Conditions this year (2015) in the Barents Sea were excellent according to the polar bear researchers who work there (“Polar bears were as fat as pigs”).
A new survey just completed for a population count showed the bears were are in excellent condition – except the injured ones, of course, which some news organizations are promoting as evidence of harm from global warming-induced sea ice changes because an activist photographer – not scientists – said so.
Posted in Advocacy, Population, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Aars, advocacy, Andersen, arctic sea ice, Barents Sea, body condition, climate change, emaciated, fat, global warming, good news, injured, Langenberger, old, photographer, pigs, polar bear, sick, Svalbard, viral, York
Recently, several polar bear biologists have teamed up with photographers to get pictures of starving bears into the scientific literature – and picked up by the media, with mixed results.
For the second time in five years, polar bear biologist Ian Stirling has teamed up with a photographer to give unwarranted scientific credence to an anecdotal account of polar bear behaviour. It included a picture of a pitifully thin animal (classic animal tragedy porn) and was framed to increase alarm over predicted effects of global warming. It got little media attention.
His Norwegian colleagues Jon Aars and Magnus Andersen have just done the same with a bear caught eating a white-beaked dolphin (photo above) – but this time the media took the bait.
Update 13 June 2015 – Information added on white-beaked dolphin distribution, sea ice conditions in 2014 and a correction. See below.
Posted in Advocacy, Life History, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Aars, AMO, Andersen, aquatic stalk, Arctic, Barents Sea, bearded seal, behavior, behaviour, caching, dive, evolution, global warming, Lagenorhynchus albirostris, polar bear, Polar Bears International, polarbearscience, sea ice, starving, Stirling, Svalbard, swim, thin, thin ice, tragedy porn, trapped, underwater, White-beaked dolphin
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