Hence totally expected that the New York Timeswould print someone’s unsupported claim that the polar bears of Churchill (part of the Western Hudson Bay subpopulation) are on the verge of extirpation due to lack of sea ice and other similar nonsense. Also not surprising to find that Canadian government biologist Nick Lunn used the occasion to again offer unpublished and misleading data to a reporter. However, this time it’s good news meant to sound like an emergency: if correct, the data he shared indicate polar bears are heavier now than they were in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Posted onDecember 10, 2014|Comments Off on W Hudson Bay polar bear mark-recapture study report 2013 – at last
I have finally secured a copy of the 2013 Western Hudson Bay mark-recapture study produced by Environment Canada.
The pertinent figure is below: as you can see, there was no declining trend in Western Hudson Bay polar bears between 2000 and 2011. Click to enlarge.
I have relatives visiting so I don’t have time to do an in-depth summary but the report’s opening “Summary” is copied below and a pdf provided. More later when I have had time to look at it more closely. Background on the issue here.
More details have emerged about the status of Western Hudson Bay (WHB) polar bears (reported a few days ago here), reported this morning in NunatsiaqOnline, excerpts below.
The story reveals that there are two Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment Canada) reports containing population estimates of Western Hudson Bay polar bears – one produced in 2011 and another in November 2013 (reversing the 2011 conclusion) – that have not been made public.
[In contrast, Nunavut Government reports on their 2011 population estimate, based on aerial surveys, were made public in both draft and final report formats (and have since been peer-reviewed and published)]
The conclusion of the 2013 report, quoted in this mornings article, suggests that some of our most vocal polar bear specialists have been misleading the public about the status of the Western Hudson Bay population for the last year. Continue reading
Comments Off on Public misled about W Hudson Bay bears since November 2013
Posted onApril 3, 2014|Comments Off on Amstrup grasps at straws to defend his polar-bears-are-doomed computer model
Polar bear activist Steven Amstrup made an astonishing statement in an interview earlier this week — he insisted that the current rate of warming in the Arctic is greater than anything polar bears have lived through before. He also said that optimistic comments on the future of polar bears made by geneticist Matt Cronin a few weeks ago were “incautious” and “misleading.”
Previously, I described how a new paper by Cronin and colleagues confirmed that genetic evidence indicates polar bears have been around long enough to have survived several past Interglacial periods that were warmer than today (and therefore, would have had virtually no summer ice). Cronin, not unreasonably, had some critical things to say about computer modeled predictions that polar bears could not survive in an Arctic without summer sea ice.
On Monday, the Anchorage Daily News gave Amstrup a forum to rebuke Cronin for his comments. A similar story was also carried by the Washington Post. [In the same ADN article, geneticist Charlotte Lindqvist, offered an outdated argument against future polar bear survival that I’ll deal with later]
Today, I’ll address Amstrup’s ridiculous assertion that the current rate of warming, attributed by him primarily to human activities rather than natural variation, is something polar bears have never experienced in their evolutionary history (a period of more than 400,000 years!).