Fallen Icon: Sir David Attenborough and the Walrus Deception is now available

My new book, Fallen Icon: Sir David Attenborough and the Walrus Deception, is now available for purchase on Amazon. This is one you won’t want to miss!

Paperback and ebook versions are available at all Amazon outlets, including USA, Canada, UK, and Australia. There should also be a hard cover version within a week or so.

What people are saying about Fallen Icon and my introductory essay are below:

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Attenborough fibbed about hundreds of dead walrus because he wanted what the WEF wants

As I point out in my new book, Fallen Icon, David Attenborough devised a three year campaign on the falsehood that hundreds of Russian walrus died falling off a cliff due to climate change because he also desired what the World Economic Forum (WEF), meeting online this week, say they want: immediate and drastic changes, supposedly to mitigate an invisible ‘climate emergency’ and other societal ills.

Some of the hundreds of dead walrus blamed on global warming. Basov 2017.

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False starving polar bear meme from 2019 making social media rounds with Greenland added

I have discovered that an entirely false meme has been circulating social media. For the record, here it is with an explanation of what’s wrong with it, which is everything.

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East Coast sea ice so far similar to last year

Davis Strait ice pack is slowly moving south this year just as shorefast ice is developing in-place along the Labrador shoreline, similar to last year. East Coast harp seals that give birth in the region in March depend on this ice and so do many Davis Strait polar bears that feed on those newborn seals. In contrast, in 2017 the ice off Labrador was broader by mid-January (even more so by mid-February) and that seems to have made a huge difference by April, when ice north of Newfoundland was thick and extensive.

Compared to last year at this time, there was somewhat less ice along the Labrador coast but the difference is really negligible. By April, ice extent was well below average, especially in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and there were few sightings of polar bears along the Labrador and Newfoundland coasts.

Back in 2017 at the same time (below), the band of ice along the southern Labrador coast was much broader, indicating more movement of Davis Strait ice from the north. This resulted in so many polar bear sightings in Newfoundland and Labrador by March and April that I could hardly keep up reporting them (Crockford 2019:32):

East coast conditions could change significantly over the next few weeks however, especially if weather conditions bring more north winds.

References

Crockford, S.J. 2019. State of the Polar Bear Report 2018. Global Warming Policy Foundation Report 32, London. PDF here.

Remembering the terrorizing Belushya Guba polar bears: lots of Barents Sea ice cover this year

Three years ago, the Russian village of Belushya Guba on southwest coast of Novaya Zemlya on the Barents Sea got international attention for the dozens of polar bears that had invaded the local dump and some aggressive bears were terrorizing local residents. The phenomenon was of course blamed on climate change by virtually all media outlets largely because there was no sea ice on that coast at the time (as had been true many years before without bear trouble).

This year is a different story completely. It’s only early January and already there is abundant ice along the west coast of Novaya Zemlya; ice in the Barents Sea in general is well up over recent averages and the pack is already converging on Bear Island (Bjørnøya) to the south of the Svalbard archipelago. Ice this far south often brings polar bear visitors to the weather station there but that doesn’t usually happen until March or April.

You’ll find references in previous posts linked here.

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A ‘mass exodus’ of polar bears from Alaska to Russia has taken place, local residents claim

An article in a UK newspaper yesterday contains a claim made by local residents that polar bears which used to hang around Utqiagvik (formerly known as Barrow) in western Alaska, are ‘moving to Russia’ (i.e. the Chukchi Sea) in a ‘mass exodus’. It’s certainly possible but if so, it should come as a surprise to no one and is good news for polar bears.

If the allegation is upheld by scientific evidence, polar bears will not have been pushed out of Alaska by lack of summer sea ice (i.e. ‘forced to migrate’) but rather pulled into the Chukchi Sea by abundant food resources that did not exist when summer ice cover was more extensive. It’s a big difference and it speaks to the benefits of less summer sea ice that no one wants to discuss.

Moreover, moving temporarily to where conditions suit them best is what polar bears do all the time: it’s not a new phenomenon, it’s a prominent feature of their biology (Crockford 2019).

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How to build an igloo: was the snow house designed in part to protect against polar bears?

When I came across this fascinating National Film Board video from 1949 on how to build an igloo, it reminded me of a conversation I had with a colleague about whether the design of the Inuit snow house was originally developed in part as protection against marauding polar bears?

Such a dome of tightly-fitted snow blocks, when properly consolidated with a thin layer of ice inside, must have been virtually impenetrable to even the hungriest bears – and defendable at the narrow entrance tunnel. The image below is from Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island around 1865, which lies within the boundaries of the Davis Strait subpopulation of polar bears.

A link to ‘How to Build an Igloo‘ is included in my free ‘Arctic Sea Ice Ecosystem Teaching Guide‘ for home schooling found here. The igloo film is 10 minutes long and suitable for all ages.

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Walrus video you can let your kids watch

A National Geographic short of a walrus cow and her newborn calf, from 2009, that’s appropriate for kids.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Educational video about Arctic sea ice to bookmark: excellent for adults and children

One of the recommended videos I included in my Arctic Sea Ice Ecosystem Teaching Guide is a film called “Edge of Ice”. Produced in 1986 (before climate change hype pervaded everything), this 55 minute documentary from the National Film Board of Canada (filmed in Lancaster Sound, Canada) is an excellent summary of Arctic sea ice and its ecology. Available for free streaming here.

Narrated in parts by an Inuk hunter, it not only shows virtually all of the species associated with ice edges in the central Canadian Arctic, including polar bears, but also explains the process of freezing and thawing; life under the ice and the importance of polynyas.

Worth bookmarking for future viewing if you can’t get to it right away. Beats watching the news these days. It’s also a reminder to tell your homeschooling friends and relatives over the holidays about my free Teaching Guide resource: it’s something many parents will find useful.

Mid-December polar bear habitat update

Compared to last year, polar bear habitat at 15 December 2021 is way up in the Barents and Bering Seas but way down in Hudson Bay but nothing any polar bear has to worry about.

Here’s what the ice charts look like.

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