Saturday, September 8, 2007

US Geological Survey Predicts Polar Bear Extinction

You gotta love these headlines. They shock and amaze but usually have little relationship to the actual facts contained in the story they run with.

Here's the latest:

Most polar bears could be lost by 2050

Yikes. The majestic polar bear, gone forever. But is that what the US Geological Survey actually says?

"Projected changes in future sea ice conditions, if realized, will result in loss of approximately two-thirds of the world's current polar bear population by the mid 21st century," the report says.

Only 16,000 polar bears around the world are expected to survive through the end of the century in the northern Canadian Arctic islands and the west coast of Greenland, said the U.S. Geological Survey.

The World Conservation Union, based in Gland, Switzerland, has estimated the polar bear population in the Arctic now is about 20,000 to 25,000,

Okay, projected changes. But these are the same people who say the computer models are not showing the ice melting fast enough, so these projected changes are not those of the existing computer models, but of changes they project. And this will happen only if the ice melts as fast as they predict. Or will it?

The global warming people are telling us that the global temperature has been increasing in the last few decades and so by now, we should already be looking at dwindling polar bear populations. But according to a survey by the Canadian government, polar bear numbers are increasing.

The latest government survey of polar bears roaming the vast Arctic expanses of northern Quebec, Labrador and southern Baffin Island show the population of polar bears has jumped to 2,100 animals from around 800 in the mid-1980s.

Keep in mind that Canada now has about two-thirds of the world's polar bear population. The survey reported six areas as having stable counts, three areas as having decreased counts and two areas saw their counts increase. That doesn't sound like any shocking loss of population.

Yeah, but, yeah but...The polar bear first appeared on earth about 40,000 to 50,000 years ago and the global warming alarmists are saying that they have never had to live through a period warmer than this. Really?

According to a 2000 report from the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, temperatures on Greenland were higher than today at least once.

After the termination of the glacial period, temperatures increased steadily to a maximum of 2.5°C warmer than at present during the Climatic Optimum (4,000 to 7,000 years ago). The Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice
Age were also documented in the record, with temperatures 1°C warmer and 0.5-0.7°C cooler than at present, respectively.

And from what we know of Greenland's ice core, we know that even when the temperature was a full 5° C higher, the ice did not completely melt. See prior story - Ice Didn't Melt on Greenland in Historical Warm Periods

As the temperature seems to be going up in the Arctic, and has been for several years while the polar bear population has been increasing, there is only one conclusion.

"There is a definite link between changes in the sea ice and the welfare of polar bears," Steve Amstrup, who led the research team, said.

Yep, there is. They seem to like it.


Janus Torrell said...

I love the photo with this one.

Andrea said...

Thanks, I rather liked it myself.