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« Greenpeace and the Labour party | Main | Greens trashing the environment part 625 »
Friday
Jul172015

More polar bear poop

Another day, another misleading piece on the alleged dangers of global warming. This time it's an article by Matt McGrath, which sexes up claims made in a new paper about polar bear metabolisms:

Polar bears are unable to adapt their behaviour to cope with the food losses associated with warmer summers in the Arctic.

Scientists had believed that the animals would enter a type of 'walking hibernation' when deprived of prey.

But new research says that that bears simply starve in hotter conditions when food is scarce...

Polar bears survive mainly on a diet of seals that they hunt on the sea ice - but increased melting in the summer reduces seal numbers and as a result the bears struggle to find a meal.

The paper's findings about polar bear metabolisms may well be correct, but McGrath's background "information" is plain wrong. Polar bears do most of their feeding in the spring, when seal pups are born. Moreover, seal populations are seen to have little correlation to summer ice, but instead are linked to winter and spring ice levels, with thick ice proving problematic. What is more, bears don't feed very much in the summer anyway, as an excerpt from a paper by Hammill and Smith makes clear:

In late spring, polar bears enter a period of intense feeding (Stirling and McEwan 1975, Ramsay and Stirling 1988), which begins with the onset of the ringed seal pupping season. …Feeding on young seals continues throughout the spring and early summer as bears replenish depleted fat reserves. After ice breakup, bears move ashore and begin another period of little feeding (Stirling and McEwan 1975, Ramsay and Stirling 1988).

So we being asked to worry about polar bears' struggling to get food at a time of year when they don't feed anyway.

It's probably something to do with the unique way the BBC is funded.

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Reader Comments (48)

Propaganda like this is exactly hat the BBC has been doing for years now and is exactly why the public tax, which is the licence fee, should be scrapped.

Jul 17, 2015 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

Poop pooed by Dr. Susan Crockford in her thoughtful and estimable blog linked below.


http://polarbearscience.com/2015/07/16/new-paper-finds-experts-were-wrong-polar-bears-are-not-walking-hibernators/#more-67809

Jul 17, 2015 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterroger

McGrath is out there to make a very good impression of what an idiot would write if hired as greenie eco warrior writer for climate change obsessed unaccountable BBC.

I'm sure he's a very intelligent person who should find no trouble in getting his impersonation abilities well paid in Hollywood.

Jul 17, 2015 at 9:52 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

The BBC is unable to adapt their behaviour to cope with the money losses associated with lack of warmer summers in the Arctic.

Scientists had believed that the BBC would enter a type of 'walking hibernation' when deprived of licence fees.

But new research says that that the BBC will simply starve in hotter conditions when money is scarce...

The BBC survives mainly on a diet of left wing propaganda and public money that they hunt on the sea ice - but increased melting in the summer reduces sheeple numbers and as a result the BBC directors struggle to find an expensive meal paid for by us.

Jul 17, 2015 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

roger:

As I quoted on unthreaded:

The costs of the study were steep, requiring around 200 people, and the hiring of an icebreaker and helicopters. The researchers believe that the endeavour is unlikely ever to be repeated,

"The cost was extremely high for such a study but our results are indisputable so I doubt anyone will feel the need to repeat this," said Prof Merav Ben-David, from the University of Wyoming, another author.

Indisputable? GO on, you know you want to...

I note we now have a new benchmark for scientific infallibility - "We spent so much money on it it has to be right - no-one should dare try to disprove it". Or isn't that how most of climate science already works?

Jul 17, 2015 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Polar bear experts will soon exceed the number of polar bears, yet polar bears numbers are not falling.

Experts on polar bear experts, have concluded that this is due to their financially rewarding breeding programme, and an over rich diet, funded by gullible media.

To prevent famine caused by over population, a 50% cull is recommended, along with a programme of selective sterilisation, for those suffering from an over exaggerated sense of the relevance of their own importance. This will also allow the eradication of any defective genes and DNA, leaving the species healthier in the longer term, and more able to adapt to reduced funding.

Jul 17, 2015 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

How do they explain the survival of polar bears during the multi-millennium Holocene Climate Optimum (hypsisthermal) which was a few degrees warmer than now until about 5,000 years ago?

URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum

Or how they survived the last inter-glacial period (the Eemian) 100,000 years or so ago? Sea level was at least 2 meters higher than now, an indicator of warmth.

Jul 17, 2015 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrederick Colbourne

Ivor Ward - snap!

Do you suffer from Compassion fatigue for the imminent extinction of polar bear experts? If so, you are not alone. Contact a greedy solicitor and sue the BBC.

Polar bear experts deserve everything they are about to no longer receive, but where there is blame, there is a claim. So don't be afraid to maximise the publicity and damage caused by exploitative reporting. You know it makes more sense than climate science, and climate scientists and reporters have been doing it for years.

The BBC's role in Public Disinformation must end soon, so sue now, while assets remain.

Jul 17, 2015 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"The costs of the study were steep, requiring around 200 people, and the hiring of an icebreaker and helicopters. The researchers believe that the endeavour is unlikely ever to be repeated,"

Unlikely to be repeated in the Arctic Winter where you cant see the thin Ice Cravaces and Hungry Polar Bears in permanent 24 hour darkness.

Jul 17, 2015 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Whilst it is currently fashionable to slag off the BBC (and I hold no brief for them), they are reporting on a paper in Science, one of the oft-claimed most prestigious science journals. They and every other media outlet are reporting the paper, why would they offer a critical expose of of it? They are reporting the content of the paper, railing against the BBC will not stop these papers coming out.

I find no difference in the reporting between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, who gave George Monbiot his "re-wilding" platform the other night, Sky etc. They all report the nonsense as fact and do not report the rebuttals from experts like Susan Crockford, who has been exposing the flawed advocacy science surrounding polar bears for some time now.

Yet again the real science is found on blog sites, not the so-called prestigious science journals, which have in the main been taken over by the agenda scientists by means of the editorial boards. Just look at the nonsense coming from the Chief Editor of Science:

"All of us … are borrowing against this Earth in the name of economic growth, accumulating an environmental debt by burning fossil fuels, the consequences of which will be left for our children and grandchildren to bear. Marcia McNutt – Chief Editor, Science Magazine."

Her "preaching" is expertly demolished on this excellent web site: http://blackjay.net

For some magnificent images of Polar Bears from someone who lives where they do, check out http://polarbearalley.com

Jul 17, 2015 at 10:46 AM | Registered Commenterdennisa

Dennisa

The abstract suggests the paper is focused on bear metabolism. I think it's been sexed up by the BBC, but I'd have to read the full paper to be sure.

Jul 17, 2015 at 10:58 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I saw this last night on BBC News channel, on the red news scroller at the bottom of the screen.

No room there for any details, so they went with something short and pithy, like "Polar bears dying out due to global warming" - and no further details.

Jul 17, 2015 at 11:02 AM | Registered Commentersteve ta

Check this out and once again normal reaction, so when did the records begin.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27214-arctic-winter-sea-ice-shrinks-to-record-low/

Jul 17, 2015 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

"The costs of the study were steep, requiring around 200 people, and the hiring of an icebreaker and helicopters. The researchers believe that the endeavour is unlikely ever to be repeated,"

All Polar Bears hoping to be left in peace to hunt seals and their young sincerely hope this will be the case

Jul 17, 2015 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

"bears simply starve in hotter conditions" How hot does it get in the arctic? Isn't there a subtle linguistic difference between "warm" and "hot".

Jul 17, 2015 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered Commenterbenpal

Of course most land-based creatures tend to starve when it is cold in winter, not summer.
What these genii have discovered is in fact commonly observed throughout the animal kingdom-when seasonal food is absent, animals tend to stop eating it.

Jul 17, 2015 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27912-chance-of-polar-bears-surviving-food-shortage-recedes-with-ice/

No comments section at New Scientist so hitting here ,

Film Director George Lucas knew of the difficulties of Polar Research ,so in Star Wars Episode 5 the Empire used a Droid to seek out the Rebel base in a frozen wilderness in the Hoff System .

So question has anyone actually used Satellite or Remote Infra Red Sensors to track Polar Bear Migration and Hibernation Patterns.
Has a Polar Researcher ever Tranquilized a Polar Bear and pinned a Wireless Tracker on it.

As the Polar Ice seasonally retreats and advances local wildlife obviously migrates with it.
So if the Seals are moving inland the Bears must be tracking with them too.
More to the point is anyone counting Polar Bear numbers so Polar Bears are not an Endangered Species Status quite yet

Seasonal Shrinking and Expanding Polar Ice creating Natural Seasonal Polar Wildlife Habitats.

Jul 17, 2015 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Ivor Ward

+1

"bears simply starve in hotter conditions"

So would journalists in that 'heat'. It's like the oceans becoming all acidic, when they remain stubbornly alkaline.

Jul 17, 2015 at 12:07 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Cripes. How do you in the UK, a democratic quasi-autonomous state of the EU stand idly by the compulsory governmental extraction of "paying" for the BBC? It is utterly beyond rational comprehension.

Jul 17, 2015 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterManfred

The BBC apparently don't even read their own stories on the same day:
Arctic deal bans North Pole fishing.

The US and Russia are among five countries to have signed a deal to prevent commercial fishing in the melting Arctic sea ice near the North Pole.
Norway, Canada and Denmark also backed the agreement signed in Oslo.
Although the central Arctic is unlikely to have fish stocks for some time, scientists believe they will arrive as thinning ice melts in the summer.

So that headline could have been "Global warming rides to the rescue of Arctic Seals and thus Polar Bears"?

Jul 17, 2015 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I've now been sent a copy of the paper. As suspected, it has been sexed up by the BBC (among others).

Jul 17, 2015 at 12:32 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Once again, the BBC aspires to educate the world yet they cannot educate themselves.

Jul 17, 2015 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

" (...) but increased melting in the summer reduces seal numbers (...)"

Really? How does that work?

Jul 17, 2015 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterSleepalot

Jul 17, 2015 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart : http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33549606

So they have signed an arctic fishing ban in a place where there are no fish which only applies until there are fish and then they will agree to fish quotas. Sounds like a deal along the lines of Obama' s agreement to let China carry on as normal til 2030 and then think about reducing emissions if their economy can stand it, meanwhile shutting down the US Economy by 25%. Or even Obama's deal with Iran to let them develop nuclear weapons only subject to inspection if we can prove they are doing it. It would seem that Western negotiators have a lot to learn. Roll on Paris. We have a few things left to sign away.......or have we?

Jul 17, 2015 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterivor Ward

Arctic sea ice melts in the summer.

That's because its..... err...... summer....

Damn - I should've applied for a massive grant, hired an icebreaker and climate scientists (various), and gone on a jolly to PROVE the above, instead of just looking at the Sea Ice Page on Wattsupwiththat...

Jul 17, 2015 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Well done!

For me, the BBC conjures up visions of a mix of the Palace of Versailles before the Revolution for the sundry princes, dukes, and duchesses (they have different titles in the Beeb of course, but they share wealth, power, and position with little or no accountability provided they do not offend their Court too much), plus below them layers of would-be community organisers, social justice warriors, and active members of a wide selection of leftist factions who are only seen by the public en masse when they appear on the streets during BBC strikes. None of it is appealing. Decadent at one level, degenerate at another.

Jul 17, 2015 at 1:23 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

As journalists, it is the total lack of intellectual curiosity that is so galling. I mean if someone tells him that polar bears are in big trouble because of current global warming, why wouldn't he ask how they managed to survive the MWP, the Holocene optimum or the Eemian interglacial, when it was so warm there were hippos froliking in the Thames, FFS.

Jul 17, 2015 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterImranCan

Has anyone been keeping a log of BBC climate change propaganda and related scandals such as 28Gate?

Now would be a good time to send a copy to John Whittingdale.

Jul 17, 2015 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

John Shade, I appreciate the comparison, but think the guillotine would be excessive, especially when polar bears prefer fresh meat.

Given the tactics of various extreme political police, secret files should be kept, to determine which individuals at the BBC most deserve a one way ticket to the arctic, so they can do their bit for starving polar bears. Live reporting could become a gladiatorial spectator sport.

Jul 17, 2015 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

At this rate by 2025 starving bear cubs won't know what seals are.

Jul 17, 2015 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

cheshirered, at this rate by 2025, BBC science experts will still believe the Arctic circle is a place where big lorries turn around.

Jul 17, 2015 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Kate at the blog smalldeadanimals.com points out that Walt Disney is responsible for the deaths of those idiots who think they can cuddle wild animals because he started an entire industry that brainwashes children at a very early age to the idea that animals are just humans with fur (or scales).

This seems to be the adult version of the idea: humans trying to think like animals.

This type of "science" can be debunked with a very short question: what did the animals do the LAST time it was as warm as even the most catastrophic predictions would have it?

Jul 17, 2015 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaligulaJones

"bears simply starve .. when food is scarce"

That would be Natural Selection, then. Charles Darwin q.v.

Jul 17, 2015 at 4:35 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

John Shade wrote:
"For me, the BBC conjures up visions of a mix of the Palace of Versailles before the Revolution ..."

I understand that Versailles had no 'amenities' so people, courtiers etc, standing waiting simple 'went' where they stood... Maybe that's why the BBC moved some staff to Salford?

Jul 17, 2015 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Foster

Iqaluit

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/iqaluit-grocery-shelves-left-bare-as-ice-and-fog-hinder-food-shipments/article25543820/

At the same time, an abnormal amount of ice in Frobisher Bay – which also enabled polar bears to wander into town – is making it difficult for an icebreaker to carve a path for cargo ships delivering gas and annual food shipments that residents order to avoid the Arctic’s high food prices

Jul 17, 2015 at 8:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

Slightly off topic but this is yet another example where spin and wrong information produce false confirmation of global warming.

Are these people deliberate liars? I suspect that the polarisation of this subject preconditions people on both sides to read and interpret information through a filter that reinforces the message that they want to hear. Thus believers swallow the alarmist message and sceptics have doubts about all warming claims.

This filtration process seems to affect the scientists as well. Normally we would hope that scientific observation is the decisive factor when evaluating theories and the models that simulate them, but with climate science, observation is discarded if it fails to support the current theory and the flawed model is given credibility based on dismissal of the observations.

I'm beginning to realise that climate science is flawed right to its core due to this type of behaviour.

Jul 17, 2015 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Slightly off topic but this is yet another example where spin and wrong information produce false confirmation of global warming.

Are these people deliberate liars? I suspect that the polarisation of this subject preconditions people on both sides to read and interpret information through a filter that reinforces the message that they want to hear. Thus believers swallow the alarmist message and sceptics have doubts about all warming claims.

This filtration process seems to affect the scientists as well. Normally we would hope that scientific observation is the decisive factor when evaluating theories and the models that simulate them, but with climate science, observation is discarded if it fails to support the current theory and the flawed model is given credibility based on dismissal of the observations.

I'm beginning to realise that climate science is flawed right to its core due to this type of behaviour.

Jul 17, 2015 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

S. Cat

Couldn't agree more. They are either too lazy to fully research a topic, blinkered and suffering from severe confirmation bias or just plain outright liars.

Possibly all three, in other words they are all lazy, stupid, liars.

Mike

Jul 17, 2015 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton

Andrew, this is a link to a must see documentary on Malaria. It deserves a bit of PR.

http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/53748/3-Billion-and-Counting---

Pointman

Jul 18, 2015 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

If you were brought up in the Cold War era all you have to do is to cast your minds back to the Bolshevic terminology of 1950.
97 percent of the media are the running dogs of environmentalism.

Jul 18, 2015 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterGordoni

Now here is an important story that may affect us all next winter
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/11747790/Britain-could-face-blackouts-if-the-wind-doesnt-blow.html

Jul 18, 2015 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Peter

Troll comments and follow ups removed

Jul 19, 2015 at 8:47 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Thanks, Frederick Colbourne for bringing up a point that has struck me continually since the martyrdom of the polar bears first became an issue. They are a much, much older species than us, and must be able to survive in warm eras because, plainly, they have done so repeatedly. The whole polar bear extinction business has always struck me as what I call "deliberate mistake" propaganda - i.e., where the hole in the argument is so gaping that the true believer must work that little bit harder to believe, thus subtly increasing his commitment to the cause.

Also, jamesp, Bravo. It always irritates the hell out of me when environmentalists "forget" the distinction between species and individual animals.

We may (I think we do) have an obligation to consider the welfare of other species besides our own. We are not obliged to make every living creature on the planet happy. For creatures in the wild, suffering is, by and large, their lot. They are much more comfortable in zoos, but it isn't good for them. They go crazy. If we were dumping toxic waste that gave them skin diseases (which we probably are, to be honest) that's one thing, but the idea that we're causing prey shortages and the poor bears are starving - well, yes. That's what they do. It goes on until the predator/prey ratio evens out. It's called adaptation. It's what a species does when it can't go on the dole.

(And the Greens do realise that the bears eat the seals, don't they? And that it's non-voluntary on the seal's part?)

And Schrodinger's Cat; "I'm beginning to realise that climate science is flawed right to its core due to this type of behaviour." You only just realised this? It reminds me a lot (believe it or not) of the Byzantine Empire. At one time a really interesting, high level philosophical discussion was going on about the fate of the soul and the nature of God, with the Stoics in the lead but plenty of runners-up and mavericks putting their oar in. Suddenly the Emperor went Christian (good Mummy's boy that he was) and the only question was "are you a Homoousian or a Homoiousian" A question thoroughly begged. People were killing each other over this.

That's what climate science is like. The question stopped being "How does the climate work?" the minute that Global Warming became the official state religion. Now it's just "Exactly how big a disaster is the flawed human race causing with its evil technology?" (And how can we make it look bigger?)

Jul 19, 2015 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterUncle Gus

These guys want the Polar bears to eat during their non eating period so they get get obese. That would be an opportunity for the U.S. First lady's Lunch Program to be exported to the Arctic. Setting her for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Jul 19, 2015 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterDEEBEE

I do like to check in from time to time to see how the howling nutjobs are doing. Unsurprisingly, you're just going madder and madder in your little echo chambers.

So, on top of all the other things Andrew Montford (the accountant) knows nothing about, yet claims to know more about than all the people who actually do work in that field, we can add polar bears to the list. Don't worry polar bears, the people who have studied you their whole lives have concerns for your numbers and future, but a paranoid conspiracy accountant in Scotland says you're doing fine. So no problems there.

I notice Andrew Montford still refuses to give any details regarding his funding for all his pro-fossil fuel activities.

Jul 19, 2015 at 5:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

The problem with most scientific research is starting off with the wrong assumption and never bothering to verify it. The fact is that polar bears will eat anything. That they concentrate on seal pups is only because there is little else. Warming increases their alternative food choices; cold is their real enemy, as it is for most life on Earth. And regardless of cyclical Arctic warming, their greatest danger will always be being shot when they come too close to a village. Quite how the bears acquired a better PR agent than the seal pups is beyond me; maybe it was the Coca Cola ads.

Jul 20, 2015 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

"We may (I think we do) have an obligation to consider the welfare of other species besides our own." --Uncle Gus

Perhaps. But protection has been granted to sub-species and sub-sub-species, and so on, all the way down. This is insanity. California is in a severe drought, yet billions of gallons of freshwater are being dumped to protect the "Delta Smelt," a bait fish.

Jul 21, 2015 at 12:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

FFS.

A polar bear is just a white Grizzly bear.

They can inter-breed.

So if Grizzlies can survive in "hotter" climes than polar bears [they do], why would a "hotter" Arctic bother polar bears?

Jul 22, 2015 at 8:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus

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