The Obama administration warned Monday that polar bears may disappear unless something is done about climate change, despite recent research indicating that the bears are actually thriving.
In its final Conservation Management Plan, the Fish and Wildlife Service painted a grim picture for the future of the massive Arctic-dwelling mammal, warning that its fate will be determined “by our willingness and ability to address climate change.”
“The current global polar bear population is estimated to be 26,000,” said the FWS press release. “If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current rates throughout the 21st century, polar bears will likely disappear from much of their present-day range.”
The announcement prompted pushback from zoologist Susan J. Crockford, founder of the Polar Bear Science website, who blasted the service for igniting a rash of “sensationalized nonsense” by fueling alarmist media reports.
Since 2007, “summer sea ice coverage has declined to levels their sea ice colleagues said would not occur until 2050 yet 2/3 of the world’s polar bears did not disappear as [U.S. Geological Service] biologists predicted,” Ms. Crockford said in a post.
The polar bear was listed as threatened in 2008 as a result of declining Arctic sea ice, but its population has proved remarkably resilient, although the Fish and Wildlife Service plan doesn’t mention that, she said.
“They also don’t tell folks that the recent decline in population size recorded for the Southern Beaufort Sea was caused by thick spring sea ice in 2004-2006, not reduced summer sea ice,” said Ms. Crockford, an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature pegs the polar bear population at between 22,000 and 31,000, which she called “the highest estimate in 50 years.”
Recent studies have shown increases in some of the 19 Arctic polar-bear populations. In 2013, the FWS reported the Chukchi Sea population in Alaska was doing “quite well,” while the Norwegian Polar Institute found in 2015 that the Barents Sea polar bears had risen by 42 percent since 2004.
Meanwhile, wildlife groups criticized the federal plan for failing to mandate large-scale U.S. reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions in order to combat climate change.
“Polar bears are starving and drowning as their sea ice melts away, but this toothless plan shrugs off the one solution that will
The death of the global warming ‘pause’ has been greatly exaggerated
The global warming ‘pause’ never existed, say the headlines. It’s a claim that has been made before, only to be refuted, yet now it’s back again. If there is one topic that sends a small subset of climate scientists’ temperature into the stratosphere, it’s the topic of the global warming ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’. This is the idea that global surface temperatures haven’t changed much for almost 20 years. Never in my experience of science have I come across a topic like it, and that’s because it means nothing, and everything.
Global warming is about energy imbalance. Greenhouse gasses stop heat leaving the earth, so the planet is getting warmer. This is fundamental physics. Temperature goes up; oceans warm up, expand and sea level rises; pole caps melt. The world has certainly warmed up: 2001 to 2010 was the warmest decade for which we have reliable measurements. Global temperatures are over one degree C above pre-industrial levels and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says most of the temperature rise since the 1950s is due to mankind.
But around 2007 it began to be noticed by so-called sceptics (usually scientists from other fields) that for a few years, global temperatures had not gone up. Perhaps the climate situation was more complicated than was first thought. They were of course lambasted, called deniers for just saying ‘look at this graph’. But the ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ or whatever it was called didn’t go away, at least until 2015, when the natural temperature spike that is El Nino started – a Pacific-based emergence of hot water that affects the entire globe for a year or two.
It would be fair to say that most climate scientists think the ‘hiatus’ exists and is a fascinating phenomenon that deserves study. There have been hundreds of research papers about it and over 30 explanations proffered. These range from ones focussed on heat going into the ocean, to ones which focus on the sun, or the stratosphere or even an unknown effect. The hiatus showed the importance of natural climate variability being, possibly for a while, stronger than long-term global warming. But some wouldn’t have it. The ‘pause’ had to be destroyed. That’s fair enough, but they need to make a case.
The latest evidence has just cropped …
Bone-chilling temperatures across the U.S. haven’t stopped 350.org from holding a “Day Against Denial,”featuring #Climate Change protests and events today asking people to tell their U.S. Senators to reject President-elect #Donald Trump’s cabinet picks. Specifically, choices like Rex Tillerson (State Dept.), Rick Perry (Energy Dept.), Jeff Sessions (AG), and Scott Pruitt (EPA head). 350.org is an activist group led by extremist Bill McKibben, who had previously said we should fight global warming just like we did the Nazis in WWII.
With reports that employees at the EPA and Energy Dept. started crying and needed counseling after Trump’s win, it’s no surprise to see 350.org exploiting those fears. And climatologist Michael Mann of ‘hockey stick’ fame told nearly 26,000 scientists last month to make their voices heard in the name of scientific research and “for the sake of the entire planet.” Even meteorologist Eric Holthaus released a tweet saying he was seeking counseling over his “climate despair.”
The George W. Bush-era EPA chief who recently criticized President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the agency worked for years lobbying various green energy projects, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Documents show that former EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman spent the last ten years lobbying the agency on behalf of a company seeking investment avenues for solar panel companies. The revelation comes shortly after Whitman called Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt a “climate denialist.”
Pruitt is facing a bruising nomination process before becoming the president-elect’s first EPA chief.
Whitman Strategy Group, the firm Whitman started shortly after her tenure with the agency, refutes claims it is a lobbyist. It argues instead that the firm merely helps companies lessen their carbon footprint.
BY JULIE KELLY, CONTRIBUTOR – 01/06/17 04
So who are the real deniers: those who are reasonably skeptical about climate change or those who give lots of lip service to it while living a lifestyle totally inimical to every tenet of the climate change creed?
To that end, you might be a climate change denier if:
You are the Holy Father of the largest denomination of the Christian faith who calls climate change “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day” and that coal, oil and gas must be replaced “without delay” yet lives a palatial lifestyle powered by fossil fuels.
You are the president of the United States who tried to ban fracking on public land because it emits greenhouse gases but then takes credit for cutting “dependence on foreign oil by more than half” thanks to fracking.
You are a presidential candidate whose primary message is blasting big corporations from Exxon to Monsanto for destroying the planet but then demands a private jet to make meaningless campaign appearances on behalf of the woman who beat you so you can keep getting attention for yourself.
You are a movie star who works in one of the most energy-intensive and frivolous industries but now earns fame by leading protests against fracking and demands the country live on 100 percent renewables by 2050 then jets your family off from Manhattan to Australia on a jumbo jet to take pictures of the Great Barrier Reef.
You are Robert Kennedy, Jr.
You drive a Tesla but don’t know the electricity comes from a grid supported by fossil fuels.
You are a legislator who pushes solar panels and wind turbines without having the slightest clue how much energy and materials — like steel, concrete, diesel fuel, fiberglass and plastic — are needed to manufacture them.
You are Leonardo DiCaprio
You are a suburban mom who looks down at other moms who don’t care/know/believe in climate change but you spend the day driving your privileged kids around in a pricy SUV and have two air-conditioners in your 6,000 square-foot house,
You oppose nuclear energy and/or genetically engineered crops.
You eat meat because meat production allegedly emits about 14.5 percent of greenhouse gases or some made-up number according to the United Nations.
You eat any sort of food because agriculture uses all kinds of climate polluting energy not to mention the big carbon footprint …
I call this fake news because it’s not news – media headlines around the world today (New York Times, Washington Post, DailyMail) are trumpeting the release of a final version of a draft report released with similar fanfare more than a year ago, announced today by the US Fish & Wildlife Service in the official US government publication, Federal Register.
“Without action on climate change, say goodbye to polar bears” is exactly the kind of sensationalized nonsense I address in my new detailed science book, Polar Bears: Outstanding Survivors of Climate Change (announced here, discussed here).
What the USFWS don’t tell the citizens that pay their salaries (in their Conservation Management Plan or their discussions with the press), is that since 2007 (see images above), summer sea ice coverage has declined to levels their sea ice colleagues said would not occur until 2050 yet 2/3 of the world’s polar bears did not disappear as USGS biolgists predicted (which is what got the bears listed as ‘threatened’ under the ESA). They also don’t tell folks that the recent decline in population size recorded for the Southern Beaufort Sea was caused by thick spring sea ice in 2004-2006, not reduced summer sea ice.
Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that this old hype is being recycled as ‘news’ prior to the inauguration of President-elect Trump? I surmise this based on the New York Times take, which includes this passage:
“Mr. Trump has signaled his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement — an accord the wildlife agency lauded in its report as a positive step toward ensuring the continued existence of polar bears — and he has shown little interest in making emissions reduction a priority. Nor is the price tag that accompanies the recovery plan for the polar bear, about $13 million a year, likely to be greeted with enthusiasm by a Republican-dominated Congress that includes members with no great love for the Endangered Species Act.”
If there is much of substance in this document (pdf here) that differs from the draft (pdf here), it would take a page by page analysis to discover (I discussed an interview with polar bear biologist Mitch Taylor regarding that 2015 draft report here).
However, I see that the Federal Register notice (pg. 2393, pdf here) does quote the …
Written by H. Sterling Burnett
Climate change is real and has happened throughout history on local, regional, continent-wide, and global scales, driven by a variety of atmospheric, cosmic, geologic, and meteorological factors.
Beginning in the latter half of the 20th century, some scientists—and later environmental lobbyists and politicians—began to worry Earth was changing in ways detrimental to humans and the environment. As Earth cooled modestly from the 1940s through the late 1970s, scientists began to warn of—and headlines began to trumpet—the coming of the next ice age.
By the 1980s, however, the purported problem shifted, and scientists and environmentalists began to warn human-created greenhouse-gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide resulting from burning fossil fuels, are warming the planet and that global warming would cause all manner of catastrophic climate changes—unless humans take extreme actions to stop it.
What We Know
Below, briefly, are the facts about greenhouse gasses and the purported human-caused global warming/climate change:
- Greenhouse gasses trap heat, making Earth habitable.
- Water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas, making up 97–98 percent of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and other trace greenhouse gases make up just 2–3 percent of all greenhouse gasses, and the share of carbon dioxide produced by humans is just a fraction of that.
- Earth came out of what some scientists refer to as the “Little Ice Age” in the early- to mid-1800s, decades before there was a rise in carbon-dioxide emissions, a pattern that historical analyses show is normal.
- Humanity’s share of carbon-dioxide emissions grew dramatically, beginning in the middle of the 20th century, with increasing industrialization.
- Although there are concerns about the soundness and consistency of the global system for measuring temperatures and disputes over possible data manipulation by various governments (due to the differences between measured and reported temperatures), the global average temperature has risen modestly since the 1880s, by about 1.4 degrees F, with approximately 40–50 percent of that warming occurring before the growth in greenhouse gases from human sources began.
Beyond these few statements, almost every other aspect of the climate change controversy is open to debate.
Differences between the claims made by those who believe in the theory human greenhouse-gas emissions significantly affect the climate and the actual measured changes strongly indicate humans are not causing a climate Armageddon and that climate alarmists’ theory is incorrect. In fact, based on the evidence, at the worst, humans are having …
Curry has been targeted by ranking members of the liberal climate change orthodoxy for daring to dispute any sound reasons for doomsday alarm or for implementing related draconian regulatory programs. She told E&E News in a Jan. 3 interview, “The one thing we know is that the commitments we’ve made, in Paris, will probably prevent about two-tenths of a degree of warming by the end of the 21st century. What is the point?”…
Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry told Fox News host Tucker Carlson she was so sick of politicization of global warming in academia she resigned from her tenured position at Georgia Tech.
“I’ve been vilified by some of my colleagues who are activists and don’t like anybody challenging their big story,” Curry told Carlson Friday night.
“I walk around with knives sticking out of my back,” she said. “In the university environment I felt like I was just beating my head against the wall.”
Curry, a skeptic that humans are causing catastrophic global warming, announced Tuesday she was retiring from academic life to focus more on her own climate analytics business and blogging. A big reason she decided to leave, though, had to do with the “craziness” of climate science.
“Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment — funding, ease of getting your papers published, getting hired in prestigious positions, appointments to prestigious committees and boards, professional recognition, etc,” she wrote. “How young scientists are to navigate all this is beyond me, and it often becomes a battle of scientific integrity versus career suicide.”
Curry has been attacked by colleagues for questioning claims made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other scientists who use climate models to claim humans are the main cause of recent global warming.
“There’s far too little funding and effort going into studying natural climate variability,” Curry told Carlson.
“It’s clearly warming, and it’s been warming overall for several hundred years. The key question is how much of the warming, say for the last 50 years, is caused by humans,” she said. “I don’t see a clear signal that it is being caused by humans predominantly.”…