Susan Crockford.

Susan Crockford is een Canadese zoöloge, die bekend is geworden door haar opvattingen over de staat waarin de ijsberenpopulatie zich bevindt. In tegenstelling tot een aantal van haar collega’s is zij van mening dat het goed gaat met de ijsberen.

Naar aanleiding van een lasterlijk aanval op haar wetenschappelijke competentie en integriteit van een aantal wetenschappers onder aanvoering van de Wageningse klimaatinquisiteur Jeff Harvey schonk ik eerder aandacht aan haar opvattingen.

Onlangs heeft de ‘Global Warming Policy Foundation’ (GWPF) een rapport van haar gepubliceerd, waarin zij haar bevindingen nader heeft uitgewerkt.

Nagenoeg tegelijkertijd verscheen een opiniebijdrage van haar in de Canadese ‘Financial Times’. Ik pik er een aantal elementen uit.

Polar bears are flourishing, making them phony icons, and false idols, for global warming alarmists.

The polar bear’s resilience should have meant the end of its use as an icon of global warming doom.

Polar bears keep thriving even as global warming alarmists keep pretending they’re dying

One powerful polar bear fact is slowly rising above the message of looming catastrophe repeated endlessly by the media: More than 15,000 polar bears have not disappeared since 2005. Although the extent of the summer sea ice after 2006 dropped abruptly to levels not expected until 2050, the predicted 67-per-cent decline in polar bear numbers simply didn’t happen. Rather, global polar bear numbers have been stable or slightly improved. The polar bear’s resilience should have meant the end of its use as a cherished icon of global warming doom, but it didn’t. The alarmism is not going away without a struggle.

Part of this struggle involves a scientific clash about transparency in polar bear science. My close examination of recent research has revealed that serious inconsistencies exist within the polar bear literature and between that literature and public statements made by some researchers.

For example, Canadian polar bear biologist Ian Stirling learned in the 1970s that spring sea ice in the southern Beaufort Sea periodically gets so thick that seals depart, depriving local polar bears of their prey and causing their numbers to plummet. But that fact, documented in more than a dozen scientific papers, is not discussed today as part of polar bear ecology. In these days of politicized science, neither Stirling nor his colleagues mention in public the devastating effects of thick spring ice in the Beaufort Sea; instead, they imply in recent papers that the starving bears they witnessed are victims of reduced summer sea ice, which they argued depleted the bears’ prey. …

One reason that the 2007 predictions of future polar bear survival were so far off base is that the model developed by American biologist Steven Amstrup (now at Polar Bears International, an NGO) assumed any polar bear population decline would be caused by less summer ice, despite the Beaufort Sea experience. Moreover, Amstrup and fellow modelers were overly confident in their claim that summer ice was critical for the polar bear’s survival and they had little data on which to base their assumption that less summer ice would devastate the polar bears’ prey. ...

That starving-bear video may have convinced a few more gullible people that only hundreds of polar bears are left in the world. But it also motivated others to locate the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List report for 2015 that estimated global polar bear numbers at somewhere between 22,000-31,000, or about 26,000, up slightly from 20,000-25,000, or about 22,500, in 2005. Newer counts not included in the 2015 assessment potentially add another 2,500 or so to the total. This increase may not be statistically significant, but it is decidedly not the 67-per-cent decline that was predicted given the ice conditions that prevailed.

The failure of the 2007 polar bear survival model is a simple fact that explodes the myth that polar bears are on their way to extinction. Although starving-bear videos and scientifically insignificant research papers still make the news, they don’t alter the facts: Polar bears are thriving, making them phony icons, and false idols, for global warming alarmists.

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