ClimateGate news

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Bear Facts

Excerpt from an article at the Western Standard:

And so it is that environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund have begun using images of the polar bear to draw the world's attention to global warming. Their argument goes something like this: humans should cut back on their emissions of greenhouse gases, because those gases are warming the atmosphere at an alarming rate, causing temperatures in the Arctic to rise. As a result, sea ice forms less frequently, and polar bears are losing the icy platforms from which they hunt for seals. The bears, therefore, might die off because of global warming, which leads directly to the grand finale--a plea to save the polar bear by giving money to the fight against global warming.


However, all that's known for sure about the world's polar bear population is that it is in flux. It is stable in many areas, decreasing in a few and increasing in a few others, according to a new status table compiled by the Polar Bear Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union. Lily Peacock, the government of Nunavut's polar bear biologist, reveals there are large gaps in the research, and that experts can't truthfully say whether the overall population is rising or falling. "That's why, when we talk about the entire world's population, we say between 20,000 and 25,000," Peacock says. But if this figure is accurate, then polar bear numbers have actually more than doubled in the past half-century. More than half of the world's polar bears can be found in Canada, and about 90 per cent of these make their homes in Nunavut.
Read the full article here (free registration required)

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