Continuing the path laid out by Susan Crockford in Polar Bear Science earlier this month
While there is an admission that the over-hyped lies about starving bears promoted by National Geographic in 2017 and 2018 were a factor, there is no mention in the article of the well-known, documented evidence of scientists’ own failed assumptions that polar bears require summer sea ice for survival have had any impact on public opinion (Amstrup et al. 2007; Crockford 2015, 2019, 2022, 2023; Lippold et al. 2019; Rode et al. 2021).
Thriving populations in the Chukchi Sea and elsewhere amid low summer ice levels have busted the myth that polar bears need ice year-round.
Andrew Derocher was also allowed to repeat, unchallenged, the ridiculous narrative he and his activist supporters have peddled before, that insists the polar bear had become a climate change icon by accident rather than design, a lie I addressed in detail last year.https://polarbearscience.com/2023/08/08/climate-activists-are-silent-on-polar-bears-because-their-doom-mongering-blew-up-in-their-faces/
The Guardian has a new article on the subject screaming abort narrative, abort narrative!
Those damn Polar Bears just aren’t dying the way we said they would, but it might/could/may/perhaps happen in the future.
Despite this dramatic change in conditions, however, the polar bear population on Svalbard has yet to experience a decline. This could be because the mammals are still recovering from the pressures of hunting, which was banned in Norway in 1973, and Aars does not rule out a future collapse. There is growing evidence that the bears are switching hunting practices – targeting reindeer as well as seals, a change that was first documented on the archipelago in 2021. “Denning” – behaviour around making dens – has changed and bears are swimming long distances, but, says Aars, there is still enough sea ice in the spring for the bears to hunt successfully.https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/30/why-it-may-be-time-to-stop-using-the-polar-bear-as-a-symbol-of-the-climate-crisis
We just don’t know enough (to have made all those stupid predictions we made about the demise of the Polar Bears)
Derocher in 2004.
A cascade of impacts beginning with reduced sea ice will be manifested in reduced adipose stores leading to lowered reproductive rates because females will have less fat to invest in cubs during the winter fast. Non-pregnant bears may have to fast on land or offshore on the remaining multiyear ice through progressively longer periods of open water while they await freeze-up and a return to hunting seals. As sea ice thins, and becomes more fractured and labile, it is likely to move more in response to winds and currents so that polar bears will need to walk or swim more and thus use greater amounts of energy to maintain contact with the remaining preferred habitats.https://academic.oup.com/icb/article/44/2/163/674253?login=false
Derocher currently for this Guardian article.
“We can’t talk about a global state of the bears [because of the data gaps],” says Prof Andrew Derocher, a polar bear expert at the University of Alberta, who authored some of the early studies about the effect of climate change on polar bears.https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/30/why-it-may-be-time-to-stop-using-the-polar-bear-as-a-symbol-of-the-climate-crisis
And a big oopsie. pissing off the Inuits. That’s gotta hurt.
“In the Canadian context, the polar bear being a symbol of climate change has caused a lot of problems,” Derocher says. “We used to have a good relationship with Inuit hunters. A lot of the hunters that I know think that polar bears will do OK with climate change and it has created some interesting tensions.”https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/30/why-it-may-be-time-to-stop-using-the-polar-bear-as-a-symbol-of-the-climate-crisis
Good job calling it Dr. Crockford.
H/T Robert T and tommy2b