception of Susan Crockford, who seems to study because she has a love of science.

September 13, 2016 3:41 pm

Dr Crockford’s polar bear blog is a must read treasure. As is her tongue firmly in cheek (but maybe not) novel, Eaten. Thoroughly enjoyable read, and highly recommended.

September 13, 2016 3:46 pm

Quick, send those on-site researchers some computer models…

September 13, 2016 4:45 pm

A href=””>“Did Nunavut hunter shoot grizzly-polar bear hybrid?”
Toronto Star eats crow

September 13, 2016 5:25 pm

Bully for Dr. Crockford! A (seemingly) singular voice of reason in a vast ocean of darkness.

September 13, 2016 6:39 pm

If Polar bears were in danger why wouldn’t a ban on Polar Bear killing by humans have been in place long ago ? Leave the bears alone and they will outlive the human species
who do best where umbrella drinks are served .
To test the theory of how much polar bears love ice why aren’t there any in the
Antarctic snacking on penguins ? Too fricking cold is why .
Humans do better in a warm climate so why do the scary global warming promoters
try and sell how harmful it is ? At least global cooling was actually something to be concerned about .

Reply to  Amber
September 13, 2016 7:52 pm

And how would the polar bears get to the Antarctic and the penguins? Swimming? Walking through jungles and deserts?
And how would they live just on penguins? There are no salmons, berries, fruits, and insects in Antarctica to get fat during the summer.

Reply to  Javier
September 13, 2016 8:04 pm

It’s not well documented because it happened so long ago but the penguins eradicated polar bears many years ago. Massed echelons of penguins simply pushed them off the ice and wouldn’t let them back on. Twenty 8 inch claws and a totally toothsome jaw were helpless against flotillas of flippers. Penguins do teamwork well, not so much seals. So now you know.

Reply to  Javier
September 13, 2016 8:08 pm

Some penguins could fly then, too, so there were dive bombers as well. Even kamikaze birds, who were the unsung heroes. It was not a pretty sight, and the world would prefer to forget.

Adam Gallon
Reply to  Amber
September 14, 2016 1:38 am

There are bans on hunting Polar Bears. One of the reasons their numbers have soared over the past 30 odd years. Certainly the USA only permits hunting of them by native Alaskans.

Jeff Hayes
Reply to  Adam Gallon
September 14, 2016 9:08 am

Native peoples, I can’t recall if it is Alaskans, Canadians or both, are allowed to sell their “permit” to hunt polar bears, which is usually what happens as big-game hunters are willing to pay upwards of $100,000 for one of the limited opportunities to shoot a bear. I imagine that $100k goes a lot further to supply the needs of arctic living than one bear. On the other hand, only native peoples are allowed to make craft items for sale from the parts of the bear carcass, ie; claws, hide and teeth. In this way traditional skills are preserved, and the sale of crafts also provides money for more modern supplies.

Reply to  Amber
September 14, 2016 4:01 am

I trust Dr Crockford’s opinion about Polar Bears. However, the reason they’re not in the Antarctic is the same as the reason there are no penguins in the Far North: the tropics are in the way. It’s rather like the way humans didn’t walk to New Zealand shortly after leaving Africa: we’re not adapted to swimming long ocean distances, and Polar Bears aren’t adapted to equatorial heat.

September 13, 2016 7:01 pm

Does mkm2 mean “millions of square kilometers”?

Reply to  marywilbur
September 13, 2016 8:10 pm


September 13, 2016 10:44 pm

This year’s minimum will turn out to be the 3rd lowest Arctic Ice Entent, which was caused by the 2nd strongest El Niño event ever recorded and from the one-off North Pacific “The Blob” anomaly.
Only 2012’s Arctic Minimum was lower than 2007, which was caused by the strongest and longest summer Arctic cyclone in 50 years…
Arctic Ice Extents seem to be closely tied to 30-year PDO/AMO ocean warm/cool cycles.
From 2019, both the PDO and AMO will be in their respective 30-year cool cycles, so it’s highly likely Arctic Ice Extents will gradually start increasing for the next 30 years. CO2 levels have almost NO impact on Arctic Ice Extents…
Arctic Sea Ice is the last little hobby horse Leftists have to flog on this silly disconfirmed CAGW hypothesis. Once this little horsey is dead and buried and global temp trends start to show discernible global cooling, the CAGW alarmists wil find it VERY difficult to maintain public support for CAGW…
CAGW is dead.

Reply to  SAMURAI
September 14, 2016 12:15 am

Ah, the poor polar bear. Well, quite simple! If sea ice has been declining in the artic since the satellite era, obviously there will be a correlation between sea ice reducing and polar bear numbers reducing as well. I’ll wait patiently until someone provides that. Of course, it hasn’t happened, so I guess I’ll be waiting a long time.
So many dire predictions were released in or around 2007. Polar Bears gone by 2020 or 2030 some claimed. Of course, all based around there being no ice up there. Since polar bears mostly need the ice in spring time, to stock up on baby seals, has there been any research into how much the bears need sea ice in late summer, even if the ice were to disappear? (likely not to).
The polar bear is a relatively new species, or sub species, as some might call it. The concern with polar bears is they have been shown to be quite slow to adapt. Unlikely their cousins such as the grizzly or brown bear, they really don’t seem to have yet shown a willingness to consider other food sources. Unlikely to ever go extinct even if sea ice disappears in spring time (not at all likely), but their numbers could dwindle if it ever did happen. Nature though!

Reply to  John
September 14, 2016 11:29 am

I suspect some viral videos of polar bears munching down on cute baby seals might curb a lot of polar bear enthusiasm. Everybody seems to assume the bears hang around drinking Coke.

Reply to  SAMURAI
September 14, 2016 3:30 am

“so it’s highly likely Arctic Ice Extents will gradually start increasing for the next 30 years”
It isn’t. Warming continues and the ice is in a very poor state – little thick/MYI ice left after this summer.

Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 5:54 am

It’s nice thirty years in the future for you ‘is’ happening now. Clueless guesses, no information, sounds like a religion. Everyone’s entitled to their own, the proselytizing gets old though.

Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 9:48 am

What warming?
Your evidence that all the ice is of poor quality is what exactly?

Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 9:54 am

As I pointed out, there has only been one year lower than 2007’s Arctic Ice Extent low.
To think Arctic Ice Extents have been decreasing since 2007 is not supported by the evidence.

Reply to  SAMURAI
September 15, 2016 11:25 am

Of course it is. It was renamed ‘Climate Change’ long ago. Even that new moniker wasn’t generic enough. It’s now to be referred to as ‘Climate Disruption’. It’s so generic that no one could possible dispute it. Please try and keep up. Leftist can bastardize the language faster than they can cash a government cheque.

September 14, 2016 12:06 am

We have a high jump of ice in the central Arctic
after a multi-day geomagnetic storm.

September 14, 2016 12:39 am

The NSIDC charts which illustrate this article don’t give the true picture – they give the impression the area including at least 15% ice is solid, whereas a considerable area of it was at 50% or lower concentration, with vast areas of broken ice and open water even close to the pole.
And yes, it was the second lowest extent, lower than 2007… I note that we reached that some 15 years in advance of the experts quoted in the article
If this ice isn’t melting/recovering/there’s no warming how come we have in a decade yet to ‘recover’ to pre-2007 levels?
There was for the second year running enormously low levels of ice in the Beaufort – from quite early on… also an early retreat from Svalbard.
How Crockford can continue to assert that the Polar bears are in no trouble as a result of this I don’t know…

Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 1:02 am

The lows of 2007, 2012 and 2016 can all be linked to meteorological events, all understood. Also, I doubt you will find anyone on here to say that there HASN’T been warming in the arctic.
To answer your question as to why sea ice hasn’t yet recovered to pre 2007 levels you would first need to agree on the reason for the decline. Most here would say it is natural variation and largely based on the AMO and PDO being in their warm phases in the decline. I have no idea if they are right, I’m open to them being right, but also open to other theories, even CO2 driven temperature increase, but I’m skeptical of a .12 degree decadal increase in temperature, apparently driven by CO2, as being the cause. If temperature and CO2 were the drivers for the melt and IF temperature was increasing and WE KNOW CO2 is increasing, surely we would be seeing new lows every year, if temperature was the primary driver and if CO2 was driving that.
You need to show evidence that polar bears are in trouble. Population counts on a downward spiral that correlates with sea ice on a downward spiral. I’m not aware of any evidence showing a decline in polar bear populations. Other than one group in Canada, largely attributed to conflict with human populations.

Reply to  John
September 14, 2016 3:26 am

Except that we know that levels now are below any seen in the 20s through 40s…
This is below any previous low ice cycle…
we know both CO2 and temps are increasing…
yes, there are variations due to the weather/melt patterns during each individual melting season… for example, 2012 lost much ice during June, when skies were clear and weather ideal for melting – June 2016 was cloudy and we didn’t see as much surface melt

Reply to  John
September 14, 2016 9:49 am

Griff, what is it with you and just making stuff up? What is this data that you proclaim, and why do you believe that it can be trusted to the extent that you do?

Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 1:46 am

Re Crockford, erm, she gives empirical evidence (particularly on the link in this article) showing exactly why polar bears are just fine. She would need to ignore evidence to say they were in trouble….

Reply to  John
September 14, 2016 3:28 am

empirical evidence?
Well, she has been criticised on her evidence and on taking money from the Heartland Institute…
See here
“The scientists we spoke to tell us Crockford has never led any research on polar bears, nor has she published any papers on the topic. Amstrup tells Carbon Brief:
“[The GWPF report] is a collection of statements [Crockford] has made and conclusions she has drawn without any support from the refereed literature.”
Derocher points out Crockford’s specialism is not, in fact, in the field of polar bears:
“[Crockford’s] expertise is the archaeology of dead dogs and the identification of animal remains â?¦ In general, her views are tainted by a lack of understanding of polar bear ecology, Arctic marine ecosystem, and sea ice.” “

Tom Halla
Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 7:54 am

The first recourse of a true believer–that evidence is the product of a vendido, that only sell-outs disagree with our holy cause.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  John
September 14, 2016 4:53 am

Be gone, you vile hateful troll.

Reply to  John
September 14, 2016 4:58 am

As I understand it then, your position is that all the references in her article are fabricated and that rather than polar bear populations being healthy, reproducing and in most cases, either maintaining the same numbers or increasing, you would dispute that. You are free to do so, sir, but you need to dispute the evidence she provides and not dispute the conclusion.
Otherwise, I guess, wouldn’t you be the denier? 🙂

Reply to  John
September 14, 2016 8:23 am

John, I merely present what evidence I’ve read -that she is not a researcher on the bears, does not publish on them and is paid by an organisation which funds opposition to evidence of climate change.

Reply to  John
September 14, 2016 9:51 am

I get it. Being criticized by someone from your side is all the proof you need that someone is wrong.
As to where she gets her funding, so what?
As always, you can’t attack the science so you seek to demonize those who disagree with you.
How pathetic.

Javert Chip
Reply to  John
September 14, 2016 12:46 pm

The Griff troll thread is both enlightening and tiresome.
At no point does he present conflicting evidence or address the data. We’re talking 1,000 pound animals here – not how many angels dance on a CO2 molecule.
Griff will never accept polar bears are doing just fine. This is a perfect example of the intersection of information and lack of critical thinking.

September 14, 2016 1:40 am

Wow. It is almost as if Polar Bears are not like fluffy little lap dogs and can actually survive outside a warm centrally heated living room. Who knew?

September 14, 2016 2:37 am

Meanwhile, TASS reports that 5 scientists at a research station on Troynoy island in the southern part of the Kara Sea, are besieged by around 10 polar bears plus cubs. They are waiting for rescue as they have run out of flares to frighten off the bears:

Reply to  DonB
September 14, 2016 9:52 am

Looks like bears are smart enough to figure out that flares aren’t going to hurt them.
THis is why you don’t go outside without a gun up there. Preferably several guns. Not to mention a couple of friends to help keep an eye on your 6.

Reply to  DonB
September 14, 2016 3:04 pm

I was going to mention that article Don B but I would have included the fact that the bears ate the climatologists dog!

Samuel C Cogar
September 14, 2016 4:57 am

Quoting article:

they’ve survived such conditions before – as long as conditions in spring allow for the necessary concentrated feeding on young seals”.

Well, “DUH”, the less sea-ice there is, …. the more concentrated is the new-born seal population.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
September 14, 2016 5:21 am

Sea ice extent in spring, AFTER WINTER, means there is more than enough ice for Spring feeding. In other words, if ice got to low levels in Spring, that’s when a concern could be had, but even then, it would all be based on what the seals do. Will they move on land? Will they die out? The fate of the polar bears rests entirely on the fate of the seals.

Reply to  John
September 14, 2016 8:21 am

Like this year?
“Daily Arctic sea ice extents for May 2016 tracked two to four weeks ahead of levels seen in 2012 ……. An unusually early retreat of sea ice in the Beaufort Sea and pulses of warm air entering the Arctic from eastern Siberia and northernmost Europe are in part driving below-average ice conditions. Snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere was the lowest in fifty years for April and the fourth lowest for May.”

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  John
September 14, 2016 11:20 am

John – September 14, 2016 at 5:21 am

Will they move on land? Will they die out? The fate of the polar bears rests entirely on the fate of the seals.

John, when all those female seals learn to give birth and nurse their newborn pups in “open” or ice-free water ….. then the Polar Bears will hafta find another source of food to replace Seals steaks and burgers or they will surely die of starvation.

September 14, 2016 8:19 am
“Polar bears are losing life-sustaining sea ice crucial for hunting, resting and breeding in all 19 regions of the Arctic they inhabit, a study warned on Wednesday”

Kaiser Derden
Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 8:42 am

seems like Polar bears disagree with that study … their numbers are growing …

Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 9:54 am

As has been shown time and again. When there is a lack of sea ice. Seals bear their pups on land instead. Which means they are even easier for the bears to get at.
What is it with warmista trolls and their inability to keep up with actual science?

Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 10:03 am

Might be best if people read the journal article itself. [Open access]
This paper is simply attempting to standardize seasonal sea ice loss across a wide range of geographic regions inhabited by polar bears. That summer ice loss has occurred is not news.
It seems to me it is also a convenient method of including June as “summer” for all regions (even though bears in the far north continue to feed in June but bears in the south have pretty much finished). Most Arctic analyses consider June to be spring.
There is no proof provided in the paper that their new method of defining sea ice changes is biologically significant or superior to a region-by-region analysis – no one has ever done such a thing before, as far as I know, and it remains to be seen if it is useful or viable. It is simply more convenient, especially for computer analysis.
The IUCN PBSG started using these sea ice metrics in their polar bear status tables more than a year before this paper was submitted for publication describing the method.
I reported on it here, when there was no background information provided:
No estimate of error for the sea ice metric is provided – polar bear population size estimates have wide error ranges but sea ice estimates have none. Go figure.
Biologists can insist that summer sea ice is “crucial” and “life-sustaining” all they like – the facts simply do not support that opinion. Polar bear numbers have NOT declined as expected even though sea ice levels are way below expected for this decade.
Spring sea ice is “crucial” and “life-sustaining” for polar bears and recent studies by polar bear researchers themselves back that up, as I summarize in the post originally provided.
Susan Crockford, zoologist

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  susanjcrockford
September 14, 2016 12:06 pm

So sayith: Susan Crockford, zoologist

Spring sea ice is “crucial” and “life-sustaining” for polar bears and recent studies by polar bear researchers themselves back that up, as I summarize in the post originally provided.

“YUP”, and the Spring melting of the river ice is “crucial” and “life-sustaining” for all the Salmon that are headed up-river to spawn …… and is “crucial” and “life-sustaining” for all the Salmon smolts that are headed down-river to the ocean.
And the “facts of the matter” are, …. iffen there was no Spring sea ice then the female seals would HAVE TO come ashore to birth their pups ……. and iffen the river ice NEVER MELTED then the mature Salmon could never get up-river to spawn.
Sam Cogar, Biologist …… and avid student of the Natural World we live in/on.
And ps, Susan C, …. me thinks it is “the depth” of the snow-pack on top of that Spring sea ice that is, in actuality, the “crucial” and “life-sustaining” prerequisite for determining Polar Bear survival.

Reply to  Griff
September 14, 2016 11:30 am

Griff, are you that clueless?
Go study the KNOWN eating habits of Polar Bears,you will find that low Summer ice is not a significant factor to their diet.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 14, 2016 1:14 pm

Giff’s CAGW religious ferocity cripples his critical thought process and immunizes him from “clues”.
The observable fact that 1000 pound bears are not disappearing is irrelevant to him.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 15, 2016 5:42 am

This is what the Arctic shoreline would look like during birthing season …… iffen all the Artic sea ice melts.
“DUH”, just what could a Polar Bear not like about that?

September 14, 2016 9:44 am

BBC cant resist reporting the story of the ‘trapped’ russian researchers with a “polar bears are an endangered species” comment

September 14, 2016 11:16 am

Obviously somebody’s assumptions have been proven wrong.
The list of ecological requirements for the survival of Polar Bears will have to be revised – extensively.

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