Posted onOctober 24, 2017|Comments Off on Death of the polar bear as climate change icon validates Mitch Taylor’s skepticism
You could call it karma — the death of the polar bear icon after the shameful hubris of polar bear experts back in 2009.
That year, the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group booted 20-year member Mitch Taylor out of their organization, explaining that his skeptical views on human-caused global warming were “extremely unhelpful” to their polar bear conservation agenda.
It’s now clear that Mitch Taylor was right to be skeptical of sea ice models based on pessimistic climate change assumptions; he was also right to be more optimistic than his PBSG colleagues about the ability of polar bears to adapt to changing sea ice conditions (Taylor and Dowsley 2008), since the bears have turned out to be more resilient than even he expected.
Fat polar bears — not starving ones — dominate photos taken in recent years. The total failure of polar bear numbers to crash as predicted in response to the abrupt decline in summer sea ice in 2007 and persistent low summer sea ice levels since then (Crockford 2017), is vindication for Mitch Taylor. It’s time someone said so.
Posted onApril 9, 2017|Comments Off on Maclean’s blames global warming for polar bear visits to Newfoundland
Without a shred of evidence, Canada’s Maclean’s magazine claims recent polar bear sightings in Newfoundland and Labrador are due to global warming — and concludes that such incidents are bound to get worse.
But since it’s likely that polar bear populations in Davis Strait are still increasing (as they were in 2007), Maclean’s might be correct in their prophesy that bear visitations are bound to get worse — just not for the reason they think.
“Since bear sightings in the early winter have been linked to climate change, some parents are more concerned for their future grandchildren.”
That’s just bad logic. Actually, the fact that global warming has not killed off polar bearsas predicted means there are lots of bears to come ashore causing problems in late winter (while they wait for Arctic seal pups to be born, so they can eat them). Continue reading
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Posted onFebruary 5, 2016|Comments Off on Polar bear myths perpetuate from the mouth of stuck-in-the-past Ian Stirling
In my last post, I complained about “vague and misleading statements” made by polar bear specialists and conservation advocates. Here’s a recent example of that phenomena, from veteran polar bear biologist Ian Stirling.
The magazine of Canada’s North, UpHere, published an interview with Ian Stirling this month. The piece begins:
“No fear-mongering. No exaggeration. For Ian Stirling, it’s purely about the science.”
Yeah, well – judge for yourself. Here’s a sample:
“We have lost on average about half the sea ice that we had in 1979, which is the first year that satellite coverage of the Arctic was taken [he’s talking about September ice here]. Places like Hudson Bay are breaking up three weeks earlier than they used to and freezing up a couple weeks later. We’re going to have even more significant effects over a much wider area in the Arctic. We’re likely to lose another 30 or 40 percent, or even half of the bears that we have today in the middle of the century, and unchecked, we will likely have very few bears left at the turn of the next century. In 2100, we’ll probably just have a few small remaining pockets in the northern Canadian Arctic islands and northern Greenland.”
Sea ice extent for the Sea of Okhotsk and Baltic Sea combined (both areas without polar bears)1 were about 0.6 mkm2 below average this year for March. Average extent for March (according to NSIDC) is 15.5 mkm2, which means this year’s extent (14.4 mkm2) was 1.1 mkm2 below average, of which less than half (0.5 mkm2) was “lost” polar bear habitat.
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