Saturday, February 18, 2017

Polar Bear Numbers Still On The Rise, Despite Global Warming

Bates, Burgers & The Scientific Integrity Of NOAA
Brought to you by Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Forum

Polar bear populations are still growing despite global warming, according to new research. The new population estimates from the 2016 Scientific Working Group are somewhere between 22,633 to 32,257 bears, which is a net increase from the 2015 number of 22,000 to 31,000. The current population numbers are a sharp increase from 2005’s, which stated only 20,000 to 25,000 bears remained — those numbers were a major increase from estimates that only 8,000 to 10,000 bears remained in the late 1960s. Scientists are increasingly realizing that polar bears are much more resilient to changing levels of sea ice than environmentalists previously believed, and numerous healthy populations are thriving. --Andrew Follett, The Daily Caller, 16 February 2017

The new BB and KB subpopulation estimates should increase the 2015 global population size estimate issued in 2015 by the IUCN Red List from 22,000-31,000 to 22,633-32,257 which would likely be rounded off to 22,500-32,000. But wait! That estimate does not include a reported 42% increase in the Svalbard portion of the Barents Sea subpopulation in late 2015 that was not included in the Red List assessment of 2644 based on 2004 data. Therefore, when the Svalbard increase and the Baffin Bay/Kane Basin increases are all added to the 2015 Red List estimate, it might give a revised 2015 global estimate of something like 23,000-33,000 depending on how all the results are interpreted. --Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, 15 February 2017

Rose is not the story. Bates is not the story. The story is the circumvention of procedures put in place to protect the integrity of the data, and hence the reputation of the NOAA. No, the issues are as Bates outlined: “Ethical standards must be maintained”. There can be no confidence in data without confidence in the procedures surrounding collection and storage of data. And persons or organizations that place no value in these procedures further erode confidence. --Toad Liquor, 14 February 2017

President Trump will soon turn his attention to another major campaign promise—rolling back the Obama climate agenda—and according to one quoted administration source his executive orders on that topic will “suck the air out of the room.” That’s good, but only if Team Trump finishes the job by casting into that vacuum the Paris climate accord. That’s no longer a certainty. Here’s the terrible risk of the wimpy approach: If the environmental left has learned anything over the past 20 years, it’s that the judicial branch is full of reliable friends. Republicans don’t share the green agenda, and the Democratic administrations that do are hampered by laws and procedures. But judges get things done. Need a snail added to the endangered species list? Want to shut down a dam? File a lawsuit with a friendly court and get immediate, binding results. --Kimberley A. Strassel, The Wall Street Journal, 17 February 2017

Will Happer is an eminent physicist at Princeton who has chosen (along with his colleague Freeman Dyson) to plant a flag on the skeptic side of the climate debate.  Recently his name has been floated as a potential candidate for the position of Science Advisor to President Trump. Yesterday Happer gave an interview to the Guardian newspaper. When it came to the issue of “climate change,” Happer didn’t pull any punches: “There’s a whole area of climate so-called science that is really more like a cult,” Happer told the Guardian. “It’s like Hare Krishna or something like that. They’re glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science.” The word “cult” may be a little over the top, but whatever it is, it sure isn’t science. --Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, 17 February 2017

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