Posted onSeptember 25, 2023|Comments Off on Evolution Earth documentary comments on polar bear survival & adaptation: let’s see how they do
Just a heads-up that this week, PBS in North America will broadcast the “polar” episode of a new documentary called “Evolution Earth.” In my area, it’s scheduled for Wednesday, September 27 at 10:00 PM. It remains to be seen whether this is really about evolution or (given those involved in its production) simply more climate change propaganda similar to that promoted by Attenborough, but I intend to watch and report back.
About the Show: “Evolution Earth embarks on a global expedition to reveal the animals keeping pace with a planet changing at superspeed. Heading out across the globe to distant wilds and modern urban environments, five episodes track how animals are moving, using ingenuity to adapt their behavior, and even evolving in unexpected ways.
…We follow heart-warming tales of resilience that redefine our understanding of evolution, and hint at how nature can show us a path towards a sustainable future for Planet Earth. The series is narrated by Dr. Shane Campbell-Staton, who guides us through each episode in an intimate narrative style, drawing on his background as an evolutionary biologist.”
Episode 4 | Ice “At the planet’s frozen extremes, shifts in animal movement and behavior reveal vital information about our future world. Examine polar bears in the Arctic, penguins in Antarctica and other animals surviving in icy worlds.“
UPDATE 27 September 2023: Well, as I expected, this show was full of Attenborough-style nonsense about starving polar bears waiting for sea ice to form along Western Hudson Bay, the bears presented as “canaries in a coal mine” indicators of climate change, with an activist scientist saying she’s “pissed” about climate change. They used charts of the very distinctive pattern of sea ice formation that took place in November 2020 to illustrate how freeze-up was “later and later each year” even though 2020 was one of the earliest freeze-ups on record (bears were successfully hunting from shorefast ice as early as 30 October). A waste of 15 minutes: I couldn’t bear to watch what they did with the penguins.
Posted onAugust 31, 2023|Comments Off on New study that claims it can directly link GHG emissions to polar bear cub survival is poppycock
A global warming miracle has happened. While no scientist worldwide has ever drawn a straight line between greenhouse gas emissions and population declines in a species considered at risk due to climate change, a new paper just published in Science Magazine claims to have performed this unlikely feat for polar bears. It’s called “Unlock the Endangered Species Act to address GHG emissions.”
Note this analysis has not been peer reviewed: as a “Policy Forum” contribution, it’s considered by the journal to be a public interest commentary, not a research paper.
One might be forgiven for asking whether this work represents solid, reproducible science or simply well-timed, sciency-looking rhetoric ready-made for the litigious Center for Biological Diversity to pressure the US government to increase protections for polar bears before the 2024 US election. It is surely no coincidence that this paper made its appearance near the seasonal low for Arctic sea ice as well as during the 15-year anniversary of the ESA listing of polar bears as ‘threatened’ and the 50th anniversary of the ESA itself.
Moreover, knowing this paper was in the pipeline might explain why the 2022 government report on the most recent Western Hudson Bay polar bear decline, which I discussed yesterday, has been kept secret for so long: the results of that report are cited in this new Science paper as supporting evidence that sea ice declines are responsible for recent population declines, which Reuters said in December was clearly not the casefor the period 2017-2021.
Posted onAugust 30, 2023|Comments Off on W. Hudson Bay polar bear numbers declined 27% in 2021 but not because of missing ice: secret paper
As will become apparent tomorrow, Western Hudson Bay polar bear numbers apparently declined 27% between 2017 and 2021 but not because of sea ice loss. This fact, gleaned from a secret government report leaked to the media, emerged just before Christmas last year and spread around the world. I commented on it here at the time.
It will also be apparent tomorrow why that government report is still unavailable. Thursdays are when the big two science magazines publish their papers, which means associated news stores promoting preferred narratives are embargoed until then. Stay tuned.
Posted onAugust 16, 2023|Comments Off on Conservation officers misleading the public about polar bear problems in Churchill
Canadian government-funded media outlet CBC ran a story this morning about problem polar bears in the town of Churchill, Manitoba, the self-described “Polar Bear Capital of the World” that contains some very misleading statements from Manitoba Conservation officers.
Breakup of sea ice on Hudson Bay was earlier this year than it has been in more than a decade (17 June) and some people are trying to hype the significance of this phenomenon to support a tenuous link to human-caused climate change, even though bears out on the ice this spring were reportedly in good condition and one of the problem bears captured on 8 August was also in good condition (a male weighing 910 lbs, photo above). Unfortunately, reports for similar early breakup years in the early 2000s have not been made public. However, I’ve been keeping track of these Polar Bear Alert Program Reports since 2015 and have read the available literature about their history: these records simply do not corroborate the statements in this CBC account.
Posted onAugust 8, 2023|Comments Off on Climate activists are silent on polar bears because their doom-mongering blew up in their faces
A Grist article last week pandered to activist polar bear specialists over their failed climate change agenda as it tried to minimize why the climate movement doesn’t talk about polar bears anymore. Apparently, the Arctic icon has “largely fallen out of fashion” through “overexposure” resulting in polar bear images invoking “cynicism and fatigue.” But that isn’t really true, is it?
Thriving populations in the Chukchi Sea and elsewhere amid low summer ice levels have busted the myth that polar bears need ice year-round.
Andrew Derocher was also allowed to repeat, unchallenged, the ridiculous narrative he and his activist supporters have peddled before, that insists the polar bear had become a climate change icon by accident rather than design, a lie I addressed in detail last year. Some excerpts from that 2022 post are copied below.
Yet contrary to predictions, which insisted that protracted poor ice conditions in summer would inevitably result in catastrophic rates of starvation and death (Amstrup et al. 2007; Crockford 2017, 2019), polar bears in the Svalbard region have so far not had any documented any harm to their health or population size. In fact, field data show bears in Svalbard are in better condition than they were in the late 1990s (Lippold et al. 2019), almost certainly due to the documented increase in primary productivity that has resulted from longer ice-free summers since 2003 (Frey et al. 2022; Crockford 2023).
Posted onJuly 14, 2023|Comments Off on Hudson Bay sea ice loss has not accelerated since 2014: in fact, summer ice cover has improved
This is an early breakup year for Hudson Bay but sea ice loss has not been accelerating. While some Western Hudson Bay bears have been on land for weeks, others are still out on melting remnants of sea ice, much of it invisible to satellites. This is only the third year since 2014 that the bay has had less than usual amounts of ice, which means most years since then have had normal or nearly normal ice coverage, similar to the 1980s. Hardly the ever-worsening catastrophe of sea ice loss story being spun in the media for Western Hudson Bay polar bears.
From the tracking map above, out of the 38 visible tags or collars on bears at 11 July 2023, 16 bears (42%) were on land and 22 (58%) were still out on the sea ice. That’s virtually identical to the 40/60 percent split last week when there was even more ice.
Posted onJuly 9, 2023|Comments Off on Natural flexibility explains W Hudson Bay polar bear movements at breakup better than climate change
Hudson Bay in early July this year is a mosaic of more-than-average and less-than-average sea ice coverage but apparently, only the less-than-average ice areas constitute the “early breakup” caused by climate change, and only “deniers” would say otherwise.
I say some folks are cherry picking the ice conditions that support a story line they prefer, forgetting that polar bears know better than they do when to come in off the ice.
Posted onJuly 4, 2023|Comments Off on Early sea ice breakup in W Hudson Bay caused by “record breaking” warmth in 2023 but not 2015?
According to Polar Bears International, the “3rd-earliest” breakup date for Western Hudson Bay was caused by a “record breaking” heat wave in May. Western Hudson Bay sea ice hit the 30% coverage threshold used by PBI to define “breakup” on 17 June this year, prompting speculation about potential future impacts on polar bear survival should breakup come even earlier.
“This year’s break-up date of June 17 is the 3rd earliest in the 45 years of satellite-based sea ice data from Western Hudson Bay, after 2015 and 2003.” [Flavio Lehner, PBI]
17 June 2023 is day 168 on the Julian calendar used to graph the data in the image included in the PBI essay (see copy below). However, the data point for 2003 is about three days earlier, on day 166 (14 June) and the point for 2015 is on day 152 (1 June).
If “record-breaking” heat caused this year’s early ice retreat, what caused the ice to retreat more than two weeks earlier in 2015? May was warm that year along the west coast as well but obviously not “record-breaking” warmth, because the records were broken this year. In fact, whatever warmth that occurred only affected ice melt in the western sector, while very thick ice over the rest of the bay resisted melt and allowed bears to stay out many weeks later than usual.