Fake Polar Bear Scare Unmasked: The Saga of a Toppled Global Warming Icon

In spite of claims that polar bear populations are facing pressure from loss of Arctic summer sea ice, their numbers have in fact grown. Video follows.


Guest essay by Dr. Susan Crockford

For more than ten years, we’ve endured the shrill media headlines, the hyperbole from conservation organizations, and the simplistic platitudes from scientists as summer sea ice declined dramatically while polar bear numbers rose.

Now, just in time for International Polar Bear Day, there’s a video that deconstructs the scare. It runs about 8 minutes, written and narrated by me, produced by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

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February 27, 2017 10:19 am

Yeah, but what about the Arctic penguins?

Reply to  Max Photon
February 27, 2017 10:36 am

Arctic penguins were hunted to extinction in the early 1800s. They were not related to Antarctic penguins but they looked surprisingly similar and they were the first birds to be called penguins.

Reply to  Thomas
February 27, 2017 11:16 am

Now that is certainly aukward now, isn’t it?

Reply to  Thomas
February 27, 2017 11:28 am

Welsh whalers when they saw Great Auks called them “Pen Gwyn Fawr” , big white heads, as opposed to the local Auks common around the coast of Wales which were much smaller. Great Auks had white faces which accounts for their name. The Pen Gwyn name rapidly mutated into Pen guin and was applied to similar birds in Antarctic when sailors first visited those regions. However, they generally look the same, but do not have white heads.
Welsh is still spoken in Paragonia which resulted in a visit from Patagonian Penguins to an Eisteddfod in Wales. Croeso nôl! ( or welcome back !)

Reply to  Thomas
February 27, 2017 12:57 pm

Auks were not, are not and apparently will not ever be penguins.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Thomas
February 27, 2017 1:19 pm

It is the Antarctic “penguins” which are not now, never have been and never will be true penguins. They are spheniscids, of the Order Sphenisciformes, Family Spheniscidae and modern Genera Aptenodytes, Eudyptes, Eudyptula, Megadyptes, Pygoscelis and Spheniscus, plus a number of extinct genera.
The scientific name of the great auk is Pinguinus impennis. It was a true penguin. It belongs to Family Alcidae (auks) in the Order Charadriiformes.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Thomas
February 27, 2017 1:32 pm
Caligula Jones
Reply to  Thomas
February 27, 2017 1:41 pm

Opus had image issues as well:

Dean - NSW
Reply to  Thomas
February 27, 2017 5:15 pm

Kip, just wait till they are homogenised, they can be anything then!

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  Max Photon
February 27, 2017 10:49 am

There are so few polar bears because most of them swam to the Antarctic after reading about the 150.000 trapped penguins there (h/t Chris Turney) which looked like “Gefundenes Fressen” as the Germans say; easy pickings. After the Great Penguin Eating most of the polar bears died from over-eating and / or overheating because of the rapidly warming Antarctic. That’s why there are so few polar bears & penguins.

Reply to  Henning Nielsen
February 27, 2017 12:32 pm

They should have stopped swimming when they reached Sable Island. If there is a place in need of polar bears this is it.
400 estimated seal pups birthed in 1963 which has increased to 62,054 in 2010.
“Grey seal pup production in 2014 is estimated to be 93,000 (95% CI=48,000 to 137,000) animals, with a total population of 505,000 (95% CI=329,000 to 682,000). Sable Island production is estimated to
account for about 77% of the estimated total number of pups born in 2014.”

Reply to  Henning Nielsen
February 27, 2017 2:16 pm

I figured it was probably something like that.

Reply to  Henning Nielsen
February 27, 2017 3:37 pm

interesting post sc,and some people wonder why certain cod populations are increasing slower than others. an extra 62 k every year seals may have something to do with it. marine biologists also ignore that some of the huge populations of cod in the past could well have been a result of high levels of predation on seals by man.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Max Photon
February 28, 2017 3:17 am

Too late mate, they’ve already died out because you won’t find any there now!!!! Just ask the conservationists! (Sarc off!)

Karl Roebling
Reply to  Max Photon
March 1, 2017 5:05 am

Heheheh. YEAH!

February 27, 2017 10:22 am

Just as I suspected. “Soylent Green is people”

GREG in Houston
February 27, 2017 10:26 am

Excellent video with a lot of good data. Would like to have seen a two or three paragraph synopsis with a few charts, thought, for us ADD readers.

Reply to  GREG in Houston
February 27, 2017 11:52 am

For ADD readers pictures are bestcomment image
In the picture above they are actually clearing the KELP off the wreck of Franklin’s ship the HMS Erebus. Arctic waters are very nutrient rich and sunlight poor. Less sea ice means a more robust food chain where plankton feeds shellfish which feed seals which feeds polar bears.
The 100% ice cover during summer and winter that the Global Warmists pray for would instead result in the extinction of pretty much everything. You won’t read that anywhere.

Reply to  SC
February 27, 2017 12:03 pm

2 corrections…
1) You will read that here at WUWT
2) Warmists actually pray for the ice to melt so that their careers and cash flows can continue

February 27, 2017 10:26 am

Good news for the Polar bears.

Reply to  seaice1
February 27, 2017 11:01 am

Another climate warming scare bites the dust.

Reply to  seaice1
February 27, 2017 11:27 am

Bad news for the seals. ≺sniff≻

Dean - NSW
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
February 27, 2017 5:17 pm

So global warming will kill seals? God I have to get some abstracts together for funding…….

February 27, 2017 10:27 am

If people bother to spend time researching known Polar Bear eating habits, the idea that low sea ice levels being a threat to the Bears, would lose steam.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 27, 2017 11:55 am

There has been lots of work on polar bear feeding habits. I have known some of the people studying polar bears and they are wonderful people and competent researchers. They can tell you things about polar bears that you never thought to ask.
When faced with the question of what happened to polar bears during the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), the best the researchers can do is to deny that it happened.
Everyone, no matter how competent, can suffer from cognitive biases and blind spots. Experts tend to believe other experts. When a Nobel Prize* winning expert like Dr. Michael Mann tells them that the MWP didn’t exist, they will believe him. Thus, they don’t have to worry about what did happen during the MWP when there was less summer sea ice. If they faced that question they would save themselves embarrassment.

ferd berple
Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2017 2:28 pm

what happened to polar bears during
what about the Holocene optimum when the arctic was pretty much ice free for 4 thousand years? why didn’t the polar bears go extinct then?

Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 27, 2017 11:57 am

I think they float, too, often.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 27, 2017 2:51 pm

Trouble is, the average Dude on the Train doesn’t spend time “researching” (or indeed, reading) anything, they just believe whatever the “news” feed on Facebook or whatever tells them. The “cat ladies” believe anything the WWF or Greenpeace magazines say (Send us money or these animals will DIE!) It would be hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic. When I say “carbon” is not a problem in need of solving, most “nice” people still look at me like I’ve got three heads.

February 27, 2017 10:35 am

Is it possible to ever recover from fake polar bear news if the official all clear signal is not given by Facebook and HuffPo? This will be a good test of media power?

Warren Latham
February 27, 2017 10:37 am

A most interesting article and video.
Hmmm … let’s hope for the extinction of … greenpiss.

February 27, 2017 10:39 am

Thank you Dr. Keep up the excellent work.p

February 27, 2017 10:51 am

Enjoyed your new book on polar bears, also. Highly recommended to all here.

Reply to  ristvan
February 27, 2017 11:21 am

Thanks! However, not everyone is a reader and this video may reach an audience that a science-based thriller of a novel or a non-fiction book will not.
That said, there is something about a solid volume you can hold in your hand, pull off the shelf to share with others, lend to your friends and relatives, or look up a reference.
Sometimes, you need the easy-to-read format with all the references.
“Polar Bears: Outstanding Survivors of Climate Change” has that, along with a 2 page, bullet-point summary and short (2 page) conclusions.
And need I point out that the royalties do help a little to offset all the time I put into trying to keep this field from being swamped by hype.

James at 48
Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 27, 2017 2:45 pm

The crisis or ursine obesity? …… 😉

James at 48
Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 27, 2017 2:46 pm

or -> of

February 27, 2017 10:51 am

An excellent video. Unfortunately you’ll never get a corrupt organisation like Greenpeace to change its ways. There are too many high salaries at stake and too many useful idiots to keep on side.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 27, 2017 11:09 am

The point is not to get Greenpeace (or WWF, or Polar Bears International) to change their ways.
The aim is to inform those who simply have not heard that polar bear numbers are up, even though the summer sea ice in 2007 reached what the experts said would be devastating levels – and stayed there.
Since 2007, polar bears have been living through their dire sea ice future but they thrived.
Model busted, assumptions busted, confidence in polar bear experts busted.
Time to re-examine the ESA listing with an independent team from a range of disciplines, based on the models and predictions that got them put on the list in the first place.
Dr. Susan Crockford, zoologist

Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 27, 2017 11:21 am

I agree with you entirely, but how do you get the information out to the general public? The MSM won’t give this any coverage. The so-called BBC will ignore it and continue to tell the public that the Arctic will soon be ice-free and the polar bears will then be gone. The GWPF has an outstanding list of expert advisers and trustees and produces some excellent articles and videos, but none of its output reaches the general public.
Dr Phillip Bratby, retired physicist

Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 27, 2017 11:41 am

Actually, in 2015 a number of MSM outlets (in the UK anyway) picked up my Polar Bear Day essay “Twenty Good Reasons Not to Worry About Polar Bears” – even the BBC gave it a mention on their 6am news. I
t got so much attention, in fact, that the UK’s rapid response team at Carbon Brief was called into action.
So the word does get out eventually; its just hard to know what exactly will attract their attention.
And FYI, nothing to do with the above, but here in Victoria it has been **snowing like crazy** for more than an hour.
Environment Canada says to expect 2 cm at the airport: the record greatest snowfall for 27 February (1941-2013) was 3.0 cm in 1976. At this rate, we may beat the record.
Last year, it was truly spring in late January. Go figure.

Alan Ranger
Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 27, 2017 4:44 pm

“Time to re-examine the ESA listing with an independent team from a range of disciplines”
The expression “draining the swamp” comes to mind. As it does for many areas of climate “science”.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 27, 2017 7:37 pm

And FYI, nothing to do with the above, but here in Victoria it has been **snowing like crazy** for more than an hour.
Environment Canada says to expect 2 cm at the airport: the record greatest snowfall for 27 February (1941-2013) was 3.0 cm in 1976. At this rate, we may beat the record.

With respect. That’s hardly “snowing like crazy” 😉
I’m a little south and east of you on Whidbey island (assuming you mean Victoria, BC), and an inch (2.5cm) is nothing. Maybe you meant 20cm?

Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 27, 2017 9:31 pm

Susan, Having lived in Victoria during that 1976 winter I suggest you stay of the roads until it is melted. No one there has a clue how to drive on a snowflake for pete’ sake ( I worked on ski hills for 3 years and lived in Victoria for one year and fled back the the OK Valley as soon as I could! ( The constant wind was another factor but it is a beautiful city none the less).

Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 28, 2017 4:32 am

One simple way to get the news out is to share the video url on your personal Facebook account and on other available online media.

February 27, 2017 10:54 am

Thank you for keeping it real Dr Crockford. Some theories die hard even with mounting proof against them when politics take precedence over science. We still have useful idiots parading around in polar bear suits to decry CAGW and they aren’t being questioned.

Reply to  markl
February 27, 2017 2:54 pm

It’s how the kale-gulping Earnestly Concerned social climbers virtue-signal their “arrival” at Upper Middle Middling–the Prius with the Snowflake U. sticker in the back window, right next to the WWF sticker and the one that says “Coexist” in symbols.

February 27, 2017 10:58 am

More WINNING! It’s not getting old. Great job Dr Crockford! The eco loons are in full retreat

February 27, 2017 10:59 am

Yet the false meme will live on for years in the age of social media edgeacation.

Reply to  RWturner
February 27, 2017 11:04 am

Are they turning away donations for this fake news at WWF etc.?

Reply to  Resourceguy
February 27, 2017 11:53 am

It will be difficult for the green blob to give up their major sources of donations: the three “P’s” – polar bears, penguins and pandas. It has worked for decades.

Reply to  Resourceguy
February 27, 2017 2:14 pm

What about whales? I remember “save the whales” was the warcry of every greenie, back in the early 80’s at least.
It has made some brief resurgences which have piqued public interest, but mostly I think that it was the fun of watching million-dollar, carbon-fibre, greenie-boats getting pulverised by steel, Japanese, whaling ships.
Everyone likes a little carnage.

Reply to  Resourceguy
February 27, 2017 2:56 pm

Unfortunately, due to Trump Derangement Syndrome, the Left are getting carpal tunnel writing checks to the Green Blob dot-orgs. right now. The ones with money, that is, that aren’t pajama boys and trigglypuffs living in Mummy’s basement.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Resourceguy
February 27, 2017 3:25 pm

I cannot thank you enough for inspiring me to look up “trigglypuff” in the urban dictionary – the brief video is just spectacular. Do not watch this with any liquid in your mouth (I’ve warned you):
link: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=trigglypuff

February 27, 2017 11:01 am

Where’s Griffie?

John Harmsworth
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2017 11:56 am

Griff only cares about the ice, not the people or animals that live there!

Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2017 12:04 pm

He pulled a Crockford, for Jim Rockford beating a hasty 180 degree retreat. Well, almost funny.

February 27, 2017 11:06 am

Meanwhile Antarctic sea ice at a record low and Arctic sea ice at record low for this time of year. Not been much mention of that here.

Reply to  Simon
February 27, 2017 11:09 am

Because as of today, neither of your ‘record’ assertions is true.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  ristvan
February 27, 2017 4:47 pm

He he, chuckle, chuckle…

NW sage
Reply to  ristvan
February 27, 2017 5:49 pm

And what has ‘truth’ got to do with anything? It is only impressions and feeling which have any meaning! [sarc for those requiring explanation]

Man Bearpig
Reply to  Simon
February 27, 2017 11:13 am

Have look on the sea ice pages under references you can see the menu at the top of ever page. Nothing hidden here. Make sure you have your eyes open when reading

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  Simon
February 27, 2017 11:18 am

The polar bears are sleeping now, y’see. And please watch the video, then you’ll learn that most seal hunting is in spring / early summer, not at the time of minimum sea ice in early September.

Reply to  Simon
February 27, 2017 11:30 am

It does depend on what data set you are looking at, so it helps to be specific.
I posted a tweet earlier this morning showing that NSIDC’s interactive graph is showing 2017 and 2006 on 26 Feb (latest available) are pretty much the same. Polar bear number did not decline due to sea ice changes in 2006.
A little less ice than average at this time of year has no effect on polar bear health or survival.
However, too much thick ice close to shore can be devastating – as it was in the Southern Beaufort the springs of 1974-1976 and again in 2004-2006, when the population size dropped by about 50%.
Too much at this time of year at the local level (too thick, too compacted with few open leads) is a problem because it reduces breathing area for ringed and bearded seals – so they go off somewhere else to have their pups and leave polar bears with little to eat.
This phenomenon is well-documented in the literature and I’ve written about it often.

Thomas Homer
Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 27, 2017 1:12 pm

Thank you Dr. Crockford – In comments under several earlier WUWT articles, I’ve alluded to the idea that since ice does not support photosynthesis, Polar Bears must find their food sources at the edge of the ice.
Since Polar Bears have been exhaling CO2 over the winter months, they’ve lost body mass and need to replenish this lost carbon. Ice does not support a source for this carbon. Bears leverage the extraction of carbon from atmospheric CO2 by phytoplankton which then is consumed up the food chain to the seals.
Carbon Dioxide is the base of the Polar Bear’s food chain (same for all carbon based life forms).
Polar Bears consume seals
seals consume fish
fish consume phytoplankton
phytoplankton consume CO2
More CO2 helps Polar Bears. All of the carbon in all Polar Bears was extracted from atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 27, 2017 5:19 pm

I watched the live webcam from Churchill, MB this morning, and saw an adult and a cub walking around and eating.

E Mendes
Reply to  Simon
February 27, 2017 11:37 am

Antarctic sea ice hardly exists. Arctic sea ice is almost solely a function of winds. The earth turns beneath the ice and bumps it along out between Greenland and Europe, and Greenland/Newfoundland. Good winds mean there is very little ice. Everything but seals do better then. Bears do much better because there’s nowhere for seals to hide.
There were multiple instances of people bringing submarines to the surface right under the North Pole in the late 50s early 60s.
You’ve only been studying the arctic 20 years. I’ve been studying it 50. You simply don’t have the first clue about what a healthy arctic ecosystem looks like.
Here’s a hint: warm. Yeah that’s why this is considered an AVERAGE optimum period in earth history.
There’s nothing unusual about either poles’ ice conditions.

Richard Barnett
Reply to  E Mendes
February 27, 2017 3:53 pm

I have seen the pictures of subs surfacing in late winter at the North Pole from 50 years ago. Did the heat rejected from the subs condensing steam help melt the ice?

Reply to  Simon
February 27, 2017 12:17 pm

It really is sad the way the trolls can’t tell the difference between weather and climate.
There’s always a big loss of ice after an El Nino.

Reply to  MarkW
February 28, 2017 1:28 am

“There’s always a big loss of ice after an El Nino.”
I call BS? Reference please.

Reply to  MarkW
February 28, 2017 9:57 am

Be a big boy and do your own research Simon, instead of demanding it from the grownups (and then ignoring it).

Reply to  MarkW
February 28, 2017 11:56 am

“Be a big boy and do your own research Simon, instead of demanding it from the grownups (and then ignoring it).”
Ha ha, what a joke? I’m not the one making the fictional claim.

Reply to  Simon
February 27, 2017 2:57 pm

It’s summer there. Like, the Sun . . . ? /sarc

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Simon
February 27, 2017 5:16 pm

There have been whole posts on recent sea ice here. You ought to read the blog before making such blatantly erroneous assertions.
Antarctic sea ice is about at the same level now as in 1997, another El Nino year, plus 2006, 1993, 1984, 1980 and a number of other years that were close:

Henning Nielsen
February 27, 2017 11:07 am

WWF Norway still runs its “Polar Bear Godfather” campaign, where you can “save the polar bears” with a small donation…No, don’t send seal meat.
“Give the polar bears a future”

David Ball
February 27, 2017 11:16 am

Thank you Dr. Crockford. Our whole family enjoyed your latest book!! Highly recommended reading for all who find the Polar Bear a fascinating creature!!

Reply to  David Ball
February 27, 2017 11:22 am

Thanks David! Much appreciated feedback.

E Mendes
February 27, 2017 11:33 am

Polar bears do well when there’s no ice because the seals are forced to stay near shore and it’s a slaughter.
More ice = better for seals = not as good for bears.
Ice can multiply many times, the amount of space a bear has to cover to hunt the same seal.
Seals must sleep. When they can spread out along the ice for miles and miles it’s INFINITELY harder to find them easily.
On the other hand when there’s nothing but a gravel bar to park on – not so much.

Reply to  E Mendes
February 27, 2017 12:03 pm

E Mendes,
I don’t know where you get information like this “Polar bears do well when there’s no ice because the seals are forced to stay near shore and it’s a slaughter.”
A statement like that may seem logical to you but I’ve seen nothing at all in the extensive literature on seals or polar bears to indicate that it is true.
Ringed seals especially do well with less ice because they do most of their feeding for the year during the open-water period: a longer ice-free period means they can feed longer and pack on more fat for the coming winter and more females are able to produce healthy pups the following spring. More seal pups in spring = more food on the ice for polar bears.
Bearded and ringed seals give birth onshore in the Sea of Okhotsk but there are no polar bears there and as far as we know, there never has been.
The seals that spend time on the ice during the summer are primarily adult bearded and harp seals. Those adult seals know to watch out for bears and also, the broken ice affords them many escape route. So a bear may stalk seals in summer but they are not likely to be successful very often. Some bears, of course, may learn how to do this well with a few practiced techniques but in general, most bears out on the ice during the summer eat few seals.

Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 27, 2017 3:48 pm

i love your work dr crockford . clear concise and to the point, you have that knack of being able to explain things in easy to understand terms to the layman without losing the important detail of the topic. keep up the good work.

Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 27, 2017 9:40 pm

Susan, “Bearded and ringed seals give birth onshore in the Sea of Okhotsk but there are no polar bears there and as far as we know, there never has been.”
I guess those seals are smarter than we give them credit for.

E Mendes
Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 27, 2017 10:46 pm

Dr I don’t know what you are trying to say. You basically repeated what I said. When there’s less ice, it makes polar bears’ main food healthier and more well fed, therefore more plentiful,in the first place.
With less surface area to haul out on and have young.
It doesn’t get any simpler.
There are more of them,
and fewer places to hide.
Particularly for the young which are legendarily unable to defend themselves, life without a lot of ice is short and ends violently with bears simply killing the young, eating the fat, and leaving the rest, as a way of life.
When there are many ring seals on a small amount of ice the slaughter is substantial.

February 27, 2017 11:44 am

The problem is getting the facts in front of people. As mentioned up thread the BBC wouldn’t touch facts like those Dr. Crockford presents here with a disinfected bargepole. I wonder if we can get Chris Booker at The Telegraph do do a piece on this and at least mock the BBC for their failure to report the facts if not shame them into some actual journalism for a change?

Reply to  cephus0
February 27, 2017 12:20 pm
Javert Chip
February 27, 2017 11:59 am

Griff, we’re waiting to see if you attempt another kneecapping of Dr Crockford. And we’ve noticed you’ve recently added Dr Curry to your list of hits. Of course, since you post anonymously, we really have no idea about your qualifications (I mean other than you’re a weak troll).
I know this is a personal question, but do you ever pick on anybody but women?

Reply to  Javert Chip
February 27, 2017 12:15 pm

“I know this is a personal question, but do you ever pick on anybody but women?”
Ooooh ! That’s gotta hurt !!
I bet this hurts even more !!

Reply to  Javert Chip
February 27, 2017 12:28 pm

+ 1.
I post anonymously for several reasons but I am happy to state that I am a Master Mariner Foreign Going with 5 years command time and then 22 years as an estuary Pilot.
So how about it, Griff?
What ARE your qualifications?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Javert Chip
February 28, 2017 12:18 am

Griff, like Tony McCleod, does not have the testicular fortitude to debate with the good Dr. Crockford because he, and everyone else who has witnessed these two in recent month fail time again, any challenge to Dr. Crockford’s qualifications, abilities, knowledge and experience on the subject will be severely dealt a blow.

Keith J
February 27, 2017 12:00 pm

Perhaps the hypothesis that life adapts should be explored? Not every species is a special snowflake but those with a belief in CAGW are most definitely of that class.

Reply to  Keith J
February 27, 2017 3:02 pm

Nature’s joke is on us. When the “eye” of Hurricane Sandy came by, the wild turkeys and deer walked out of the woods and began foraging like nothing happened. My horses had a good roll and did the same. Meanwhile the radio is shrieking about “all of Manhattan flooded and without power up to 34th Street, disruption and chaos, oh the HUMANITY!!!” Now who’s smarter, the animals or us? I think we’ve now complicated our lives to the point where adaptation will be extremely costly. The Indians who once lived here would have shrugged, moved the wigwam uphill 15 feet, and gone and shot a deer for supper! 😉

February 27, 2017 12:27 pm

How do mother-bears manage to den down over winter and nourish their cubs before and after birth adequately? Are the cubs a hindrance in the happy times of seal hunting in the spring?

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  bobfj
February 27, 2017 1:39 pm

They lay on so much fat in spring, summer and fall that a human would die of lipid poisoning. Why the bears don’t is an area of physiological study.

Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
February 28, 2017 9:46 am

They do die–at about 18 years!

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  bobfj
February 28, 2017 9:13 am

Sow ready to den up for the winter:comment image
Would be dangerously morbidly obese if human.

Reply to  bobfj
February 28, 2017 10:11 am

Hindrance or no, the cubs need to learn how to hunt from mama bear, and the spring hunt is the best time for schoolin’.

Joel Snider
February 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Any Greenie over-concerned with polar bears should go try petting one.

Reply to  Joel Snider
February 27, 2017 1:32 pm

That’s the explanation! Decreasing ice -> more scare stories -> more green tourism -> more unfortunate incidents -> well-fed bears. Given the number of scare stories, it’s a wonder the bear population isn’t higher

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Joel Snider
February 27, 2017 1:50 pm

Future eaten alive person:

James at 48
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
February 27, 2017 2:42 pm

Samoyed on steroids? At least that’s what he thought … until ….

Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
February 27, 2017 9:51 pm

I hope that bear is a vegetarian, I have read too many stories like this “Man gets eaten by his “lifelong” friends his lions”

Javert Chip
Reply to  Joel Snider
February 27, 2017 2:57 pm

Strange you should mention that. While reading about polar bears on the web, I found this gem:
“Are polar bears aggressive?
Unlike grizzly bears, polar bears are not territorial. Although stereotyped as being voraciously aggressive, they are normally cautious in confrontations, and often choose to escape rather than fight. Satiated polar bears rarely attack humans unless severely provoked.”
I would have guessed polar bears rarely attack humans because most polar bears never see a human. However, I strongly concur greenies should test this polar bear behavior.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Javert Chip
February 27, 2017 3:13 pm

‘Satiated polar bears rarely attack humans unless severely provoked.’
Yep, That’s the money quote right there – ‘satiated’. Polar bears are the only true predators of the bruin clan and will quite readily hunt humans, even if they’ve never encountered them before.
But if they’re ‘satiated’ – as in ‘full’ – there’s no need.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Javert Chip
February 27, 2017 4:45 pm

Some preditors (lions) will kill – even if satiated – if taunted by what looks like prey. Yet another behavior greenies can test for…

Reply to  Javert Chip
February 28, 2017 11:31 am

“Oooh, dessert!”

February 27, 2017 1:00 pm

I understand that Polar bears evolved in the UK and the most recent skull was about twelve thousand years old. Might be of interest.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  B.j.
February 27, 2017 1:44 pm

Polar bears originated in SE Alaska:
The Irish polar bear fossils and DNA to which you refer show that hybridization with female grizzlies occurred before polies disappeared from the British Isles, not that polies originated there:

February 27, 2017 1:18 pm

Polar bears biggest danger is human crafted bullets . Over 30.000 polar bears after 500 per year are shot
or otherwise killed by the most dangerous predator on earth …us .

Gloateus Maximus
February 27, 2017 1:28 pm

Facts of polar bear life which escape CACA adherents:
1. The ice that matters to polies is landfast ice in the spring, on which mama ringed seals build their snow lairs in which to give birth to their pups and keep open their holes into the water below. Drift ice in the summer, not so much.
2. Mama polies emerge from their winter dens with their cubs (technically the estivate rather than hibernate, a distinction with very little difference) in the spring. They are hungry and need seal pups to eat.
3. Male polies spend the winter roaming the arctic wastes, eating whatever they can find, whether on land or ice. Ditto the summer, although more land and less ice.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
February 27, 2017 1:34 pm

Cute baby ringed seal = fat-rich power bar.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
February 27, 2017 1:37 pm

The polie’s sense of smell is uncanny. She can scent a seal den a mile away.
Until the advent of the high-powered rifle, polies were arguably the top Arctic predator, followed by griz and humans tied for third with wolves.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
February 27, 2017 2:01 pm

4. Polar bear ranges are large, but one fit and active male polie could probably cover several sows, so loss of young males has little effect on polie populations.

James at 48
February 27, 2017 2:40 pm

Today – feral hog crisis in Texas.
Future – bear crises in multiple locales.
Calling all hunters ….

Reply to  James at 48
February 27, 2017 3:05 pm

Trump’s getting the feral hogs OUT of Washington . . .

Gary Pearse
February 27, 2017 2:42 pm

Here is another counterintuitive climate science theory. When the arctic ice all melts, seals will have to come ashore and polar bears will have a linear hunting ground instead of a two dimensional one. We may have to go out in the spring and club baby polar bears to death to save the seals.

February 27, 2017 3:25 pm

I have had redwinged blackbirds and common grackles and brownheaded cowbirds on my front steps since Friday, Feb. 24. 2017. Third year in a row they’re coming back early and looking for food. I have pictures. What else do you need to show that the angle of the sun is changing just slightly? Because that’s what they go by, not by ‘averages’ or ‘computer models’.
Oh, sorry – I forgot that direct observation in a world of computer modeling doesn’t count for squat. My bad. Ten lashes with a limp strand of spaghetti.

Reply to  Sara
February 27, 2017 9:58 pm

All limp spaghetti strands are offended by your comments, (or is that snowflakes?)

Reply to  Sara
February 28, 2017 1:58 pm

My pal Chuck Darwin has a reason for that. For several years we had male bluebirds winter over at our home near Foxboro, MA. Called MA Audubon and asked them WTF that was about. Males pick and or create nesting sites, and females fall for the ones who have the best sites. Sometimes males will head north early to get a good site. Occasionally some will take a big gamble and winter over. We always kept our bird feeders full. That probably defined a good site area, and lessens their risk. We had three or four red robins here two weeks ago. They’re still OK, but it was 72 degrees here on Sunday.

Gerald Machnee
February 27, 2017 4:29 pm

On CTV News in Winnipeg they yapped about climate change on “international Polar Bear day”

February 27, 2017 7:27 pm

Some people might ask, “Why, then, would scientists report more sightings of cannibalism?”, … to which I might answer, “More sightings do not automatically mean more occurrences – this simply means that there are more observers rather than more occurrences.”
Or some people might ask, “What about those starving polar bear sightings or those drowning polar bears?”, … to which I might answer, “What about all the starving human beings and drowning human beings? — these tragic things happen even amidst a population explosion, and focusing a camera on them does NOT mean that the starvings and the drownings overwhelm the population – it just means that somebody chooses to focus on THESE emotional events rather than the emotional events of births.
If you are looking for starving or drowning polar bears, then you will find them, since you are not spending your time looking for new born bears or healthy bears. It’s an issue of observer focus, NOT an issue of dominant trends.
People wanting to depict a tragic scenario will choose tragic images, at the expense of overlooking the greater picture.

February 27, 2017 9:06 pm

Thanks for the video and all your research Dr., Oh and BTW did this come across your desk?http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2017/02/27/polarbearday-photo-ark-polar-bears-in-the-wild-at-risk/

Reply to  asybot
February 28, 2017 7:35 am

Thanks asybot for posting that. I was scrolling down to see if anyone had mentioned that particular misinformed article, before I mentioned it myself.
What a crock of cr@p! I read that article, plus an interview which is mentioned on the same page, and was appalled that in almost every paragraph the term “climate change” was referenced!

George McFly......I'm your density
February 28, 2017 12:52 am

But what about the Spotted Owl….I can’t write any more….I’m too upset!

February 28, 2017 3:22 am

Clearly there are 3 polar bear populations under pressure from the direct effects of declining sea ice:
The Hudson Bay population – where bears need to wait for winter ice formation, which is later in recent years.
You can look up the Polar Bear International reports chronicling the impacts here.
The Svalbard population, where late arriving sea ice means that bears cannot reach traditional denning areas in recent years. There are also reports of bears in poor condition and eating unusual food sources.
The Beaufort Sea population, where rapid and deep retreat of sea ice means some bears have elected to remain on shore, tied to whale carcasses left by native hunters.
Most of the rest of the populations are little studied and we have only vague ideas of how many bears there are.
The polar bear is uniquely tied to the sea ice and the seals that need it to breed.
That ice is declining.
There’s no way, sadly, they are OK and I thing it even sadder that people seem to want to prove otherwise for political, not scientific ends.
This is not a report by a polar bear expert or anyone who really cares about the future of the arctic.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Griff
February 28, 2017 3:28 am

What are your qualifications Griff?

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Griff
February 28, 2017 4:44 am

As your betters have repeatedly told you, polar bears aren’t tied to drift ice. Sow bears rely on ringed seal lairs on landfast ice in the spring. That’s it. The rest of the year they, like boar bears, hunt equally well on land or sea.
Why do you refuse to learn from the world’s leading polar bear expert, Dr. Susan J. Crockford?

Reply to  Griff
February 28, 2017 8:40 am

Polar Bears International is an advocacy organization: like WWF or Greenpeace, the “information” they provide is that which supports their cause. It is filtered information that tells the story they want to tell – it’s not data. For the data, one needs to read the literature.
Your so-called “Hudson Bay population” is comprised of three subpopulations, all of which are currently stable.
Numbers in Foxe Basin at 2009 were an increase over the previous count and are now considered stable, despite less ice in summer than in the 1980s.
Numbers in Southern Hudson Bay – the most southerly subpopulation in the world – has been stable since the 1980s despite spending longer onshore in summer than they did in the 1980s.
Numbers in Western Hudson Bay (which included Churchill bears) – which is probably what you are calling the “Hudson Bay population” have been stable since 2004.
Furthermore, breakup and freezeup for WHB have been stable in recent years. Breakup and freezeup are always highly variable but the shift to about 3 weeks longer for the onshore period happened back in the early 2000s and has not changed since. I’ve checked the actual literature that reports this data, which is what any competent scientist has to do.
As I said in the video, Svalbard bear numbers increased 42% between 2004 and 2015, despite the poor ice conditions. I don’t question the lack of ice around Svalbard and lack of denning there – but Norwegian scholars acknowledge that Franz Josef Land to the east (in Russia) is a viable denning alternative for Svalbard females in poor ice years and the increase in numbers was actually expected (I can give you the references if you like).
As for Beaufort Sea bears, the last population count (conducted 2001-2010) included a period of known decline due to thick spring ice (2004-2006) which is documented in the literature. Any decline in numbers cannot legitimately be blamed on reduced summer sea ice *even if summer sea ice was reduced* – that’s a correlation, not a causation.
All those Beaufort Sea bears you say are “tied to whale carcasses left by native hunters” are fat and healthy bears, judging from the pictures in recent years. Last summer, a fat sow with a litter of fat triplets was photographed: as triplets are very rarely seen outside Western Hudson Bay, some of these bears are clearly doing very well despite spending a few weeks more time onshore over the summer.
In fact, the Chukchi Sea has had a larger decline in summer sea ice than Beaufort Sea bears, but recent studies show those bears have not suffered any impact to their reproductive or survival potential due to spending a month or so longer onshore and are in better shape than they were in the 1980s when there was more summer ice. Read the papers, Griff! Press releases are not peer reviewed.
Sea ice conditions in spring – when polar bears do most of their feeding – has not changed much at all, allowing the bears to get as fat as they need to be to survive through the rest of the year. Even sea ice ‘experts’ don’t expect these spring conditions to change much over the next 35 years – that’s why the focus of all this PBI angst is over summer sea ice.
Despite your lame regurgitation of PBI talking points and attempts to discount my qualifications, the data from recently studied subpopulations around the world support the conclusion that polar bears are thriving despite the dramatic loss of summer sea ice.
*Any* unbiased scientist with more than 40 years of experience doing this kind of analysis on a variety of species could only conclude that summer sea ice is not essential habitat for polar bears and at present, polar bears are doing well and not threatened with extinction.
Dr. Susan Crockford, zoologist

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 28, 2017 8:46 am

Correct! Dr. Crockford.
Griff has not learned what Polar Bears International is.
Are they the ones who banned a real scientist from a conference several year ago because he was going to give facts?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  susanjcrockford
February 28, 2017 2:43 pm

Well said. Unfortunately Dr. you didn’t source your information and data from The Guardian, like Griff does, so your expert analysis of the situation is very wrong.
Do I need a /sarc off?

Reply to  susanjcrockford
March 1, 2017 10:39 am

Griff? Griff? [crickets] Where’d you go?

Joel Snider
Reply to  Griff
February 28, 2017 12:24 pm

Again, the Grifter simply repeats the same propaganda that has just been debunked. Goebbles methodology is not complex – he just doesn’t have another button.
And his phony maudlin sentiments are the sort of thing that promotes projectile vomiting.

February 28, 2017 9:36 am

Back around 2002 or 2003, when the hand-wringing over polar bears really got going, I went on various environmental sites (like WWF) to see what their surveys were really saying. I came across papers like this one (https://portals.iucn.org/library/efiles/documents/ssc-op-026.pdf), which is still online. The interesting thing is their table 1. I’ve listed some of the fields from that table here:

Table 1: Polar bear population status as determined by the Polar Bear
Specialist Group in June 2001.  Uncertain trends are denoted by *.
Population		  Abundance Estimate	Status
Arctic Basin			unknown		unknown
Baffin Bay (BB)			2200		decreasing
Barents Sea			2000-5000	unknown
Chukchi Sea			2000+		stable*
Davis Strait (DS)		1400		decreasing*
East Greenland			2000		unknown
Foxe Basin (FB)			2300		stable
Gulf of Boothia (GB)		900		stable
Kane Basin (KB)			200		stable
Kara Sea			unknown		unknown
Lancaster Sound (LS)		1700		stable
Laptev Sea			800-1200	unknown
M'Clintock Channel (MC)		350		stable*
Northern Beaufort Sea (NB)	1200		increasing
Norwegian Bay (NW)		100		stable
Queen Elizabeth (QE)		200		unknown
Southern Beaufort Sea (SB)	1800		increasing
Southern Hudson Bay (SH)	1000		stable
Viscount Melville Sound (VM)	230		stable
Western Hudson Bay (WH)		1200		stable

These papers usually divide the Arctic into about twenty to twenty-two population groups (the Arctic is not just one, monolithic climatic zone). This paper has twenty populations and most were steady or unknown. Two populations were decreasing and two were increasing.
I found that the temperature changes in these zones were interesting too. Those with steady bear populations had steady temperatures. Those two regions with decreasing bear population had decreasing temperatures, And the two regions where the bear populations were increasing had increasing temperatures. It was the opposite of what the alarmists were saying.
The real problem with decreasing bear populations had more to do with over hunting than anything to do with global warming. It’s too bad that polar bears get all the press. There are bear species that are really endangered, and you’d think environmentalist would focus on them.

Gerald Machnee
February 28, 2017 4:53 pm

You can read about the barring of Dr. Mitchell Taylor from a conference in Copenhagen in 2009 here:
The start of the post says:
Warmists deny Copenhagen access to polar bear scientist
Anthony Watts / June 27, 2009
From the UK Telegraph 26 June 2009
Christopher Booker
Over the coming days a curiously revealing event will be taking place in Copenhagen. Top of the agenda at a meeting of the Polar Bear Specialist Group, set up under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission, will be the need to produce a suitably scary report on how polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming.
This is one of a steady drizzle of events planned to stoke up alarm in the run-up to the UN’s major conference on climate change in Copenhagen next December. But one of the world’s leading experts on polar bears has been told to stay away from this week’s meeting, specifically because his views on global warming do not accord with the views of the rest of the group.
Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching into the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.

February 28, 2017 8:36 pm

For those interested, here is the science behind the video, published 28 Feb 2017:
Crockford, S.J. 2017 v2. Testing the hypothesis that routine sea ice coverage of 3-5 mkm2 results in a greater than 30% decline in population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). PeerJ Preprints 28 February 2017. Doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2737v2 Open access. https://peerj.com/preprints/2737v2/
[Version 2, published 28 February, incorporates additional reviewer comments and suggestions received on Version 1 (published 19 January), as well as new data from Baffin Bay, Kane Basin, and Barents Sea.

David L
February 28, 2017 10:18 pm
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