Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Truth About Polar Bears vs. Global Warming

An article about polar bears by a wildlife biologist. He sees no reason to panic over the effects of climate change on the polar bear population.

Last stand of our wild polar bears
Dr. Mitchell TaylorPolar Bear Biologist,Department of the Environment, Government of Nunavut , Igloolik , Nunavut , CanadaMay 1, 2006
Tim Flannery is one of Australia 's best-known scientists and authors. That doesn't mean what he says is correct or accurate. That was clearly demonstrated when he recently ventured into the subject of climate change and polar bears. Climate change is threatening to drive polar bears into extinction within 25 years, according to Flannery. That is a startling conclusion and certainly is a surprising revelation to the polar bear researchers who work here and to the people who live here. We really had no idea.

The evidence for climate change effects on polar bears described by Flannery is incorrect. He says polar bears typically gave birth to triplets, but now they usually have just one cub. That is wrong. All research and traditional knowledge shows that triplets, though they do occur, are very infrequent and are by no means typical. Polar bears generally have two cubs — sometimes three and sometimes one. He says the bears' weaning time has risen to 18 months from 12. That is wrong. The weaning period has not changed. Polar bears worldwide have a three-year reproduction cycle, except for one part of Hudson Bay for a period in the mid-1980s when the cycle was shorter.

One polar bear population (western Hudson Bay ) has declined since the 1980s and the reproductive success of females in that area seems to have decreased. We are not certain why, but it appears that ecological conditions in the mid-1980s were exceptionally good. Climate change is having an effect on the west Hudson population of polar bears, but really, there is no need to panic.

Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada , 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present. It is noteworthy that the neighbouring population of southern Hudson Bay does not appear to have declined, and another southern population ( Davis Strait ) may actually be over-abundant. I understand that people who do not live in the north generally have difficulty grasping the concept of too many polar bears in an area. People who live here have a pretty good grasp of what that is like to have too many polar bears around. This complexity is why so many people find the truth less entertaining than a good story. It is entirely appropriate to be concerned about climate change, but it is just silly to predict the demise of polar bears in 25 years based on media-assisted hysteria.
Dr. Mitchell Taylor,


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Pete, who is Mitch Taylor? Usually I read what you've posted and then look for independent verification and credentials on the web...but I cannot confirm who this guy is exactly. He is nowhere to be found on the Government of Nunavut's various websites; his email (which I got off one of the other web-postings) was returned invalid; I emailed the director of Nunavut's media services and am waiting to hear back; otherwise this guy does not seem to exist except on alarmist blogs which post this article and another article on Taylor one which claims that he was banned from some mysterious climate warming meeting by evil alarmists.

Are you 100% sure this guy is even real? I will post back if I find anything.

Sigh. Oh Pete, Pete, Pete...

Anonymous said...

Anon is getting desperate. He/she can't dispute facts and common sense so he/she questions the "credibility" of those who don't share his beliefs. These are the tactics of childish, ignorant losers.

Anonymous said...

Meh. New Anon. Is that the best you can do? Cliche, boring and - do I need to point this out? - a lame attempt to discredit me by simple name calling. And I also hate to point out the obvious, but it is pretty easy to discredit a guy who may not exist. Or if he does exist, is somewhere in hiding. Or something.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Mitchell Taylor is a well known researcher and if someone cannot find him on the internet; they do not know how to use the internet. Try to Google his full name - duh!

Or try this link:

Denis said...

In the few polar bear populations where the population is declining, slightly, the reason is that the Inuit are killing them - which is their right under law. If the Inuit stopped killing them the population would become too large.

Fearless Trev said...

I recently read the polar bears are actually mating with grizzly bears. Do you have any information on this?