Arctic Sea Ice

BBC Says Climate Change Is Already Killing Polar Bears. Maybe Not.

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Polar Bear
nature

Some "science-affirmers" of man-made climate change argue that melting Arctic Ocean sea ice will doom polar bears. Why? Because the bears hunt seals on the ice. No ice, no seals to munch on. It is true that the extent of summer Arctic Ocean sea ice has been on a downward trend for the past several decades, but how are polar bears really faring?

In its article, "Will Polar Bears Become Extinct?," the BBC reports:

"The best estimates we've got indicate that we'll probably lose somewhere around two-thirds of the world's bears somewhere around mid-century, just based on the simple fact that we're losing sea ice," says Andrew Derocher, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta and past chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Polar Bear Specialist Group. …

In the Hudson Bay, when Derocher first started doing research in the region there were 1200 bears. Now there are barely 800. "The current status is the numbers have dropped by about a third," Derocher says. "It certainly doesn't seem like it's on a continuous precipitous climb."

However, in February 2014, other researchers published a study in Biological Conservation that found no firm evidence for such a precipitous decline in the Hudson Bay region. In addition, the Polar Bear Technical Committee of Environment Canada published a map in June 2014 showing estimates of various subpopulations of polar bears. The committee estimates there are between 1, 000 and 1,500 bears in Western Hudson Bay (WH) and that the population is likely stable. See map below.

Polar Bears
Environment Canada

Click on map link above for a larger map.

Keep in mind that counting wild animals in remote areas is always a difficult and fraught enterprise and people are likely to see what they want to see.

Hat tip to Marian Tupy and Matt Ridley.

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  1. Warm, warmer, warmest. Why all this grousing? Call Mr. Snow Miser:

    Snow Miser: I’m Mister White Christmas, I’m Mister Snow.
    I’m Mister Icicle; I’m Mister Ten below.
    Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch,
    Turns to snow in my clutch.
    I’m too much.

    Minions: He’s Mister White Christmas, he’s Mister Snow.
    Snow Miser: That’s right!
    Minions: He’s Mister Icicle; he’s Mister Ten below.
    Snow Miser: Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch,
    Turns to snow in my clutch.
    I’m too much.

    I never want to know a day that’s over forty degrees,
    I’d rather have it thirty, twenty, ten, five and let it freeze!
    Minions: He’s Mister White Christmas, he’s Mister Snow.
    Snow Miser: That’s right!
    Minions: He’s Mister Icicle; he’s Mister Ten below.
    Snow Miser: Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch,
    Turns to snow in my clutch.
    Too much.
    All: Too much!

    1. +1 Rankin/Bass.

      Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is 50 y.o. this year. Still one of my favorite movies ever!

      1. I guess that’s about right. Holy crap.

      2. I’ll never forgive Ranking/Bass for what they did to Tolkien’s work.

        1. The Bakshi animated thingee?

          1. Rankin/Bass did an animated version of “The Hobbitt”. Bakshi did LOTR but had to drastically shorten it when he lost funding. It wrapped up the last book and a half (IIRC) in about 5 minutes, ending with “and they went on to do such and such”

      3. The first ever Rudolph TV airing I remember well, because it was right after my fourth birthday party ended (I actually turned four on Friday December 4 1964, but the official birthday party with the kids, balloons and pointy hats was on Sunday, Dce 6.). What a fond memory of being in post-prandial bliss, tummy full of cake and ice cream, sitting with my little sister watching Rudolph that evening, while my parents cleaned up the torn wrapping paper and the drop-the-clothespins-in-the-milk-bottle setup. I can remember being frightened by the Abominable!

        Who would have ever thought it would have become such an iconic part of Xmas.

        1. And like all kids that age, you no doubt pried open your sister’s vajayjay.

          1. Damn it, Amanda, quit telling everyone our family secrets!

  2. “Keep in mind that counting wild animals in remote areas is always a difficult and fraught enterprise and people are likely to see what they want to see.”

    When the science is settled, there’s nothing to see!

    1. See what they want to see. That’s like the motto of the left right now, isn’t it? “Seeing what we want to see and nothing else.”

      1. “Believing is seeing.”

  3. Yeah, but those Environment Canada figures come from the government, and Stephen Harper personally fudges them all, late at night with whiteout and a pen the day before they’re published.

  4. Just remember folks. Polar bears eat baby harp seals.

    You like bay harp seals, don’t you? Or are you some kind of monster?

    I mean look at this little guy….

    http://www.animalsplannet.com/…..ictures-7/

    Just remember that, to a polar bear, this is lunch.

    So drive your SUV. For the sake of the baby harp seals.

    1. If the greenies want polar bears can’t they just go to the zoo?

    2. I say the same exact thing every time they trot out the polar bear thing. Of course, seals aren’t used as a marketing play at christmas time. I wonder, for aboriginals, if warming isn’t better. They’ll have more seals and less bears, a win-win for them.

    3. My god what a punchable face.

    4. Canadian Club on the rocks.

  5. No links, then?

  6. There should be a disclaimer in the BBC piece letting its reader’s know that polar bears are just brown bears that migrated to the arctic, which over time, self-selected ever whiter hair due to their surroundings.

    1. Thanks. Coming here to say just that.

      My understanding is that grizzlies, brown bears, and polar bears are all basically the same. I believe I saw that they can even interbreed.

      1. So this is the grizzly KKK?

        1. This exactly!

  7. BBC Says Climate Change Is Already Killing Polar Bears.

    No it isn’t. But, Polar Bears are killing seals. We could probably use some CC to kill some Polar Bears to save some seals. Why will no one THINK OF TEH SEALZ?!

  8. Trivial reports of threatened Polar Bear Decline correlate to bear proximity to biologists who read the Manchester Guardian

    Trivial reports of Polar Bears Are Fine correlate to PR proximity to circumpolar tar sand barons and the odd Northumbrian coal earl.

    Ron’s track record is showing.

    1. Trivial reports of Polar Bears Are Fine correlate to PR proximity to circumpolar tar sand barons and the odd Northumbrian coal earl KOCHSUCKERS!!!!!

      FIFY, HTH.

    2. Russell|11.7.14 @ 5:54PM|#
      “Trivial reports of threatened Polar Bear Decline correlate to bear proximity to biologists who read the Manchester Guardian”

      Russell, we welcome non-trivial statements from lefties, but trivial replies from lefty assholes are treated with all the respect they deserve.
      Is that clear, lefty asshole?

  9. Will someone attend to Sevo’s brain leak– the bears are strarting to sniff in his direction .

  10. “Keep in mind that counting wild animals in remote areas is always a difficult and fraught enterprise and people are likely to see what they want to see.” $$$Further Study Is Needed$$$

  11. < a href =” http://vvattsupwiththat.blogsp…..prize.html ” And here’s the odd Northumbrian coal Earl

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