Friday, August 24, 2007

Polar Bears Can Swim

Animals have always figured heavily into global warming theory. The polar bear, of course, because he is the symbol of the great icy north. If you want to grab someone's attention, there's no better way than to show a photo of the majestic polar bear, stranded far at sea on an ever-shrinking ice floe. I am sure you have seen this picture.


This photo was distributed widely across the net with accompanying articles that would have had you believe that these polar bears stepped upon an ice floe, and before they knew it, the ice floe had drifted out to sea, melting beneath their paws. The truth of this photo is that it was taken a couple of years ago and had nothing to do with polar bears being stranded at sea, these are just two polar bears who stopped off on an ice floe to rest from their swimming and have a look about.

Yes, polar bears can swim. They can swim as much as a hundred miles offshore in search of food, and regularly do so.

This photo was taken in 2004 by members of the Beaufort Gyre Exploration Project during late summer. The cruise was delayed due to unusually heavy ice for August according to the dispatches from the crew. The original caption to the photo says "Mother polar bear and cub on interesting ice sculpture carved by waves".

So why does this photo with the accompanying heart-wrenching captions such as "polar bears stranded on melting ice" appear suddenly in articles across the globe?

Aw, c'mon. You know why.

30 comments:

Janus Torrell said...

Quick send them lifeboats! (Dinner delivery)

Andrea said...

I wonder if you can get pizza delivered to an ice floe.

Oi said...

We all know that Global Warming is a gradual phenomenon - obviously the ice didn't melt under the polar bears' feet; that's not the issue. The issue is the fact that ice in polar bear habitats is becoming less and less over the years, forcing the polar bears to swim farther and farther in search of some solid surface. Some ice is melting, some is just drifting apart, but you must realize that even the most minute of changes can affect an ecosystem.

Andrea said...

I understand your concern Oi, but the same people who are telling you that the polar bears are endangered are the people who are pretending this photo represents the dangers of global warming, when in fact, it has nothing to do with global warming. Polar bear populations overall have increased since 1963 and they are not going extinct.

2008 will be cooler than the last seven years and there has been no warming in the last seven years. On top of that, they have just published studies that prove that natural cycles of Arctic ocean oscillations are the cause of the recent melt in Arctic ice and in fact the ice is already returning to normal levels.

Yes, often changes in ecosystems can spell great and irrevocable disaster for some species, just ask the dinosaur. The Earth of today is not suitable for dinosaurs, but the Earth of the dinosaur was not suitable for man.

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Generic Viagra said...

This affair is truly concerning!
I am aware that global warming and climate changes won't affect only polar creatures but thew whole globe.
It is about time for us to do something about it.

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Every one who said that global warming wasnt a threat and sea ice levels are always fluctuating and polar bears arent in danger at all? In recent studies by biologists, scientists and zoologists at United States Geological Survey (USGS) only 6 out of 11 cubs survie due to starvation and/or drowning

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