From Dr. Susan Crockford’s Polar Bear Science
Posted on February 27, 2020 | Feedback Off on State of the Polar Bear Report 2019: Are polar bear researchers hiding excellent news?
Worldwide Polar Bear Day is an effective day to ask: Are polar bear researchers hiding excellent news? Prolonged lags in publishing polar bear counts and a failure to publish information on feminine polar bear physique weights and cub survival in Western Hudson Bay for greater than 25 years make it seem like polar bear researchers are delaying and suppressing excellent news.
Specifically, the failure to report the information on cub survival and weights of feminine bears means that these well being measures haven’t declined during the last 20 years as claimed. If these figures are certainly the strongest proof that sea ice loss attributable to local weather change is harming Western Hudson Bay polar bears, why on earth have they not been made public? And why received’t a single journalist ask to see that information?
GWPF press launch, London, 27 February 2020:
A outstanding Canadian zoologist has urged that scientists could also be hiding a spate of fine information on polar bears.
In State of the Polar Bear Report 2019, revealed by the International Warming Coverage Basis (GWPF) on Worldwide Polar Bear Day, Dr Susan Crockford explains publication of inhabitants counts for a number of Arctic areas have been lengthy overdue.
Information on the physique situation of feminine bears and survival of cubs in Western Hudson Bay haven’t been revealed in over 25 years, regardless of claims that these are key measures of the affect of local weather change on bears.
In line with Dr Crockford, this could be as a result of the information don’t assist claims of catastrophe for the bears.
Dr Crockford additionally says that sea ice circumstances for Western and Southern Hudson Bay bears have been glorious in recent times.
“It may possibly hardly be claimed that lack of sea ice is inflicting Western and Southern Hudson Bay polar bear numbers to say no because of poor cub survival and decreased weights of grownup females when breakup and freeze-up dates have been so advantageous for the final three years,” Dr Crockford mentioned.
The report additionally seems at current incidents when two Russian Arctic cities have been visited by polar bears, and solutions that 2019 was the yr of the polar bear ‘invasion’. The lives of native residents have been actually threatened by the congregations of bears, which numbered greater than 50.
And as Dr Crockford explains, such giant congregations of polar bears are more likely to be an on-going downside as a result of there are actually so many polar bears roaming the Arctic and since nearly all communities nonetheless have open rubbish dumps:
There isn’t a proof these 2019 ‘invasion’ incidents have been attributable to an area lack of sea ice or as a result of the polar bears have been ravenous. Proper now, Arctic residents and guests face a a lot higher danger of getting a lethal encounter with a polar bear at nearly any time of yr than they did many years in the past as a result of polar bear populations are a lot bigger.
“Predictions of future calamity don’t change the current actuality that polar bears are plentiful and thriving,” Dr Crockford mentioned.
Obtain the report right here.
• Experiences have but to be revealed for polar bear inhabitants surveys of M’Clintock Channel and Viscount Melville (accomplished 2016 and 2014, respectively), Southern Beaufort and Gulf of Boothia (accomplished 2017) and Davis Strait (accomplished 2018), but a number of have been promised for 2019 or sooner.
• At current, the official IUCN Purple Listing international inhabitants estimate (2015) is 22,000–31,000 (common about 26,000), however surveys carried out since then would possibly elevate the typical to about 29,500.
• Regardless of having to take care of modifications in summer season sea ice habitat higher than all different Arctic areas, in response to Norwegian biologists polar bears within the Svalbard space of the Barents Sea confirmed few destructive impacts from the low sea ice years of 2016 by 2019.
• Regardless of repeated claims that the Southern Beaufort subpopulation is declining and nutritionally harassed, a summer season survey of the coast of Alaska in 2019 documented 31 fats wholesome polar bears onshore in July in comparison with solely three in 2017, when sea ice retreat had been equally early.
• In 2019, and opposite to expectations, freeze-up of sea ice on Western Hudson Bay got here as early within the autumn because it did within the 1980s (for the third yr in a row); sea ice breakup in spring was just like the 1980s too, with the outcome that polar bears onshore have been in glorious situation.
• If the general public are to take severely repeated claims of hurt to polar bear well being and survival attributable to local weather change, information collected since 2004 on cub survival and weights of feminine polar bears in Western Hudson Bay have to be made out there: it has now been greater than 25 years since information has been revealed on cub survival and weights of feminine polar bears in Western Hudson Bay however polar bear specialists proceed to quote decades-old information to assist their statements that lack of sea ice is inflicting declines in physique situation and inhabitants measurement.
• Since polar bear researchers acknowledge that there was no destructive development in both freeze-up or breakup dates for sea ice in Western Hudson Bay since not less than 2001, the failure to report present information on cub survival and weights of feminine bears means that physique situation and cub survival haven’t declined during the last 20 years as claimed.
• Two separate incidents at reverse ends of the Russian Arctic originally and the top of 2019 made this the yr of the polar bear ‘invasion’. Belushya Guba within the Barents Sea over the winter of 2018/2019 and Ryrkaypiy, Chukotka in December 2019 have been every besieged by greater than 50 bears, which terrified native residents. Though tragedy was finally averted, that is more likely to be an on-going downside for Arctic settlements sooner or later: not as a result of there’s not sufficient sea ice however as a result of there are actually so many polar bears roaming Arctic coastlines.
Crockford, S.J. 2020. State of the Polar Bear Report 2019. International Warming Coverage Basis Report 39, London. pdf right here.