Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Global Dumbing - Da (Polar) Bears
Suddenly, the Global Warming Dolts (GWD) have decided that Polar Bears are in danger due to Global Warming. A recent picture and accompanying story that purports to show some poor stranded Polar Bears helped begin the groundswell to protect the poor Ursus Maritimus!
There was another picture recently being passed around showing a mother and two cubs, supposedly stuck on an ice float that had moved too far from land for them to find an escape. The truth was that the photographer, Amy Read (sp?) had actually seen the bears swimming up to and climbing on the ice before taking her picture and only took it as a cool picture of the bears, not any statement on Global Warming. Let's compare hysteria versus fact:
"pair of polar bears look stranded as they cling precariously to the top of a melting ice floe."
This was the caption that was posted along with this picture. Trouble is, Polar Bears can easily swim 60 miles through artic waters to get from place to place.
"Photographed by Canadian environmentalists off the coast of Alaska, the dramatic image highlights the ever-increasing threat to the polar bear population as the Arctic ice diminishes."
They (The Canadians) were nowhere near 60 miles out and in fact were standing on another much larger ice float upon which the bears could easily have parked themselves if they'd so wished. The environmentalists were taking ice core samples and, ironically, carried shotguns to shoot any bears that came too close! Ah, save the Polar Bears indeed!
"Scientists are reporting caracasses of the bears in the sea as they are overcome by the waves and exhaustion, swimming hundreds of miles in search of food."
Scientists have found drowned Polar Bears after storms! Four bears found drowned after a violent 2006 storm are the most frequent example given for the assertion that warmer temperatures are killing them off. But no matter how much ice was available, a bear far from shore caught in a storm could drown anyway.
GWD's studiously ignore the facts:
Polar Bears are thriving!!!
Eco hysteria over polar bears unjustified:
They are not in danger, insists Nunavut biologist who knows the animals
The Edmonton Journal, Sun 31 Dec 2006 - Lorne Gunter
"No evidence exists that suggests that both [polar] bears and the conservation systems that regulate them will not adapt and respond to the new conditions. Polar bears have persisted through many similar climate cycles."
There's a lot in that two-sentence statement from Dr. Mitch Taylor, polar bear biologist for the government of Nunavut, and one of the leading experts in the world on Ursus maritimus.
First, it shows that polar bears are currently not threatened.
Not only that, there is every reason to believe they are going to stay that way.
Elsewhere this year, Taylor has written "At present, the polar bear is one of the best-managed of the large Arctic mammals. If all the Arctic nations continue to abide by the terms and intent of the  Polar Bear Agreement, the future of polar bears is secure."
Second, Taylor's statement shows "no evidence exists" that polar bears or the ecosystems in which they live are threatened. He has admitted several times that climate change is affecting and will continue to affect the majestic white animals. But there is no reason to believe the effects will be harmful or lead to the bears' extinction.
Finally, Taylor's statement acknowledges what almost no environmentalists will: The current climate cycle is very similar to many others in the past.
There are man-made threats to the bears, most notably encroachment on their territory and slightly elevated levels of pollutants in their air, water and prey. Human activity may even be strengthening and quickening the current climate change (I don't believe it is, but I am willing to admit others do).
Our activities are not driving the bears to the brink of disaster. So curtailing our activities cannot prevent them from tumbling over an ecological precipice they are not teetering on in the first place.
There are 20 significant populations of polar bears around the top of the globe. Of the 13 in Canada, 11 are either stable or increasing in size. "They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present," according to Taylor.
The bear population of western Hudson Bay (the one most often cited by environmentalists) has declined over the past 25 years "and the reproductive success of females in that area seems to have decreased." Yet the reason seems to be that conditions for the bears there in the mid-1980s "were exceptionally good."
Every ecological cycle has its peaks and valleys. For bears in western Hudson Bay, the latest peak occurred two decades ago. The decline since has been neither precipitous nor unnatural.
What makes Taylor so sure man-made climate change is not causing the Hudson Bay bears to disappear? Some population has to be the first to feel the brunt of any disaster, after all.
"The neighbouring population of southern Hudson Bay does not appear to have declined," and another nearby population "may actually be over-abundant."
The same average number of cubs are being born to mother bears as in the past. (Some environmentalists have claimed triplets used to be the norm, but single cubs are now.) Nor have the bears extended the length of the weaning period, a sign they are having fewer cubs on average.
In Canada, where a decade ago our Arctic had 12,000 bears, Taylor and other bear specialists estimate there are now 15,000 bears, an increase of 25 per cent in just 10 years. Worldwide there are 22,000 to 25,000 polar bears, whereas 50 years ago -- before the first SUV, before Kyoto, before most people had even heard of the global warming theory -- there were just 8,000 to 10,000.
The U.S. Department of the Interior, under pressure from environmentalists, has recently announced that it is considered raising the bears' environmental status to "threatened."
Well, the real reason is politics. The White House has decided to go a bit "greener." Rather than attempt to explain the science behind climate change, and why most of the current change (if not all of it) is likely natural, the Bush administration has decided to pander to voters who have been whipped into an environmental tizzy by constant scaremongering by scientists, environmentalists and the media.
The official reason given for changing the bears' designation is that the ice they hunt on is melting.
So? The ice cover is cyclical, too. And in the past, as the ice has receded, the increased sunlight in the water has increased the food available to seals, who have themselves increased in number, providing polar bears with more food to eat.
Indeed, 50 years ago, when there were fewer than half as many bears are there are now, the planet was in the midst of a prolonged cold spell. Ice covered more of the Arctic and there were fewer seals.
Decreased ice also means the bears find it easier to get to land where there are more berries and other foods the big beasts love.
Much of this should be good news for environmentalists, because it is good for the bears. But as Taylor says, "good news does not seem to be welcomed."
So, the Polar Bear population is thriving and growing. In fact, the wildlife of the Arctic are enjoying the warm cycle we are currently experiencing:
Global warming helps Arctic animals
"By the BBC's Richard Lister in the Alaskan Arctic
Research in the American Arctic has revealed that the polar bear and bowhead whale populations are booming after decades of decline, and part of the reason for that may be global warming.
Although the long-term predictions suggest many Arctic species could be jeopardised by any continued rise in temperatures, scientists think that at the moment some animal populations may be benefiting from a slightly warmer climate.
In the Arctic desert of Northern Alaska, a tiny monitoring station is tracking the polar climate.
Research over three decades shows the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere has steadily increased. Temperatures have also risen by a tenth of one degree every year since 1977.
Dan Endres, who runs the station, says even small changes can have a significant impact.
"An increase of about two degrees (Celsius) can mean as much as another month of open water," he said. No-one knows if the trend will continue.
If it does, the Arctic Ocean could be completely free of summer ice towards the end of this century. That could devastate the wildlife that relies on it for hunting, breeding, and protection from shipping.
But for now, though, some species are positively booming. The polar bear population on Alaska's coast has doubled since the '70s, thanks largely to a hunting ban.
Researchers say they have never seen such big and healthy animals. That may be because at the other end of the food chain, plankton are thriving in warmer waters.
At the edge of the solid ice, the spring thaw is beginning and a whale count is under way. Research teams work round the clock monitoring the bowhead whales, which surface in open areas to breathe.
Once hunted almost to extinction, this population is now increasing by up to 3% a year. Retreating pack ice may also be helping them.
A team of researchers has also been monitoring the local polar bears from a helicopter.
They tranquillise, weigh and tag the animals. George Durner, from the Alaska Biological Science Center, says he has never seen the bears look in such good shape.
"The lengthening of the ice-free period may actually increase the amount of sunlight entering the ocean, triggering greater plant growth, plankton growth. This is the foundation of the food chain out there," he said.
Fish eat the plankton. Seals eat the fish, and polar bears feed on the seals.
Scientists here are tracking the whales' movement under the ice with special microphones.
Further out where the sea ice is beginning to break up, another team is counting the whales as they come up to breathe.
Craig George, one of the team leaders, says the bowhead whale population is now increasing by three percent a year, after being hunted almost to extinction. He, too, says less ice may be helping them.
"Retreating the pack ice a little bit gives greater feeding opportunities in the Beaufort Sea where they summer," he said, adding: "Retreating ice out of the Canadian archipelago might allow them to enter areas where they haven't been for several thousand years..."
Even with some GWD-type naysaying at the end of the article, it seems clear that current conditions are good for Polar Bears and wildlife in general in the Arctic. It also seems that cycles of warmer and colder conditions have been recorded and acknowledged in the past. Why do GWD's now make so many stupid noises about Global Warming?
Stay tuned for part two, tomorrow!!!!