No Reliable Data on Historical Polar Bear Numbers – A Note from Nichole Hoskin

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have become a symbol of global warming, and their predicted decline a sign of worst to come, but until very recently population estimates were really just educated guesses. Current polar bear numbers are estimated to total between 20,000 and 25,000.

On May 14 2008, when announcing the decision to list polar bears as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, Secretary for the U.S. Department of Interior, Dirk Kempthorne stated,

“Although the population of bears has grown from a low of about 12,000 in the late 1960’s to approximately 25,000 today, our scientists advise me that computer modeling projects a significant population decline by the year 2050.”

But there are no published papers or reports to support the claim that there were about 12,000 polar bears forty years ago.

At the 1968 meeting of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Polar Bear Specialist Group in Alaska, the Canadian Wildlife Service representatives suggested that numbers were as low as 5,000 in the 1950s and 1960s.

Current Chairman of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group, Andrew Derocher, has stressed,

“The early estimates of polar bear abundance are a guess. There is no data at all for the 1950-60s. Nothing but guesses. We are sure the populations were being negatively affected by excess harvest (e.g., aircraft hunting, ship hunting, self-killing guns, traps, and no harvest limits). The harvest levels were huge and growing. The resulting low numbers of bears were due only to excess harvest but, again, it was simply a guess as to the number of bears.”

But how can Dr Derocher be sure that polar bear populations were being negatively affected by harvesting if there is no hard data on population numbers for the same period?

In 1972, at the 3rd Working Meeting of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist group the Norwegian representative, Thor Larson, suggested there were as many as 20,000 in the late 1960s. Larson said,

“Merely by summarising the various national counts, which still must be considered inaccurate, one reaches the conclusion that the worlds total polar bear population is probably closer to 20,000 animals, than to the lower figures often suggested.”

Just maybe there have always been about 20,000 polar bears in the Arctic?

Nichole Hoskin is a research assistant at the Institute of Public Affairs and is adding to the Environmental Wiki associated with this blog.

———————
Other blog posts by Nichole Hoskin on polar bears include:
Polar Bears Can Survive where there is no Summer Sea Ice: A Note from Nichole Hoskin, August 20, 2008. http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003342.html

This blog is a gathering place for people with a common interest in politics and the environment. We strive for tolerance and respect. We don’t always agree with what we publish, but we believe in giving people an opportunity to be heard.

,

213 Responses to No Reliable Data on Historical Polar Bear Numbers – A Note from Nichole Hoskin

  1. stan August 26, 2008 at 11:25 am #

    Sounds like the sea surface temp studies, and Mann, and Jones and, of course, Algore. Climate science at its best — throw out any old wild-ass guess and bring the regulatory hammer down.

  2. NT August 26, 2008 at 12:05 pm #

    Bollocks. The bears were hunted, so therefore the population decreased. UNLESS there is evidence that the hunting was somehow done in a sustainable way.
    To suggest that because you can’t find any evidence of bear numbers is less than impressive.

    Oh wait!
    It’s socratic irony again!

  3. Ian Mott August 26, 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    I copy this post from the previous PB thread which is about to drop off.

    Notice how the researchers didn’t bother to quantify how many Kg of berries would be needed to offset 0.85kg of “fasting” weight loss that PBs are assumed to endure due to the shorter ice period?

    Did anyone also notice how the analysis only focussed on fat content, not the broader issue of carbohydrates and sugars in nutrition? So are we seriously to believe that the abundance of carbohydrates and sugars in berries will not substitute for or prevent fat loss in shore based PBs?

    One kilogram of Blackberry, for example, has 2180kj energy, 7.2g of protein, 3.9g fat and 127g of carbohydrates. http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/benefits-of-blackberry-1973.html

    Raspberry and Cranberry are similar but data seems sparse on Nagoonberry (Cloud Berry).

    According to wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_fat animal fat has 37.656kj/gramm so the fasting PB daily fat loss 0.85kg (32,007kj) could be restored by eating only 14.7kg of berries each day.

    Obviously, additional berries would be needed to cover energy use whilst foraging and variations in digestive efficiency but even a 50% addition to a total of 22kg is not a big ask for any bear over a 22 hour Arctic day. Throw in a few high calorific bugs, fungi and fauna of opportunity and the prospect of weight gain is very real.

    In fact, the suggested intake of 22kg of fat/week from hunting seals, less 12kg for energy use, leaving 10kg of fat gain is not significantly better than a good feed of berries. That 10kg/week is only 1428 grams each day, or 53,770kj/day which, divided by 2180kj/kg amounts to only 24.66kg of berries. The energy used in foraging for those berries would be much less than that required for hunting.

    So the discussion by the above mentioned “researchers” on the likely consequences of shorter hunting seasons is purely one-sided speculation that has deliberately ignored a significant contribution to the PB energy budget.

    And they have done so in light of the fact that a shorter ice pack duration will mean a longer and more productive berry season that can off-set any adverse consequences of this change. Assuming, of course, that the shorter ice pack even continues.

  4. Ann Novek August 26, 2008 at 12:19 pm #

    Dear Nicole,
    One must to have conclude that even Mr Thorsens estimates were wrong. I have checked old archives from Svalbard and the stats from the Norwegian Statistical Bureau.

    They say that the old hunt numbers of living polar bears are wrong. They are underestimated.

    FYI , during 1871 and 1973 , about 30 000 polar bears were killed in Svalbard , that means about 200 – 300 annually.

    The Norwegian Polar Institute also stated that the PB in Svalbard was overhunted until it became protected in 1973.

  5. Johnnie August 26, 2008 at 12:24 pm #

    This is the beginning of the end — for these bears, for nature– and for us if we are not more careful. Just becuase we don’t yet have evidence — does that mean we don’t believe?

    This is the future for us all! In the developing world climate change will cost lives; in the developed world — just (!) money. . We have too little money to fix EVERYTHING that climate breaks. Triage is applied in an emergency to allow the most globally beneficial use of inadequate resources. There will be severe climate disruptions, which will be left untreated because they will be recognized as able to recover autonomously. Selected climatically-induced emergencies where tax-payers’ money can reduce suffering will be funded. Last, and most sadly, there may be even situations where unlimited funds cannot reverse impacts and the limited funds are deemed better deployed on other projects for more go to http://www.climatechangetriage.net

  6. NT August 26, 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    Here you go, someone already asked the experts…

    http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/ask-the-experts/population/

  7. Pete August 26, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    Johnnie,

    You can relax now because we don’t have to worry about A-CO2-Global Warming. This means that we can continue to burn fossil fuels using the best clean burn technologies which will allow us to focus on addressing real environmental challenges.

    You need to be happy about this.

  8. Ann Novek August 26, 2008 at 1:23 pm #

    My apologies, it’s Mr Thor Larson , and not as I stated Mr Thorsen , who is as well a well known Norwegian PB scientist , who has done PB population estimates.

    For those who are interested here’s a Norwegian link with old PB capturing images from the 1920’s:

    http://www.ssb.no/emner/historisk_statistikk/artikler/art-2000-09-06-01.html

  9. Jim August 26, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    “Just becuase we don’t yet have evidence — does that mean we don’t believe?”

    Says it all really……..

  10. Ian Mott August 26, 2008 at 2:29 pm #

    NT, your “expert” is the same Derocher that Travis quoted in the previous PB thread, the same Derocher who left out all consideration of dietary supplement from berries in his ‘other’ 1993 paper.

    And isn’t it curious that Travis was unable to find any research material on the nutritional value of berries? I take him at his word that his googling failed to show any papers on this topic.

    Indeed, the PB research community is to be roundly condemned for allowing the policy debate to continue for this long with such a large gap in the information.

    As my post above makes clear, this is not a difficult gap to fill with at least some preliminary indicators. But the fact that detailed work on actual berry consumption volumes, preferences, and nutritional values has not been done merely emphasises the dearth of credibility these people possess.

    The conclusion is inescapable. These people knew, or should have known, that a comparatively modest feed of berries was capable of negating much of their doomsday scenarios so they chose to avoid the issue altogether.

    Why are we not surprised?

  11. NT August 26, 2008 at 3:39 pm #

    Ummm Ian, this was a discussion of Polar Bear numbers. If you want to talk berries, do so but it’s not relevant to what this thread is about.

    And hey if you don’t like the research being done, go and do some yourself. Sitting on your couch complaining isn’t going to change anything.

    Is the above post your ‘study’ on the nutrition of Polar Bears?
    “But the fact that detailed work on actual berry consumption volumes, preferences, and nutritional values has not been done merely emphasises the dearth of credibility these people possess. ”
    It’s not a fact, Ian. The FACT is that you haven’t bothered to research yourself.

    This took me (literally) one minute to find
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/v58t1935h800h468/

    Google is your friend Ian…

  12. Ian Mott August 26, 2008 at 4:46 pm #

    Bollocks, NT. That is a generalised study, obviously dominated by populations that have longer exposure to ice pack. To apply that study to a specific population that has not had summer ice for a few decades at least is more of the usual spin and casuistry.

    I mentioned the berry thread because you would have us believe that Derocher et al are some sort of expert arbiter of PB science when they have clearly been exposed for presenting partial and fragmentary information.

    “Google is your friend” indeed, what a posturing ponce you are.

  13. cinders August 26, 2008 at 4:54 pm #

    In 1989, Tasmania had 138 eagle territories (95 of which were active) and 75 pairs producing young (usually one each), a level arguably sufficient to prevent inbreeding but which could result in loss of genetic variation.
    Now latest numbers for 2005, an estimated 458 territories were reported by the Commonwealth Government representing 86 per cent of the pre- European settlement number. Activity data indicates 255 territories were active, producing 230 offspring. Total population was estimated at between 1200-1500 individuals with approximately half being mature aged birds.

    Despite the massive effort by the Forest Sector to ensure this species remains viable (clearly a population over 80% of the original number is viable); green groups are still condemning forestry practices as a threat to this bird.

    In apparent ignorance of these facts and at the request of prominent environmentalists, well known Television presenter Sir David Attenborough CH, FRS claimed in a documentary against the State’s approved pulp mill, that in Tasmania:
    “Here logging for wood pulp and chips threatens a wide variety of habitats and animals, including the magnificent wedge-tailed eagle”.

    Dodgy numbers and the appeal to ‘save’ threatened species appear to be the norm for environmental political activists world wide. The species just become an advertising image, be them eagles or polar bears, and the fact that numbers are increasing is ignored by our normally questioning media.

  14. NT August 26, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    Ian, so you bought access to that paper did you?
    And your rebuttal was so well thought out too, I have to wonder, did you think it out for yourself?

    Ha ha, I used the word ‘expert’ as that’s what the site was called. It was tongue in cheek. However the quote in the original post is actually from that website. I posted it so people could actually read the whole of what he said.
    The link in the original post and mine are the same… And then you try and discredit the same man that this thread is based on…
    It’s hilarious. The post is based on a quote from Derocher and you set yourself busily to discrediting him. CLASSIC.

  15. Ian Mott August 26, 2008 at 5:27 pm #

    Bull$hitenborough has made a very good, high emission, living by flogging eco-soma to the barbi-worlders. With this example we should ask, is he just getting sloppy? – or was he just flogging crap all along? On the balance of probability this is his standard MO.

    But the PB numbers do hoist the greens on their own petard. On one hand they like to claim that PB populations were decimated by hunting but they just can’t stomach the thought that any species might stage a recovery of the magnitude that PBs appear to have done.

    So they are stuck in a deep pool of their own bull$hit. If the recovery has not been as spectacular as it appears then, clearly, the original hunting impact was less severe. And if it was less severe then levels like the 30,000 supposedly killed at Svalbard over a century were not as big a threat as claimed and annual hunts of, say, half that number may be sustainable.

    The irony is how little animal fat is required to off-set the consequences of supposedly critical changes. At only 10kg/week of fat accumulation, and only 6kg/week for basic metabolism per animal, a six week shortening of hunting season, for a population of 1000 animals could be met by only 96 tonnes of abattoir by-products like fats and edible offal, or a couple of hectares worth of peanuts or soybean meal.

    But in fact, just a single aerial application of fertiliser to the bramble patches would probably do the trick. But given the amount of misinformation surrounding this species, even that level of response is probably overkill.

  16. Ian Mott August 26, 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    No NT, the joke is on you and your obvious retention deficit. Derocher is one of a number of quotes in the opening post and his quote is followed by Nichole’s very pertinent question, “But how can Dr Derocher be sure that polar bear populations were being negatively affected by harvesting if there is no hard data on population numbers for the same period?”

    You’re right out of your depth here, matey.

  17. NT August 26, 2008 at 5:47 pm #

    Here’s another Ian…

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119947994/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

    Gee your claim that the study of Polar Bear diets is lacking seems a little… wrong.

    “But how can Dr Derocher be sure that polar bear populations were being negatively affected by harvesting if there is no hard data on population numbers for the same period?”
    This is a stupid statement. First, they had to stop hunting as they were running out of bears, this SURELY indicates that bear numbers were going down.
    http://pbsg.npolar.no/ConvAgree/agreement.htm
    See they even made a treaty.

    Sometimes there isn’t a mystery. Or were Polar Bears somehow breeding at the same rate they were being hunted?

  18. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 6:00 pm #

    Ann,

    Dr Thor Larson was the Norwegian expert representative at the Polar Bear Specialist Group during the 1970s. His reports included information on harvesting extent, BUT in a separate report he considers expert views and observational data gathered during expeditions into polar bear habitat. Larsen’s conclusions on population data acknowledges that all the present estimates are inaccurate, with consideration of aerial surveys and survey’s from ships.

    see: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/wiki/Polar_Bear_Specialist_Group_of_the_IUCN_Meetings

    Its possible the archives you read were part of Larsen’s research, if the information was available during the 1960-70s. Larsen was the key researcher of Norway’s polar bears in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Considering that the Norwegians believe their harvesting data underestimated the numbers, then they agree with Larsen that population numbers estimates were too low and it is entirely possible that there are many more polar bears than scientist thought.

  19. NT August 26, 2008 at 6:16 pm #

    Nicole, your logic escapes me. How can you conclude that hunting had no effect on population?

  20. Travis August 26, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    >NT, your “expert” is the same Derocher that Travis quoted in the previous PB thread, the same Derocher who left out all consideration of dietary supplement from berries in his ‘other’ 1993 paper.

    Ian Mott I have just written this response to your post on the other thread:

    >Did anyone also notice how the analysis only focussed on fat content, not the broader issue of carbohydrates and sugars in nutrition? So are we seriously to believe that the abundance of carbohydrates and sugars in berries will not substitute for or prevent fat loss in shore based PBs?

    Believe what you want Mott. You are the self-imposed expert, along with Ivan and Nicole. (sorry Nichole I have been mispelling your name).Not sure why you are bothering to sit in your stained armchair and calculate berries. If it were that simple, don’t you think researchers (particularly those with an agenda like Nicole’s) would have done this already?

    >So the discussion by the above mentioned “researchers” on the likely consequences of shorter hunting seasons is purely one-sided speculation that has deliberately ignored a significant contribution to the PB energy budget.

    Researchers Mott. You can’t even master googling basic facts or reading what is put in front of you.

    >And they have done so in light of the fact that a shorter ice pack duration will mean a longer and more productive berry season.

    If you’d have read the papers and what I reproduced, you would learn about the berry season and PB monthly ‘consumption’.

    >And isn’t it curious that Travis was unable to find any research material on the nutritional value of berries? I take him at his word that his googling failed to show any papers on this topic.

    Standard reply. It’s not ‘curious’ at all Mott. I at least provide information to support claims I make. I am STILL waiting for information from you to support your claims about Antarctic food chains. You continually fail to provide ANY information to back up your ideas, other than your own calculations, anecdotes and meandering thoughts.

    Readers may like to go back to the PB thread at http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003342.html#comments (Polar Bears Can Survive where there is no Summer Sea Ice: A Note from Nichole Hoskin, August 20, 2008) and see how well certain posters here have managed to read and comprehend PB research.

    >I mentioned the berry thread because you would have us believe that Derocher et al are some sort of expert arbiter of PB science when they have clearly been exposed for presenting partial and fragmentary information.

    Clearly you have not read anything on PB research, let alone what has been posted here on PB threads.

    Jennifer/Nichole wrote:
    >We strive for tolerance and respect. We don’t always agree with what we publish, but we believe in giving people an opportunity to be heard.

    Ian wrote:
    >”Google is your friend” indeed, what a posturing ponce you are.

    If I can manage some restraint when faced with your standard comments, I’m sure you can too.

    If you can’t manage to find some information rather than making it up as if you have some expertise here, I wonder what you have to contribute to this thread?

    Ian wrote:
    >Bull$hitenborough has made a very good, high emission, living by flogging eco-soma to the barbi-worlders. With this example we should ask, is he just getting sloppy? – or was he just flogging crap all along?

    Ivan previously wrote:
    >Somehow I can’t see David Attenborough doing something like this. Equally, I can’t see it being allowed for serious study of any other species on earth.

    Yes NT, it’s hilarious!

    >If the recovery has not been as spectacular as it appears then, clearly, the original hunting impact was less severe.

    Perhaps you would like to read Taylor et al (2008) ‘Mark-recapture and Stochastic Population Models for Polar Bears of the High Arctic’, Arctic Vol 61:2, 143-152. Yes, I’m sure you will.

    It’s a paper by Mitchell Taylor (amongst others), who seems to have more credibility to some with an agenda to push. It looks at PB populations in Lancaster Sound and Norwegian Bay, Canada. “Our harvest simulation suggest that current levels of kill are approaching and perhaps exceeding the sustainable yield in both populations.’

    The word ‘suggest’ will not sit well with Ivan or Nichole who want definites in PB science. Modelling has already been dissed here by experts like Hissink. The rest of the paper is quite interesting.

    >You’re right out of your depth here, matey.

    Perhaps we should all be producing bottom-of-the-harbour ‘facts’ like you are Mott. As a blog that seeks to have some level of maturity in its debates, your made up calculations are embarrassing. You are not doing anything to further your cause or help educate anyone.

    >Just maybe there have always been about 20,000 polar bears in the Arctic?

    I suggest you broaden your reading Nichole, and open your mind. And before you tell me to provide you with information – I did that before and got the same arguments back, with no reference to what was written except that there were many points you could respond to. You still did not manage to understand the literature on PBs and the basic biology of the species and their prey.

    >Nicole, your logic escapes me. How can you conclude that hunting had no effect on population?

    NT, going by the last PB thread, the logic is a set agenda. It has nothing to do with reading and interpreting science. Sad.

  21. NT August 26, 2008 at 6:30 pm #

    Travis, yes the logic seems to go “there’s no definitive evidence so we’ll just assume that nothing happened”

    Pretty stupid…

  22. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 6:35 pm #

    NT,

    Have a look at:
    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/wiki/Polar_Bears#Do_Scientists_know_the_size_of_polar_bear_populations.3F

    Garshelis,a polar bear expert, when discussing problems with current estimates of all bear population numbers, argues,
    “Because most bear populations are of unknown size, a record of increasing known deaths is often taken as prima facie evidence of a population decline. Moreover, even poor records with no clear trend but occasional documentation of a surge of deaths may be cause to fear a population decline.”

    It is impossible to know if increasing harvesting is causing declines in population numbers without knowing how many polar bears there are, since you cannot establish that the harvesting is sustainable or unsustainable.

    ————–
    David L. Garshelis, ‘Misconceptions, Ironies and Uncertainties Regarding Trends in Bear Populations’, Ursus 2002 13, p 322.

  23. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 6:48 pm #

    NT,

    Most people would be surprised that, in 2007, 3.6 million kangaroos were shot for commercial uses in Australia. Some might even think that killing such a large number of roos is unsustainable.

    HOWEVER, since, in 2007, the kangaroo population in commercial harvesting zones was 24 million, we have sufficient evidence to establish that the commercial shooting of kangaroos is sustainable, within the guidelines of the IUCN on sustainable harvesting of wildlife.

    The data above comes from the Australian Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) at:
    http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/trade-use/wild-harvest/kangaroo/index.html

    With polar bears, if we don’t know how many bears there are, we have no idea whether harvesting is sustainable. We can only guess.

  24. NT August 26, 2008 at 6:53 pm #

    Nicole, are we discussing current kill levels of Polar Bears or historic populations?

    I thought we were talking about historic levels.

    “With polar bears, if we don’t know how many bears there are, we have no idea whether harvesting is sustainable. We can only guess.”

    Are you advocating raising the number killed?

  25. Ann Novek August 26, 2008 at 6:54 pm #

    No more mud wrestling for me …it’s enough that the local people/ hunters ( see Living in the North) that are mostly very keen on hunting/ whaling are strongly opposed to polar bear hunting, over 90% of the Svalbard people are against a hunt and want to ” save the polar bear ” since they still remember the over kill of polars.

  26. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    Travis,

    If you did more research it would become apparent to you that the Canadian Govt uses Taylor’s estimates of polar bear population size as the basis of their quotas on Inuit traditional harvesting of polar bears.

    The Canadian Govt seems to think Taylor knows what his talking about. How are you to question that?

  27. NT August 26, 2008 at 6:59 pm #

    Nicole,

    You may want to remove the link to Goddard’s “Arctic Ice Refeuses to Melt”

    http://www.desmogblog.com/arctic-ice-melt-media-misinformation-retracted

  28. Ann Novek August 26, 2008 at 6:59 pm #

    And Nichole , the international polar bear scientist community is strongly against this!

  29. NT August 26, 2008 at 7:02 pm #

    If you look at his link now
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/15/goddard_arctic_ice_mystery/

    You can see he corrects himself and points out that the NSIDC figures are correct.

  30. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 7:04 pm #

    NT,

    I am talking about historic numbers of polar bears–I was using an analogy of another harvested wildlife species to explain why we need to have data on both population numbers and harvesting numbers to know whether harvesting is causing declines in the numbers of polar bears. You did not understand my logic so I am explaining it to you.

  31. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 7:20 pm #

    Thanks NT.

    I have checked and your right.
    I have taken that portion of the data on Arctic sea ice extent off the EnvironmentWiki.

    see: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/wiki/Polar_Bears#Data_on_the_Extent_of_Sea_Ice_in_the_Arctic_Region

  32. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 7:27 pm #

    Ann,

    You seem to have come to the conclusion that I am in favour of harvesting of polar bears. I don’t have an opinion on harvesting of polar bears.

    My point on harvesting is that it is strange to have claims made about effects of harvesting on a population following an acknowledgment that the data available at the time was “nothing but guesses”

  33. cohenite August 26, 2008 at 8:19 pm #

    Polar bears are harvested by either indigenous groups for cultural reasons, or by trophy hunters under commercial licence, usually from the same indigenous groups. The solution seems obvious.

  34. Ann Novek August 26, 2008 at 8:32 pm #

    ” Ann,

    Dr Thor Larson was the Norwegian expert representative at the Polar Bear Specialist Group during the 1970s. His reports included information on harvesting extent, BUT in a separate report he considers expert views and observational data gathered during expeditions into polar bear habitat. Larsen’s conclusions on population data acknowledges that all the present estimates are inaccurate, with consideration of aerial surveys and survey’s from ships.

    see: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/wiki/Polar_Bear_Specialist_Group_of_the_IUCN_Meetings

    Its possible the archives you read were part of Larsen’s research, if the information was available during the 1960-70s. Larsen was the key researcher of Norway’s polar bears in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Considering that the Norwegians believe their harvesting data underestimated the numbers, then they agree with Larsen that population numbers estimates were too low and it is entirely possible that there are many more polar bears than scientist thought.

    Posted by: Nichole Hoskin at August 26, 2008 06:00 PM”

    If you make guest posts on polar bears and refer to Norwegian PB hunting then you should have known what I meant with the HUNT OF LIVING POLAR BEARS!!! 10% of the hunt was of living PBs to Zoos etc.

    In the archives there are no mentions of Thor Larson btw.

    It’s only concluded that the stats are wrong. You have a very vivid imagination and you’re nothing but an industry shill!

  35. NT August 26, 2008 at 8:35 pm #

    Nichole I would suggest the answer lies in what you said here:
    “But how can Dr Derocher be sure that polar bear populations were being negatively affected by harvesting if there is no hard data on population numbers for the same period?”

    Did you ask him?
    Is there circumstantial data about population size?
    Why did they introduce the treaty in 1973 if there was no negative effect?
    I think you need to do more research, rather than taking his “nothing but guesses” at face value.

    This statement “My point on harvesting is that it is strange to have claims made about effects of harvesting on a population following an acknowledgment that the data available at the time was “nothing but guesses””
    seems more political than anything. His estimation of the effect on PB by hunting is probably based on something else.

  36. Travis August 26, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    >The Canadian Govt seems to think Taylor knows what his talking about. How are you to question that?

    Pfffttt!! I am not questioning what Taylor wrote in his 2008 paper Nichole. How did you come to this conclusion? Is the Canadian Govt, now that hunting in some areas may be unsustainable? I’m sure Taylor knows what he is talking about. And Derocher, Stirling, Amstrup…But I note that you ignore and question what these people write, even to the point of citing Derocher and Stirlings 1993 berry paper but dismissing their 2007 berry comments!

    >If you did more research it would become apparent..

    I suggest you take your own advice.

    >With polar bears, if we don’t know how many bears there are, we have no idea whether harvesting is sustainable. We can only guess.

    Hence mark-recapture studies. Hence aerial surveys. Hence new technology and methodology, particularly for an aquatic, far-ranging carnivore.

    >I was using an analogy of another harvested wildlife species to explain why we need to have data on both population numbers and harvesting numbers to know whether harvesting is causing declines in the numbers of polar bears.

    And so we go back to kangaroos when it comes to culling/harvesting. Sigh. These are terrestrial mammals. Are you seriously expecting the same knowledge/methods exists for marine mammals such as PBs and cetaceans?

  37. Ann August 26, 2008 at 8:46 pm #

    Nichole, if you just had looked at my Norwegian link with the pics , you would see that it was about living captured animals. I’m a little bit annoyed because nobody seems to check the links.

  38. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 9:33 pm #

    NT,

    Read the 1960s and 1970s reports of the Polar Bear Specialist Group, where all the experts agree that they don’t have sufficient data to accurately predict numbers of polar bears.

    I am yet to find an academic paper on polar bear population numbers, from the many I have read, that says that scientist were accurately able to estimate population numbers.

  39. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 9:38 pm #

    Ann,

    Did it not occur to you that since my piece is about historical populations estimates of polar bears and not about harvesting, I researched population estimates and not the details of harvesting……

    Derocher’s comment on harvesting just illustrates that acknowledging the lack of data on population numbers does not stop experts from making assertions that are speculation. The claims are speculation since there is not sufficient populations data to establish the assertion as a fact.

    Are you looking for something to disagree with?

  40. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 9:41 pm #

    Ann,

    Your right, I haven’t yet checked your links.
    When I have the opportunity, I will check them out.

  41. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    Travis,

    The Polar Bear Specialist Group, and most of the country reports in the 1970 report, clearly state that aerial surveys of polar bears is not possible.

    In fact, the US report states,
    “We have attempted to census polar bears by making aerial counts in sampling areas from fixed-wing light aircraft. The method appears to be unsuitable for obtaining estimates of total numbers because it is difficult to see white bears against a white background and there is no way to determine how many bears are present in sampling areas and not seen (Lentfer, et. al. 1967). Infra-red photography or heat-sensing equipment will probably be used in the future as an aid in locating bears.”

    Larsen also questions the accuracy of aerial surveys in his 1972 report, stating,
    “Attempts have been made to estimate the number of polar bears present in the Svalbard area. Data collected on aerial surveys over the eastern Svalbard pack ice in 1966 and 1967 and from the expedition vessels in the same general region in 1967 and 1968, have been evaluated and compared. Air counting success was shown to vary with weather and ice conditions. Airplane speed and altitude were the most important limiting factors for absolute counts. Observation distance, weather conditions, observers experience and degree of colour sense affected the ship counts. Ship counts were considered more reliable than airplane counts, but both methods are inaccurate. An evaluation of the counts made from ships under optimal conditions only, suggested that the total number of polar bears in the Svalbard area was between 1500 and 2000 in the late sixties. Comparison between air and ship counts showed a great discrepancy between the two counting methods. Absolute air counts of polar bears must be considered very unreliable. Previous worldwide estimates of polar bears are also unreliable, because of the lack of evaluation of the methods used, and because a census by one method in one particular area, cannot be used in a worldwide estimate. Merely by summarising the various national counts, which still must be considered inaccurate, one reaches the conclusion that the worlds total polar bear population is probably closer to 20,000 animals, than to the lower figures often suggested.”

  42. Ann August 26, 2008 at 10:03 pm #

    ” one reaches the conclusion that the worlds total polar bear population is probably closer to 20,000 animals, than to the lower figures often suggested.”- Larson

    And what’s the point? This merely points out that the situation is still worse for the PBs. The current population has not increased despite conservation measures??

  43. Ann August 26, 2008 at 10:10 pm #

    And I wonder why Nichole only posts protocols / citations 40 to 50 years old? Aren’t there any new reseach? And we also know that wildlife protection bodies like the IWC didn’t work properly during the 60’s and 70’s.

  44. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 10:19 pm #

    Ann,

    I am going to quote historical sources when I am writing about historical population estimates. If I was writing about current population estimates, I would quote papers on current estimates and the improvements in methodology were enabled by the recent use of radio-satellite data, gained from radio-collars on polar bears that have been captured, tagged and tracked.

  45. Travis August 26, 2008 at 10:20 pm #

    >The Polar Bear Specialist Group, and most of the country reports in the 1970 report, clearly state that aerial surveys of polar bears is not possible.

    I had been reading a new paper on walrus aerial surveys when I wrote my last post. Agreed, this method is not terribly reliable for PBs. As I have written and demonstrated previously, new technology is now available which is giving wildlife researchers amazing insights into animal behaviour and life history. Aerial work is still useful for mark-recapture.

    >And I wonder why Nichole only posts protocols / citations 40 to 50 years old?

    Yep. Although they are selectively chosen!

    >Aren’t there any new reseach?

    As you would say Ann ‘cough, cough’. I have supplied a number of references from this year.

  46. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 10:23 pm #

    Ann,

    I am going to quote historical sources when I am writing about historical population estimates.

    If I was writing about current population estimates, I would quote papers on current estimates and the improvements in methodology enabled by the recent use of radio-satellite data. Radio-satellite data is gained from radio-collars on polar bears that have been captured, tagged and tracked via satellites.

    I’m sure you would find fault, real or imagined, with anything I write, whether it is on historical or current population estimates.

  47. Ann August 26, 2008 at 10:23 pm #

    Nichole,
    You should ask the experts if one can estimate historical population estimates using DNA surveys.

  48. Nichole Hoskin August 26, 2008 at 10:32 pm #

    Ann,

    Ask the experts yourself. Why would I ask experts a question for you?

    I have not come across any academic papers on DNA evidence to establish historical population estimates and none of the papers on population estimates refer to this method, including papers by Amstrup, Stirling etc.

  49. J.Hansford. August 26, 2008 at 11:07 pm #

    To NT, who said this… “Nicole, your logic escapes me. How can you conclude that hunting had no effect on population?”

    Simple NT…. Like usual city people, you assume that if you hunt, then it follows that populations decline… That is not the case, they are made up for by increased cub survival rates.

    Specially populations that are already at maximum… the more animals you kill…. the more food is left for growing cubs…. the more cubs that survive to adulthood…. thus populations remain stable…. Any population of anything can only expand to the limit of the food resource. You need to have massive hunting pressure in order to bring numbers down below sustainable levels….

    I’d suggest that, though a large amount of polar bears might have been killed…. It was not overly taxing to the populations.

    Plus the Arctic is not an easy place to hunt… and hunting anything is not simple… Look at the trouble Australia has trying to eradicate feral pigs, goats, donkeys, horses, etc.

    It would seem then, that 25000 Polar bears is about saturation for the Arctic…

    Females reach maturity in 5 years. Males in 10 years. PB’s live for 36 years in captivity. PB’s have up to 3 cubs per season. If a population of 25 thousand PB’s of which just 5000 females averaged two cubs… that would be 10000 cubs a season… Lot of potential there… So there must be a reason that there is only 25 thousand of them after 40 years…. limited food and massive cub mortality, Actually half starve to death in the first year…. Also, Male PB’s kill Cubs.

    Definitely looks like Polar bears are at maximum population to me.

  50. RA August 27, 2008 at 12:03 am #

    I don’t really care about polar bears. The critters would eat me alive if I was near them. If they’re that unfriendly they don’t deserve any friendship back.

    I honestly don’t know what the real fuss is about when it comes to these critters other than dark greens, declinists and economic deadenders using them to scare the folks.

    There are plenty of friggen bears in north america. In fact there are infestations in certain parts of the US. If worse came to worse we could catch a few hundred brown or grizzlies spray paint them white and dump them in the tundra. No one would know the difference. We could re-coat them a nice white color whenever the fist layer wore off.

    In fact we could paint some hot pink as teenage gals would love that and thereby affording them even more popularity then they deserve.

    Anyone thought of shooting a few over to the south pole to protect the species. I bet the penguins would that. LOL.

  51. Ann August 27, 2008 at 2:09 am #

    Excerpt from Norwegian Polar Institute ( translation) from August 2008:

    ” Tagging of Polar bears have a long tradition and started in the middle of the 60’s in Svalbard,

    Scientists were most concerned about the excessive hunting .

    Total protection of PBs were implemented in 1973 , and the Svalbard PB subpopulation was one of subpopulations that faced most problems.

    In the next 10 to 15 years large scale scientific research began….”

    http://npweb.npolar.no/Artikler/2008/1217510939.91

    Re Nichole’s post , it’s interested that both Thor Larson and Deroucher have been permanent members of the Norwegian IUCN delegation , both working for the Norwegian Polar Institute ( but not currently)

  52. Tilo Reber August 27, 2008 at 2:27 am #

    RA
    “I don’t really care about polar bears.”

    I like them, and I don’t understand the kick of trophy hunting. I would like to see PBs thrive forever.

    But, that being said, I don’t see them as endangered. While I can’t imagine killing for trophies, I wouldn’t want to impose that value on others. I would expect the national wildlife services to place reasonable and sustainable restrictions on hunting.

    The thing that may turn me against PBs is their use by the left and by eco freaks as a political football. When the left starts to push anything as a grand cause that they can use to further their political agenda it quickly becomes disgusting for me. When it comes to a battle between my freedom and imaginary polar bear endangerment, then I say screw the PBs.

  53. Travis August 27, 2008 at 8:17 am #

    >I’m sure you would find fault, real or imagined, with anything I write, whether it is on historical or current population estimates.

    Gawd. The same could easiily be said of you rgarding what anyone here who challenges your agenda says. If you post a topic here (especially if you are not an expert in the field), wishing for people to be heard regardless of their views, then you must expect others to disagree. It is when you continue to dismiss the science, narrow your information gathering and misinterpret what is written in the literature that people lose their patience with you.

    >Why would I ask experts a question for you?

    You might ask them a question for you, not Ann, and email a few to run your ‘ideas’ by them. I have done this in the past with biologists and they usually don’t mind.

    Thanks for the insight J. Hansford. We’ll add you to the Armchair PB Specialist Group.

    So tell me Nichole, if researchers such as Taylor believe that 2 subpops of PB are not being sustainably hunted now, do you believe them?

  54. Nichole Hoskin August 27, 2008 at 11:08 am #

    Travis,

    My agenda? Making assumptions about my motives just shows that you are quick to judge and don’t need evidence to base your judgments on. Reality is that you have no idea why I am writing about polar bears or what my personal views are on these issues.

    I am amazed at how quick you and Ann are to decide that I am right-wing because I consider the opinions that do not conform to the current popular perceptions….despite the lack of evidence supporting such claims.

    I am going to respond to comments, to put up the contrary viewpoint and provide a balanced discussion and consider a diverse range of sources and evidence.

    I guess thats the difference between me and others here, I am actually prepared to listen to competing points of view

  55. Nichole Hoskin August 27, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    “I am amazed at how quick you and Ann are to decide that I am right-wing because I consider the opinions that do not conform to the current popular perceptions….despite the lack of evidence supporting such claims.”

    the order of the above sentence confuses what I was trying to say…

    My point was that Travis and Ann do not have any evidence to base their claims that I am right-wing on…..In fact, those claims are laughable to anyone who has met me and knows me.

    It appears to me that Travis and Ann have decided I am right-wing etc because I am prepared to consider competing views and advocate ideas that are contrary to popular perceptions.

    Since Travis and Ann have to resort to partisan political statements, their assumptions about my views only reveal their own prejudices have been projected onto me….to use the Freudian concept

  56. Ian Mott August 27, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    What has become very clear to readers of this thread is that our resident greenpimp activists do not, and cannot grasp the distinction between speculation and fact. To them, any speculation about earlier PB populations that furthers their objectives is to be not only accepted as proven but also defended vigorously.

    Like Tilo, I originally had a great deal of goodwill towards PBs until I saw the way they are being ruthlessly exploited as an issue by the climate pimps. But as one gets a more detailed look at the so-called science of PB management one can only conclude that they are being groomed as yet another in a long series of ecolgical cash-cows to be milked for as much funding as the researchers can get their grubby hands on.

    For all the talk about threatened populations and shrinking ice, the fact remains that all bears are omnivorous and PBs have demonstrated this attribute whenever a supply of berries is present in greater abundance than baby seals.

    And instead of standing about wringing their hands in anguish at an imaginary threat to a far more robust species than they like to believe, the gonzoscenti could completely balance any seasonal nutritional shortfalls with a bit of natural gardening.

    30 to 40kg of berries a day is all it takes to match the weight gain from 1.5 baby seals each week. And at a very modest tonne of berries per hectare, that single hectare would sustain a bear for 3 to 4 weeks. And if a warming trend manages to actually reappear after the past decade of decline then we can take heart in the knowledge that warmer weather means more berries with higher nutritional value.

    A scary story always makes great copy but “mother nature” has seen it all before and isn’t fooled one bit.

  57. NT August 27, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    Nichole.
    Yes, box me as a typical “city person”, whatever.
    However, you haven’t addressed the fact that the nations involved in hunting the PBs signed a treaty in 1973, why? Have you sought that information? You also haven’t actually asked Dr Derocher why he thought bears were suffering from hunting.
    My point is that you are saying there is no data, when you haven’t really gone out of your way to find any.

    Why are you looking at this anyway? We live in Australia, why not research Australian animals?

    Personally I find the obsession with Polar Bears by AGW proponents and skeptics alike as confusing. There’s no need for this obsession.

  58. Nichole Hoskin August 27, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    Ian Mott,

    You raise an interesting point. From what I have read, scientists don’t know enough to justify the jumping at shadows that is going on at present.

    Maybe its a symptom of the disconnection between most urban/suburban people from the land and the wide-spread acceptance of the idea that people are destroyers of nature, which ignores the fact that people have always impacted on the environment around them. This is not a new idea, the first advocate of this idea was Karl Marx in the 19th century.

    The irony is that these views have led to the desire to lock people out of ‘wilderness’, which only exacerbates the disconnection from the land.

  59. Nichole Hoskin August 27, 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    NT,

    I’m glad you re-directed my attention to your previous question.

    International law depends on States (nations) accepting obligations under a treaty or customary law–which is complex and not relevant here.

    States usually sign up to treaties because the treaty respond to an issue that Governments of the day perceive to be important. Government perceptions often involve a complex mix of factors such as domestical political factors (in democratic states), economic factors, international relations factors (ie, all your buddies are signing up so you don’t want to be left out) and the desire to be seen as a good global citizen.

    The evidence above that there was insufficient scientific data on polar bear population numbers just shows that States don’t also make the decision to sign up to international treaties because of compelling evidence. This is States agreed to restrict or ban harvesting of polar bears because of the perception that harvesting was reducing numbers, without reliable estimates of population numbers that would prove that harvesting was causing population declines.

  60. Nichole Hoskin August 27, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    NT,

    Derocher isn’t the only scientist who claims that scientist believe that restrictions on harvesting stopped polar bear population declines.

    On the EnvironmentWiki, there is a quote from polar bear expert Mitchell Taylor, stating,
    “Scientists generally agree that improved conservation measures, primarily controls on harvests, have lead to an increase in polar bear numbers over the last 30 years.”

    I just cannot reconcil this claim with the fact that scientist freely admitted, in the 1960s and 1970s, that they had unreliable estimates of polar bear numbers. Without reliable estimates, claims about restrictions on harvesting and numbers cannot be proven or disproven. Thus, it is not a fact, its opinion, a guess, speculation etc

  61. Travis August 27, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

    >because I consider the opinions that do not conform to the current popular perceptions….despite the lack of evidence supporting such claims.

    That’s the sort of comment I have trouble with Nichole. What is evidence to others is not to you.

    >I guess thats the difference between me and others here, I am actually prepared to listen to competing points of view

    Oh yeah? So when you cite work 15 years old by two authors on berry consumpton and try to make out PBs can now live in an ice-free environment (based on what they have been doing for centuries already in one location) but conveniently ignore more recent statements on berries by these same two authors you are prepared to ‘listen’? You even ignored sections of the 1998 paper regarding male PBs and reasons for the spatial distribution of the animals during the ice-free period in this one location. When you have asked for information and been provided with it, your response has been ‘there are many things I could pick up on’, but raised one point. Make up your mind and take responsibility for what you are trying to convey here.

    I have not said you are ‘right-wing’, so don’t insinuate it.

    >Since Travis and Ann have to resort to partisan political statements, their assumptions about my views only reveal their own prejudices have been projected onto me….to use the Freudian concept

    My ‘prejudice’, which I have made clear to you before, is your inability in understanding the data and then producing deliberately misleading titles such as the ice-free one. How hard is that for you to understand?

    Travis wrote:
    >I am not a PB expert, however I understand the logistics of studying these animals and how hard it is to gather information,let alone then interpret it. Much more needs to be known about individual populations and how they interact with their environment in flux before we can claim (a) they did it millenia ago so they can do it again (b) they are adaptable and will survive (c) they are fine no matter what (d) they will go extinct. My ‘disagreement’ is with your agenda and methods, not necessarily the data.

    More evidence that you don’t read what is written and do indeed have set beliefs. I’m not projecting anything onto you Nichole, you are doing all the work yourself.

    Back to my question:
    So tell me Nichole, if researchers such as Taylor believe that 2 subpops of PB are not being sustainably hunted now, do you believe them?

    >our resident greenpimp activists do not, and cannot grasp the distinction between speculation and fact

    You have the audacity to write this when you consistently do not substantiate your claims here with any evidence, proof or fact whatsoever. Even Jennifer has asked you to provide information in the past to support your claims. But there is one set of rules here for the likes of you Mott, and another set of rules for those you don’t agree with. We all know this.

    >For all the talk about threatened populations and shrinking ice, the fact remains that all bears are omnivorous and PBs have demonstrated this attribute whenever a supply of berries is present in greater abundance than baby seals.

    You have once again twisted the facts as presented by PB researchers to suit your own twisted understanding. You are doing yourself and the likes of Nichole no favours. Your berry ‘calculations’ are made up. They are speculation. They are not facts Mott. How hypocritical can you blatantly be?

    I’ll ask you again Mott – if your childish berry guesses are so worthy, why hasn’t it been done by someone and published for PBs? There has been 15 years to do it in.

    If you wish to get into a philosophical ramble about urban vs rural views on nature Nichole, perhaps you can start a new thread, but in the meantime, stick with the facts and what has been published in the literature by the experts. That is what people like myslef and Ann ask for and what you surely owe to your readers.

    >Why are you looking at this anyway?

    It’s interesting isn’t it, but we are expected to believe it is all innocent and there is no agenda to push.

  62. NT August 27, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    Nichole, you are missing an important point

    “I just cannot reconcil this claim with the fact that scientist freely admitted, in the 1960s and 1970s, that they had unreliable estimates of polar bear numbers. Without reliable estimates, claims about restrictions on harvesting and numbers cannot be proven or disproven. Thus, it is not a fact, its opinion, a guess, speculation etc ”

    So why do the scientists believe that they were under stress from hunting? You say there were no reliable estimates, so why did the scientists believe they were under stress. There must have been some other evidence for the scientists to come to that conclusion. This is why you need to ask Dr Derocher.

    Also you challenge of the 1973 treaty is a little underwhelming.
    “This is States agreed to restrict or ban harvesting of polar bears because of the perception that harvesting was reducing numbers, without reliable estimates of population numbers that would prove that harvesting was causing population declines. ”
    You are again dodging your responsibility to research this. Why did the perception exist?

    The only conclusion I can draw is that you want there to be no evidence and you want to be able to say that scientists were drawing conclusions unreliably and for political means.

  63. Jennifer Marohasy August 27, 2008 at 1:27 pm #

    I had almost accepted that polar bear numbers had shown a resurgence with the quotas on hunting. This is the popular perception, along with the idea that populations may now plummet because of the decline in area of sea ice. But I asked Nichole to find some hard data, some reliable numbers, to at least support the idea that numbers have increased since the 1970s. Interestingly, she has spent days searching and reading and emailing experts, to conclude that there may have been as few as 5,000 bears 40 years ago, then again there may have been as many as 20,000. For those interested in information for its own sake this is very interesting.

  64. NT August 27, 2008 at 1:47 pm #

    Jennifer, is it really interesting? Or is it largely pointless?
    To conclude “we don’t know”, isn’t that interesting. I personally don’t find the lack of information interesting.
    I would suggest that the research hasn’t been completed and that “days searching and reading and emailing experts” perhaps isn’t long enough. I think to make this “interesting” would actually take longer and would actually require information.

  65. Ian Mott August 27, 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    Yet more Travisbarff.

    I raised the very relevant point that there was more than just raw fat conversion to BP nutrition and asked if we were seriously to believe that energy counts, sugars and carbohydrates were unable to contribute to PB energy budgets. To which poor old Travis could only say, “Believe what you want Mott”. That is, he avoided the issue, trying to imply that all these other attributes of animal nutrition were mere matters of belief, rather than matters of fact.

    I did make it clear that the info on blackberries etc was indicative only and pointed out that there was no nutritional info on the more likely berry source, Cloud Berries a.k.a. Nagoonberries. But these are a branch of the Raspberry family and consequently the essentially similar data on Black Berries and Raspberries provide a very good indicator of nutritional value of these kind of sources.

    More importantly, the gusto with which Travis has tried to cloud the issue, with questions as to Nichole’s motives, the usual red herrings etc, serves to highlight the fact that yet another one-sided green spin has been exposed in all its squalor. At this point in proceedings Travis will usually give some pathetic line about how ill-informed we all are and how all the contradictions in the Greenpimp party line will resolve themselves if only we were to repeat their silly mantra an extra 37 times before each meal.

    Game’s up fellas. Nichole has rightly exposed critical flaws in the supposed logic being peddled by the PB industry and the goons don’t like it. They don’t like it because it undermines the green fantasy products being flogged to the Barbi-worlders.

    In Barbi-world you can have your tacky McMansion as long as you don’t object to the green gravy train. In Barbi-world, everywhere else is “the environment” where all the animals are cute and fluffy, and all of them are under threat from the actions of those dreadful people who haven’t achieved Barbi-nice. And most of all, Barbi-worlders are frustrated by the fact that those silly tribal people and those poor farmers who don’t know whats good for them just can’t seem to grasp the simplest of Barbi-truths. They just keep raising complications and those annoying “facts and consequences” from some completely different environmental minni-series. “They just want to bog the conversation down in detail when we all just want to skip to the ‘saving the planet’ bit,” said Vaccua Di Lettante.

  66. Ivan (818 days & Counting) August 27, 2008 at 1:58 pm #

    “The word ‘suggest’ will not sit well with Ivan or Nichole who want definites in PB science.”

    This statement illustrates just how dangerous all you AGW nutters really are. The whole AGW fraud is propped up by garbage like this PB frolic. Since AGW itself can’t be proved, it relies on initiatives like this to ‘suggest’ its existence.

    That would be fine were it not for the fact that AGW is being used as the justification for ripping billions of dollars out of taxpayers’ pockets and pissing it down the drain.

    And you wonder why people demand ‘definites’ (aka ‘proof’). The really sad part of all this is that so-called ‘scientists’ like yourself don’t demand the same.

  67. NT August 27, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    This is hilarious

    “Game’s up fellas. Nichole has rightly exposed critical flaws in the supposed logic being peddled by the PB industry and the goons don’t like it. They don’t like it because it undermines the green fantasy products being flogged to the Barbi-worlders. ”

    This si exactly the point I was making to Nichole about why she had to research more, because people will use her analysis to come to crazy conclusions. Nichole has only shown that SHE doesn’t know why scientists came to the conclusion.

    And Ian, you claimed that there was no research as to berry consumption by PB, I sent you two papers that contradicted that and you decided they didn’t count. That research said that berries were a very minor part of PB diets.

    Again the level of ‘research’ on this blog astounds me.

  68. NT August 27, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    Ivan
    “And you wonder why people demand ‘definites’ (aka ‘proof’). The really sad part of all this is that so-called ‘scientists’ like yourself don’t demand the same.”

    Ha ha, this is great. Proof is a mathematical concept, it doesn’t exist in science.

    Science works off hypotheses, which can only be falsified.

    “This statement illustrates just how dangerous all you AGW nutters really are. The whole AGW fraud is propped up by garbage like this PB frolic. Since AGW itself can’t be proved, it relies on initiatives like this to ‘suggest’ its existence.”

    This again is my point Nichole, you have taken a political position by questioning why people made claims without actually finding out why they made them, which others will use for their own ends. This is why Travis and I were curious as to your motivation as it was pretty obvious how it was going to be used.

  69. Ivan (818 days & Counting) August 27, 2008 at 2:41 pm #

    “Proof is a mathematical concept, it doesn’t exist in science.”

    Is that a fact? So, when someone says that force equals mass times acceleration, we should just nod wisely in full knowledge that there is no way of actually proving this? You moron!

    “you have taken a political position”
    Look at the heading at the top of the page, numb-nuts. AGW is ALL politics. The IPCC was set up by the UN – the top predator of political bodies. Carbon taxes will be forced on us by politicians. When this AGW fraud eventually blows up, politicians and political bodies will be damaged – hopefully irrevocably.

  70. Travis August 27, 2008 at 3:34 pm #

    >Interestingly, she has spent days searching and reading and emailing experts

    Interestingly Jennifer has had to step in to verify Nichole’s homework for her. Which experts please? I’d like to check this.

    >For those interested in information for its own sake this is very interesting.

    There’s a lot of ‘interest’ here! Well I think a number of us are interested in all of this, regardless of what side of the AGW etc fence we sit. I agree with NT’s post at August 27, 2008 01:47 PM. Well put.

    >To which poor old Travis could only say, “Believe what you want Mott”. That is, he avoided the issue, trying to imply that all these other attributes of animal nutrition were mere matters of belief, rather than matters of fact.

    Twist and weasel all you want Mott! Any ‘avoidance’ or ‘implying’ is your perception. Your calculations are suggestions and made up. Give us facts Grott. Like for the Antarctic food chains. What did you say for that?…

    ‘So whaling first concentrated on the Northern Right Whales, followed by the Southern. The over harvesting of this population created a relative Krill surplus that allowed the numbers of Blue Whales, Humpbacks and others to increase and the subsequent over harvesting of Blue Whales further boosted Humpback numbers. The decline in Humpback stocks would certainly have produced a rise in the Minke population and most likely, the crab eater seal population. Species have responded to changes in niche size in this way for millions of years. And it follows that any attempt at complete restoration of the pre-harvest populations of all whale species would result in a serious imbalance in that food chain.

    When asked to substantiate these claims you wrote ‘No Travis, the population response of one species to the removal of most of the population of a competing species is so obvious and so commonly demonstrated at both micro and macro level, that the burden of proof rests on you, who would seek to imply that this was not the case for the whale population’. You then backpeddled even further with ‘I made it very clear why there is unlikely to be much literature on such a self evident ecological process. So you are clearly trying to support an implied green position that has no basis in either logic or fact.’ Ah the mirth!!!

    >At this point in proceedings Travis will usually give some pathetic line about how ill-informed we all are..balh, blah, blah…

    Well you wouldn’t get the line if you weren’t so ill-informed, lazy and ignorant! And in your case, bloody stupid!

    >Game’s up fellas. Nichole has rightly exposed critical flaws in the supposed logic…

    Pfftt!! She’s doing well with spokesmen like you and Ivan!!!

    Sounds like you have some serious problems Mott. This reliance on terms such as Barbi-isms is somewhat unsettling. Perhaps you have been hanging around your blow up doll for too long? LOL!!!

    >Since AGW itself can’t be proved, it relies on initiatives like this to ‘suggest’ its existence.

    Ivan weren’t you yourself offering ‘suggestive’ data? Can’t have it both ways, remember that line? You really must get over this bitterness Ivan. If you voted for Rudd knowing full well what he prposed to do, you take the responsibility. But please, spare us!

    NT my advice is come here for a laugh. If you want to learn about PBs we have been told to watch YouTube vids and the good Sir Dave. Don’t bother reading papers, or even thinking of getting your hands dirty and doing some real research yourself. Get a used envelope and sharp pencil and off you go. All from the comfort of your fav armchair. All totally plausible. LOL!!! And if folk don’t like it, Mum will step in with a firm word or two.

    So in the interests of current PB populations and sustainability, I go back to the paper by Taylor again and ask if what he and co-authors write is realistic or not.

  71. Ivan (818 days & Counting) August 27, 2008 at 4:19 pm #

    “Ivan weren’t you yourself offering ‘suggestive’ data? Can’t have it both ways, remember that line?”

    I’m not sure how you can twist things around to arrive at that conclusion. I’m not trying to ‘prove’ anything, with ‘suggestive’ data or any other sort. My objective is to point out the sloppy ‘science’ that underpins the AGW fraud. The burden of proof is on the AGW ‘scientists’.

    “You really must get over this bitterness Ivan. If you voted for Rudd knowing full well what he prposed to do, you take the responsibility”
    I don’t know that anyone knew “full well” that he would simply take the Garnaut report and rush it into policy. Rudderless is supposed to be a “process man” — where is the due process on an issue this big? The Garnaut Report was commissioned by Rudderless from opposition (actually by the state governments, if I recall correctly). You would think he would want to review this once he got into government. Certainly everything else seems to be subject to endless review. Where is the Royal Commission, for starters?
    The issue isn’t one of bitterness – it’s one of disappointment at the unseemly haste. A disappointment which will be expressed at the next election.

  72. david August 27, 2008 at 4:54 pm #

    My two yen…

    “how can Dr Derocher be sure that polar bear populations were being negatively affected by harvesting if there is no hard data on population numbers for the same period?”

    You don’t necessarily need hard data of population numbers to be able to say this. There are other ways of recognising a negative trend in abundance, without relying on numbers alone.

  73. david August 27, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

    Another two…

    “The bears were hunted, so therefore the population decreased. UNLESS there is evidence that the hunting was somehow done in a sustainable way.”

    A population decrease after hunting commenced is certain, whether the population subsequently stabilised at a lower level or not is what would indicate whether it was sustainable or not.

  74. Nichole Hoskin August 27, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    NT,

    Why not apply the burden of proof that exists in Australian civil legal system….that the party (person in this case) making the assertion has the burden of proving their claims. Without evidence that proves the claim on the balance of probabilities, claims are dismissed as baseless.

    In this case, prove that I have not done enough research and that only I don’t know historical population numbers. Put some time and energy into researching polar bear population estimates yourself before you jump to the conclusions.

  75. NT August 27, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    Ivan,
    F=ma is not a proof. It was constructed by Newton after observations. It was constructed by empirical evidence, like all good science. Proof is a mathematical concept, not a scientific one. You need to read about this if you don’t understand the difference.
    Einstein never proved Relativity theory, it’s just never been disproved after innumerable tests.

    Thank you David, you have summarized very nicely the argument we have been trying to make… Maybe Jennifer and Nichole will understand the shortened version.

  76. NT August 27, 2008 at 8:45 pm #

    Nichole
    Why would you suddenly decide to use a legal style argument?
    I don’t have to prove anything. If you think you’ve done enough, fine.

    There is still the fact that people were of the opinion that the numbers were declining, if you are unable to determine why that is then perhaps you aren’t at skillful at research as you think.

    I did already find Ian Mott two papers on Polar Bear diets, is that not enough?

  77. NT August 27, 2008 at 8:51 pm #

    Nichole, ok I’ll have a look and see what I can find… Won’t promise anything.

  78. Nichole Hoskin August 27, 2008 at 9:02 pm #

    NT,

    And you have extensive knowledge of public international law?

    If you are seriously interested in understanding why the 1973 agreement was signed, the UN should have archives of the proceedings where the States negotiate the treaty, known as ‘travaux preparatoires’, including discussions of wording of terms etc.

    However, from personal experience, it can be difficult to find where the UN has that document. I spent a year studying and researching Public International Law and the Refugee Convention, in my final year of law. My lecturer ended up having to give me the ‘travaux preparatoires’ for this Convention on CDRom since it was impossible to get it from the UNHCR website.

  79. Nichole Hoskin August 27, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    NT,

    If you looked at the link above to the IPA people site, you would know that I have 2 degrees, including a law degree, with honours from UNSW.

    Rather than having no parameters to what is evidence, why not use the legal parameters since they are designed to do justice to both parties in litigation–ie, there is no inherent bias

    The legal standards are also the product of practical experience, since the common law means that the principle from one case is applicable in future cases where the facts of the case are the same.

  80. NT August 27, 2008 at 9:16 pm #

    OK Nichole here’s what I suggest you do, and it won’t be easy and it will take a long time.

    http://pbsg.npolar.no/
    That website gives a long list of what it says are good publications.

    http://pbsg.npolar.no/Threats/harvest.htm
    Here they claim that the sustainable threshold is 500-700 bears per year.
    Was the old hunt at a greater or lower level?

    This paper gives an example of what you will need to do.
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/3802104

    You’ll have to look at the hunting from region to region and do your own analysis.

    In Google Scholar try searching on the following text:
    “polar bear harvest”
    “Ursus Maritimus harvest”
    “polar bear population”
    “Ursus Maritimus population”

    This should give you papers of populations and harvest estimates for different regions and different times. It will take a lot of effort to synthesize all that, but hey you love polar bears correct??

  81. Ann Novek August 27, 2008 at 9:22 pm #

    Dear Nichole,

    Here’s the UN Agreement on Conservation of Polar Bears,

    http://sedac.ciesin.org/entri/texts/polar.bears.1973.html

    Oslo 15 November 1973

    Regards
    Ann Novek

  82. NT August 27, 2008 at 9:27 pm #

    Nichole,
    I have no knowledge of law, nor would I try and lecture a lawyer on how to research law, nor what should be ‘admissable’ evidence.

    “Rather than having no parameters to what is evidence, why not use the legal parameters since they are designed to do justice to both parties in litigation–ie, there is no inherent bias”

    I don’t think you will find many scientists advocating a legal style of debate or rules of evidence…

  83. Ann August 27, 2008 at 9:28 pm #

    PS. Link aquired after about 10 seconds from the good old guys from the Norwegian Polar Institute!

  84. NT August 27, 2008 at 9:28 pm #

    Oh and by the way, well done on your degrees.
    My sister in law is a lawyer and I certainly see it is hard work.

  85. Travis August 27, 2008 at 9:37 pm #

    Thank you David. Appreciated.

    Thank you NT. Appreciated too.

    Nichole I have provided some literature and asked questions (such as your view on Taylor’s 2008 assessment of unsustainable hunting at 2 subpops of PBs – realive to your argument about historical numbers). Much has been ignored altogether. There was no trickery on my part, simply trying to advance the debate. I’m not sure why philosophy and now law has entered it.

    Which PB experts have you been in contact with? Again no trickery to this question.

  86. Nichole Hoskin August 27, 2008 at 9:42 pm #

    NT,

    I found the reference lists weeks ago and have already looked through it for useful references.

    I can assure you that lawyers don’t advocate for what is often called ‘science’. Australian courts refuse to just accept whatever scientist claim is fact in expert evidence, unless they can establish their claims as a fact with supporting data/research etc.

    Thank you. It is hard work, although the drive for most lawyers is being highly competitive and the adrenaline rush from the pressure to perform in stressful circumstances.

  87. NT August 27, 2008 at 9:45 pm #

    Nichole,
    So what a court accepts as evidence is somehow superior?
    Oh la dee daaaa

  88. Jennifer Marohasy August 27, 2008 at 10:28 pm #

    As regards experts, Nichole has been in correspondence with Derocher, Taylor and others. I don’t think there is anything or anyone she has missed.

    Cheers,

  89. Jennifer Marohasy August 27, 2008 at 10:35 pm #

    PS. I wonder what limits polar bear numbers? Over the last 100 years has it been predation or the carrying capacity of its environment?

  90. Ann August 27, 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    “Polar Bear Range States Meeting Summary
    26-28 June, 2007
    Shepherdstown, West Virginia, U.S.A.
    Purpose of the Meeting
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service convened a meeting of competent polar bear
    authorities in the polar bear Range States to provide an international forum to exchange
    information on polar bear research and management programs, and on the status of polar
    bear populations, and to consider recommendations for additional national or collective
    measures that the Range States may take to conserve the species.
    Impetus for the Meeting
    Recognizing the growing concern over polar bear conservation in light of a number of
    factors including climate change, contaminants in the Arctic, and other issues, there
    exists a desire among the Range States to use established venues such as the 1973
    Agreement to pursue multilateral approaches for information exchange and collaboration
    on polar bear conservation challenges”

    “The Range
    States agreed that impacts of climate change and the continued and increasing loss of sea
    2
    ice — the key habitat for both polar bears and their main prey species — constitutes the
    most significant among several threats to polar bear conservation.”

    “The Range States recognize the important contributions that the PBSG has made with
    respect to the implementation of the 1973 Agreement on behalf of the Contracting
    Parties. This expert group has reviewed and identified research and monitoring needs
    that are critical to worldwide polar bear conservation, and this has provided important
    guidance for consideration by each of the Range States”

    ” The Range States agreed that western science and systematically-collected traditional
    ecological knowledge on population ecology, demographics, and habitats are critical for
    the informed management of sustainable polar bear populations. At present, and often
    for practical reasons, monitoring of the various subpopulations, including for
    conservation purposes, occurs at different frequencies and methodologies resulting in
    data incompatibility and incomplete spatial and temporal polar bear metrics across the
    vast Arctic ecosystem. The high cost of monitoring in Arctic ecosystems is most often
    the major impediment to obtaining the information that is required. These limitations
    need to be overcome collaboratively in the face of changing habitats in order to achieve
    conservation goals for polar bears in the face of climate warming, industrial development
    and other threats”

    Excerpt from Polar Bear Status Meeting Summary June 2007 , USA

    This is just hilarious Jen!!! Don’t you read comments on your own blog??? It was pointed out by the Norwegian Polar Institute that the overharvesting was the main problem , and this was agreed by all contracting parties.

    I’m sorry , but another commentator e-mailed me , and told me that the discussions level was very low.

  91. david@tokyo August 27, 2008 at 11:30 pm #

    Hi Jennifer and Nichole,

    As you note that Nichole has been in correspondence with Dr Derocher, then perhaps this question can be answered:

    “how can Dr Derocher be sure that polar bear populations were being negatively affected by harvesting”

    Does Dr Derocher claim that the polar bear populations were being negatively affected by harvesting based on some measure of relative abundance, rather than the apparently “guessed” estimates of absolute abundance?

    To be honest I had not much interest in this topic, but I thought the suggestion that harvesting a population of animals would deplete it to some extent would be quite uncontroversial :)

  92. Annimal August 28, 2008 at 1:31 am #

    If Nichole has such impressive contacts , perhaps she can ask them to respond to Motty’s and Birds comments????;)

  93. Manny, in Canada August 28, 2008 at 6:17 am #

    To you down in Australia, polar bears are cute and very far away. Up here in Canada, we are well aware that they are the largest land carnivore. A 600 Kg male could squish a Tasmanian devil or a dingo under its paw.
    Here are a few links to show you the polar bears no one wants you to see:

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/polarbear/trouble.html PBS article about their documentary Polar Bear Invasion, about the yearly migration of PB through Churchill, Manitoba, and how the locals’ opinion changed from a plague to a source of tourist cash.

    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=89eb97cb-ba6b-4a0e-a77b-da5ac81e74ae&k=80673
    A recent Canada Post article showing that not all Churchill residents are sold on the idea.

    http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=ECD35C36
    The search page of Environment Canada, which includes the Canadian Wildlife Services. A search for “Polar Bear” or “Ursus maritimus” returned few article, none suggesting a dramatic situation. In Canada, polar bears are a species “of special concern” since at least 1991. This is the lowest on a scale of four status (Extirpated, Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern).

    http://www.freedomwriter.com/issue35/ak34.htm Graphic images of a polar bear attack

  94. Steve Stip August 28, 2008 at 6:39 am #

    If you ever met a polar bear
    and he hadn’t had his lunch
    the last sound to be heard from you
    would be a hearty “crunch”.

  95. Travis August 28, 2008 at 7:07 am #

    >PS. I wonder what limits polar bear numbers? Over the last 100 years has it been predation or the carrying capacity of its environment?

    Prey has something to do with it. This is mentioned in a paper I cited.

    >As you note that Nichole has been in correspondence with Dr Derocher, then perhaps this question can be answered:

    “how can Dr Derocher be sure that polar bear populations were being negatively affected by harvesting”

    LOL! One would think that if Nichole had been ‘in correspondence with Derocher, Taylor and others. I don’t think there is anything or anyone she has missed’ then this question would have been answered, especially by Derocher himself!!!

    So are all these experts (and no one has been missed) agreeing that ‘Just maybe there have always been about 20,000 polar bears in the Arctic?’

    I think we deserve a little more insight into what these experts have said in relation to Nichole’s correspondence with them and her queries. Why waste our time referring to literature when she has received responses from them driectly relevant to the questions being posed?

    I presume Nichol wont answer this, going by past behaviour, but we will see. As it stands, it seems we are not being told the whole story.

  96. Ivan (817 days & Counting) August 28, 2008 at 8:45 am #

    “F=ma is not a proof.”
    Did I say that it was? Go back and re-read it.

    “It was constructed by empirical evidence,”
    And can subsequently be verified by empirical evidence – unlike AGW, which cannot be verified by empirical evidence, so remains a theory.

    “like all good science.”
    ..and unlike AGW ‘science’, which has no verifiable empirical evidence, and is therefore must ‘bad science’ or, at best, guesswork.

    As usual, all of this is simply skirting the main issue. The AGW zealots want to rip billions of dollars out of the economy to ‘fix’ a non-existent problem. Where is your verifiable proof? Or would you sooner that your house and other assets be seized to reimburse those who suffer damages as a result of the policies implemented in the name of your ‘science’?

  97. Ian Mott August 28, 2008 at 11:16 am #

    What classic bollocks, NT. You provided a link to a broad survey of PBs that identified a small portion of plant sourced elements in their long term diet. The survey was obviously far too general to provide information on the vegetation useage by the West HB population that has significant ice free periods.

    Your garden variety doofus would know that berries don’t grow on ice so a survey of ice dwelling PBs is unlikely to yield much evidence of berry consumption.

    In any event you were mounting another straw man. I was pointing out the absence of research on the nutrient levels in berries and the fact that Derocher appears to assume that this source could never make a meaningful contribution to PB energy balance. But all you did was google up PB dietary research as if it were evidence of berry research. So just for the record, NT, PBs are not berries, one is animal, the other is vegetable.

    And Nichole has every right to ask where the numbers came from because this sort of exagerated or distorted population spin is standard MO for green shonkademics. They like nothing more than to use unsubstantiated estimates in policy development because unlike hard data, the estimates can always be revised if they subsequently prove to be politically inconvenient.

    If the Canadian government and associated scientific millieu can get the population of highly visible Caribou wrong by a factor of 100% then the population estimates for well camouflaged PBs is likely to be highly suspect.

  98. NT August 28, 2008 at 11:21 am #

    Ohhh Ivan… Come on mate, you were declaring me a moron for not understanding ‘proof’.
    Proof is not a scientific necessity. Did Einstein prove that the maximum possible velocity for every photon in a vacuum is the same? No, it’s impossible.

    Your understanding of what AGW is seems flawed.
    “And can subsequently be verified by empirical evidence – unlike AGW, which cannot be verified by empirical evidence, so remains a theory. ”

    It is more a consequence of empirically measured things. So we know that CO2 acts like a greenhouse gas, we know the concentration of CO2 is rising, we know human activities have increased the CO2 in the atmosphere… All these things are empirically measured.
    And are all verifiable.

    “As usual, all of this is simply skirting the main issue. The AGW zealots want to rip billions of dollars out of the economy to ‘fix’ a non-existent problem. Where is your verifiable proof? Or would you sooner that your house and other assets be seized to reimburse those who suffer damages as a result of the policies implemented in the name of your ‘science’?”

    This doesn’t actually have anything to do with the science of AGW. If you have cancer, you treat it. You don’t decide cancer doesn’t exist because it’s too expensive.

    Also your presumption that treating AGW will somehow destroy the economy is probably very wrong. There are already activities working toward finding energy sources that will enable us to move out of the coal economy. The hot dry rock geothermal energy in Australia looks promising.

  99. Steve Stip August 28, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    “We can hardly guess why our ancestors descended into the Second Dark Ages before the last Ice Age.
    They had safe nuclear technology but refused to use it in favor of low density energy sources like windmills of all things! And they cut down on the use of fossil fuels just when they might have prevented the Last Ice Age. We can only hope that such suicidal tendencies have been eliminated from the gene pool…”

  100. Nichole Hoskin August 28, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    Ann,

    Thanks for the link.

    While the treaty is the primary place to go, under international law, evidence of the meaning of terms in the Convention comes from the ‘travaux preparatoires’. This source is fantastic for the arguments presented by the State parties as they negotiate the Convention. It also usually makes clear the ‘intentions of the State parties’.

    I recommend being very careful in reading a Convention and trying to understand its meaning and legal effect. There is a maze of rules, and customs that effect the interpretation that the International Court of Justice will give to a term. Law is a complex and high technical language.

  101. Ivan (817 days & Counting) August 28, 2008 at 1:20 pm #

    “It is more a consequence of empirically measured things. So we know that CO2 acts like a greenhouse gas, we know the concentration of CO2 is rising, we know human activities have increased the CO2 in the atmosphere… All these things are empirically measured.
    And are all verifiable.”

    …including the fact that the concentration of CO2 continues to rise, all the while temperatures have plateaued or have begun to trend downwards. That sounds like a compelling case for pissing billions more dollars down the drain.

    “The hot dry rock geothermal energy in Australia looks promising.”
    Oh yeah! Let’s bet our future on something that ‘looks promising’. Brilliant.

  102. Nichole Hoskin August 28, 2008 at 1:23 pm #

    NT,

    I didn’t say that courts have superior finding than scientists. All I pointed out was the fact that Australian courts will not blindly accept whatever opinion scientists express unless there is evidence that the expert opinion is based on evidence and not speculation.

  103. NT August 28, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    Nichole, and your reason for saying that is…. Or is it just some interesting factoid?
    The implication that will be made is that science does just accept speculation.
    This is not true.

    The best bit about science is that you don’t go to jail or get fined for dissenting. If you disagree with a judge’s ruling, isn’t that contempt? Resulting in fines or jail?
    No such thing applies in science so people can freely dissent. Now THAT is a system for getting to the truth of a matter.

  104. Travis August 28, 2008 at 2:28 pm #

    There seems to be a side issue of law here, but I would like to know:

    So are all these experts (and no one has been missed) agreeing that ‘Just maybe there have always been about 20,000 polar bears in the Arctic?’

    If there is nothing to hide, it’s a straight forward affirmative.

  105. Ann August 28, 2008 at 6:58 pm #

    From a Norwegian fisheries paper:

    http://fiskeribladetfiskaren.no/default.asp?side=101&lesmer=8770

    Warmer water will not only have an impact on the sea ice and marine mammals , but it will change dramatically the conditions for organisms on the sea bottom , that are in the bottom of the food chain.

    Research has been carried out by the Polar Institute that show that waters in northwest of Svalbard have had a temperature increase of 5 degrees C. ( 2 degrees C is in natural variations).

    Bottom dwelling organisms are an indicator that something is happening with the ocean’s eco systems around the entire world, states a Professor at the Polar Institute.

    Another news from yesterday :

    Arctic sea ice now second-lowest on record

    “Sea ice extent has fallen below the 2005 minimum, previously the second-lowest extent recorded since the dawn of the satellite era. ”

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/index.html

  106. Libby August 28, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    Hello Jennifer and Nichole,

    I took it upon myself to contact Dr Andrew Derocher. I will not disclose the content of his correspondence with me. I have far too much respect for him to do that.

    Dr Derocher wrote a lengthy reply to my query about polar bear populations, and I have to say I am extremely disappointed by what is written in the opening piece to this thread, especially considering you contacted Dr Derocher personally. It is devious and highly misleading, and I have to agree with NT and Travis in that there is obviously an agenda here and it does not include reading the facts presented before you or listening to the experts. I am surprised at the level of some of the discussion here and the silliness, but I will say that Dr Derocher was too, especilly concerning Ian’s berries!

    I’ll pass on that there are a number of publications due out soon, such as on polar bear denning area loss, and there is a new paper available now on polar bears and climate change.

    I have always been reserved in my assessment of polar bears and the AGW debate. I believe the literature coming out on ringed seal recruitment rates, polar bear populations and so forth, but perhaps it is because I work in the marne mammal field. Dr Derocher painted a very gloomy picture indeed for the wildlife of the Arctic, based on his findings and those of his colleagues who have worked in this environment for many years.

    To those who will predictably boo me for not disclosing here what Dr Derocher said, too bad. In the polar bear debate, you are nobodies.

  107. Nichole Hoskin August 28, 2008 at 8:04 pm #

    Travis,

    I only briefly scan your comments to see if you are discussing something interesting/relevant to the blog piece. Since most of the time you are going off on tangents or attacking someone, I am bored with reading your long and often point-less comments.

    On Derocher and my emails to him, I included the links to these two blog pieces in an email to him. It is now up to him to check them out and decide if he wants to contribute to the comments or not.

    I would really like to hear from Derocher on what I have written. However, I am not going to start emailing him continuously because you tell me to.

    As for demanding details of my correspondence, I am not going to publish any correspondence I receive, without first gaining the consent of the other person. Since I don’t think this is important enough to bother Derocher with, I am not going to email him for his consent.

    Who do you think you are? I don’t have to prove myself to you.

    Why are you pushing so hard with the demands for me to get in contact with Derocher/reveal what was said? Fishing for something to jump up and down about?

  108. Ann August 28, 2008 at 8:09 pm #

    Thanks Libby! And a thanks as well to Luke , Travis and David ( isn’t it amazing that we all agree) !!!:)

  109. Travis August 28, 2008 at 9:00 pm #

    Nichole,

    Your response doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. I have no idea how you can conclude I am going off on tangents when I have provided you with information when asked on this thread and the previous, both ‘historial’ and new. I have kept to topic, regardless of the talk here on law and philosophy, Ivan’s constant trolling and some of the other comments. It seems that Mott can attack and still get responses and praise from you, so there are some obvious conclusions to be drawn there. Your opinion as to whether what I post is ‘relevant/interesting’ and that it is boring is simply that, and quite revealing. I took the time to reveal the contents of two papers you yourself cited, but perhaps you were not happy with what else the papers said regarding the point you were trying to make?

    >I would really like to hear from Derocher on what I have written. However, I am not going to start emailing him continuously because you tell me to.

    I’m sorry Nichole but I was under the impression from what was written here by Jennifer that you had already been in communication with Derocher and exchanges had been made. I was not continuously telling you to email him, I was continuously asking you to present your information. Please do not misrepresent me.

    >Who do you think you are? I don’t have to prove myself to you.

    Please, give it a break. You are adult enough to post threads here making certain claims and being selective with your information. If you didn’t want to be criticised for poor evidence, then perhaps you were expecting your readers to all be in total agreement with you, be quite silly or not give a toss? I’m not asking for you to prove yourself to me, simply your evidence and the point you are making. Please don’t manipulate it around to suggest otherwise or make yourself look like a victim.

    >Why are you pushing so hard with the demands for me to get in contact with Derocher/reveal what was said? Fishing for something to jump up and down about?

    Here is what Jennifer wrote:
    ‘But I asked Nichole to find some hard data, some reliable numbers, to at least support the idea that numbers have increased since the 1970s. Interestingly, she has spent days searching and reading and emailing experts, to conclude that there may have been as few as 5,000 bears 40 years ago, then again there may have been as many as 20,000.’

    Along with:
    ‘As regards experts, Nichole has been in correspondence with Derocher, Taylor and others. I don’t think there is anything or anyone she has missed.’

    Even David wrote:
    >As you note that Nichole has been in correspondence with Dr Derocher, then perhaps this question can be answered:

    “how can Dr Derocher be sure that polar bear populations were being negatively affected by harvesting”

    Is David a bad boy for asking??

    It now appears that you did not get a reply from Derocher, but it did not come across as that obvious in what was written.

    The reason I was asking about your emails to Derocher was because I wanted to know how you came up with the question ‘But how can Dr Derocher be sure that polar bear populations were being negatively affected by harvesting if there is no hard data on population numbers for the same period?’ But that is now pretty obvious! Telling me I am looking for something to jump up and down about is childish. I am looking for answers and facts Nichole, and so far a number of us (not just me) have been unsatisfied with what you have been putting forward.

    So please, dispense with the victim role and debate the science. Surely that is why we are all here?

    Thankyou Libby for your comment regarding Derocher. I would not expect you or Nichole to reveal the contents of Derocher’s email unless he had consented. I think you have said enough though for some conclusions to be drawn, and I think some of us knew them already.

    Gee, this post is likely just too long, boring and irrelevant for kindie concentrations and cognition.

  110. Paul Biggs August 28, 2008 at 10:09 pm #

    109 comments, and still no one has come up with solid historical or current polar bear numbers. I guess that’s what we call ‘uncertainty.’

    I do however have some Arctic news: “400,000 square miles more Arctic ice today than a year ago.”

  111. Ann August 28, 2008 at 10:33 pm #

    ” I do however have some Arctic news: ” 400 000 square miles more Arctic ice today than a year ago ” – Paul

    From my above link : ” The bottom line, however, is that the strong negative trend in summertime ice extent characterizing the past decade continues”

  112. Paul Biggs August 29, 2008 at 1:35 am #

    400 000 square miles more Arctic ice today than a year ago, which is positive compared to last year.

    ” The bottom line, however, is that the strong negative trend in summertime ice extent characterizing the past decade continues”

    Which means or proves what exactly?

  113. Ann August 29, 2008 at 8:12 am #

    From Reuters:

    ” As more Arctic ice melts, bears are forced to swim longer distances to find adequate platforms for hunting. Rescuing bears in distress in open water is problematic, Williams said: tranquilizing the bears sends them into the water to drown.

    The US government in May listed polar bears as a threatened species because their icy habitat was disappearing, but offered no plans to address climate change or drilling in the Arctic for fossil fuels that spur the climate-warming greenhouse effect.

    Summer ice melt in the Arctic is seen as a strong indicator of climate change, and feeds on itself in what scientists call a positive feedback loop where warming exposes dark sea water, which absorbs more solar radiation than the white ice.

    Arctic sea ice is sometimes dubbed Earth’s air conditioner for its ability to moderate world climate. In the last decade, this ice has declined by roughly 10 percent. ”

  114. gavin August 29, 2008 at 8:19 am #

    Anne and Paul, please stop it now. You are making me chuckle

  115. Ann August 29, 2008 at 9:02 am #

    You’r completely right Gavin, thanks!

    For readers info I have also today e-mailed Norwegian Polar Institute’s Polar bear expert, Dr Aars ( one of the name you see in the scientific paper together with Sterling, Derocher, Wiig , Taylor et al) posing some questions that readers here on the blog have asked.

    If I get a reply I might post them on my blog.

    I feel as well that my time has come to an end here ( again;)! but I will thank the readers.

  116. gavin August 29, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    Locals could be more amused when they find the article headed “Global warming puts heat on Arctic ice cap” on page 13 in today’s Canberra Times with its accompanying picture (Reuters) of a floundering polar bear in cool grey waters.

    That’s a well illustrated item hey

    See the original Jean-Louis Santini article “Arctic ice cap ‘melting more than ever”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24254860-12377,00.html

    or here

    http://www.france24.com/20080828-north-pole-ice-cap-melting-faster-ever

    and in many other places on the www today.

    Howzat for pouring oil on a brewing storm?

  117. Ian Mott August 29, 2008 at 10:49 am #

    Note how Libby had every opportunity to correct any misconceptions about the actual nutritional value of berries but chose, instead, to give us a bit of hearsay. If Derocher had actually mentioned some relevant facts on this issue then Libby would always have been free to repeat those facts. And from this we can conclude that either, Derocher did not provide any facts, or that the facts did not reconcile with Derocher’s or Libby’s opinion.

    So once more, does anyone have detailed and specific research that would indicate that it takes a whole lot more than about 30 to 40kg of berries per day to deliver the same energy budget as eating 1.5 baby seals each week?

    I will be quite happy to be corrected by credible evidence.

  118. Travis August 29, 2008 at 11:20 am #

    You just don’t get it do you Mott? BTW, you are off-topic, but I’m sure Nichole wont mind.

  119. NT August 29, 2008 at 3:36 pm #

    Ian, I sent you two papers on how important berries were to PB diet… You seem to be unable to read?

  120. Paul Biggs August 29, 2008 at 5:03 pm #

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/ArcticCanada.JPG

    Looks as though Polar Bears survived warming 7000 and 1000 years ago.

  121. Travis August 29, 2008 at 6:53 pm #

    Paul, the ability of the bears to survive during that period says nothing about how the bears will survive during a period of warming now. The animals are now specialised to live off the ice. The western Hudson Bay population has ice-free periods where they occasionally eat berries but live off their fat reserves. If warming happens at a rate where the bears AND their prey cannot adapt, they won’t.

    I don’t know why people go back to the argument of what happened to PBs during this warming period. I don’t think any PB scientists were there at the time to note what really went on and it is pretty irrelevant to what is happening today. The PBs we see today are adpated to the habitat they live in. A basic understanding of ecology would allow you to put this argument in context and focus on the real issues.

  122. Nichole Hoskin August 29, 2008 at 7:13 pm #

    Travis,

    Yes I have made positive comments to Ian Mott. Did it occur to you that I was doing it because I know that you and others will attack him and I appreciate his contributions because he provides a different view to the majority of commentors.

    As Voltaire once said, I might not agree with you opinion but I will die for your right to say it–its called encourage diverse participation and freedom of speech

  123. Nichole Hoskin August 29, 2008 at 7:23 pm #

    Travis,

    Your ‘revealing of the contents’ didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, although your interpretation was novel in some parts. It bored me.

    Plus, if you really wanted to make the relevant contrary argument to my piece on western Hudson Bay, you would have read the justification section of the IUCN Red List for Polar Bears. One of the links in the present piece will take you to it. There Derocher et al argue that the reason that polar bears will not be able to adapt is because climate change will happen too rapidly. Since my first piece on polar bears raised the point that polar bears might be able to adapt….shouldn’t the counter argument focus on why scientist think they won’t be able to adapt?

    For me, Derocher et al.’s argument is inherently speculation since it is a prediction about the future. Unless Derocher et al are psychics or time-travellers, I don’t know how they have observational data that proves there claims.

  124. Nichole Hoskin August 29, 2008 at 7:45 pm #

    Travis,

    I don’t expect people to agree with me! In fact, I enjoy exchanging ideas, passionate arguments and the opportunity to consider a variety of views.

    However, I find it frustrating when you make assumptions that you have no evidence to prove, excessively quote (probably a breach of copyright) from articles I have read and resort to personal attacks when you are unable to come up with a valid contrary argument. Its childish. It puts others off from contributing because they know that if you disagree, you will resort to school bully behaviour.

    I am not saying don’t disagree, I am saying do it in an manner that is respectful of others and supports diverse contributions

    On the fact that others joined in on your campaign for me to post the emails, its amazing that those who tend to agree with each other tend to support each other. Kinda like what I was trying to do with Ian Mott, although since I don’t have any evidence of David’s motivations, I am not going to speculate on them.

  125. Nichole Hoskin August 29, 2008 at 7:51 pm #

    Travis,

    I got two replies from Derocher because I asked two questions.

    Since your fascinated with who I email, I also got a reply from Dr Nick Lunn, at the Canadian Wildlife Service.

    However, I would like a detailed response from Derocher on his views on what I have written. But that is something that he can choose to do if he wishes, after he has read the links I sent him.

  126. Nichole Hoskin August 29, 2008 at 7:58 pm #

    Travis,

    You better go back and read Derocher’s paper on Terrestrial Feeding observed in Polar Bears. He clearly states that we do not know how significant vegetation is for polar bears since we don’t know how whether polar bears get comparable energy from eating berries etc as they do from eating ringed seals.

    Until that question is resolved, it is impossible to say that polar bears live off fat reserves exclusively!

  127. Nichole Hoskin August 29, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    Travis,

    You better go back and read Derocher’s paper on Terrestrial Feeding. He clearly states that we do not know how significant vegetation is for polar bears since we don’t know whether polar bears get comparable energy from eating berries, other animals etc as they do from eating ringed seals.

    Until that question is resolved, it is impossible to say that polar bears live off fat reserves exclusively!

  128. Ian Mott August 29, 2008 at 10:29 pm #

    Exactly, Nichole. Travis et al would have us believe that PBs MUST live off their fat reserves when feeding on berries but the initial evidence on berry nutrition indicates that there need be no reduction in fat reserves whenever berries are available.

    Indeed, there would have to be a major departure between Blackberry/Raspberry nutritional levels and Cloud Berry and other local berry species for the conventional assumption to apply.

    Note that NT has claimed that he provided links that refuted my conclusion but, pointedly, has not done a copy and paste of any alternate data.

    The entire melting ice/PB threat “scarenario” is based on this false assumption that PBs will still lose fat reserves when feeding on berries.

    Yet, the consumption of only 30 to 40kg of berries each day is not a big ask, especially for an animal with thick fur to protect against the thorns. So a mere 15kg to cover base metabolism, and thereby make no drawdown on fat reserves is in the realm of substantial probability.

    The real irony in all this is that on one hand we have the vegan/green left demanding that one species of omnivores (humans) should reduce their consumption of meat products in the interests of planetary sustainability. Yet, the very notion that another of the major omnivore species, the Polar/Brown Bears, might voluntarily do so in response to cyclical climatic variation is regarded as gross calumny. Go figure.

    One interesting aspect of Derocher’s papers is the breakdown of fat utilisation during hunting. We are told that of a 22kg weekly gross fat intake, some 10kg is added to fat reserves while 6kg (0.85kg/day) is base metabolism and another 6kg is expended on hunting. We are also told that this act of hunting involves travelling 15km each day (105km/week).

    This works out at about 57 grams of fat for each kilometre travelled which, multiplied by the standard 37.656kj/gram comes to only 2,146kj/km. Divide this by the 2180kj in a KG of berries and we find that a bear must only find 984 grams of berries in each kilometre of browsing to cover the energy used in finding those berries.

    And if we allocate the fat required for base metabolism to each of these 15km browsings then the total only doubles to 1.97kg/km of browsing. From this, we can only conclude that even the extremely sparsely distributed berry resources are capable of significantly augmenting Polar Bear fat reserves. A good thick berry patch can produce tonnes of berries per hectare while a 1km transect at a notional 2 metres wide only covers 0.2 of a hectare.

    And that, folks, means “Myth Busted”.

  129. Travis August 29, 2008 at 10:59 pm #

    >Did it occur to you that I was doing it because I know that you and others will attack him

    Um, I take it you are aware of the abuse Ian Mott has dished out to myself and others here, including threatening to kill my mother’s cat?? With a comment such as this Nichole, there really is not much use in trying to engage in sensible discussion with you. Ian Mott’s comments on berries were made up by himself. I gather this is the sort of different view you appreciate? His retort to Libby and conclusions regarding her communication with Derocher should hardly sit well with a lawyer.

    >its called encourage diverse participation and freedom of speech

    That’s fine, but be consistent with your citicism of posters here – Ivan being a notable example.

    >Your ‘revealing of the contents’ didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, although your interpretation was novel in some parts. It bored me.

    I didn’t do it for you Nichole. I did it for readers who do not have access to the papers you cited and who are too lazy to read links. I have no interest in whether it bored you or not, and as you don’t seem to understand their contents, I’m not surprised.

    >Since my first piece on polar bears raised the point that polar bears might be able to adapt….shouldn’t the counter argument focus on why scientist think they won’t be able to adapt?

    The first peice from papers published in 1993 and 1998 did not put forward convincing evidence to support your claim that PBs might be able to adapt. You are mispresentng what the authors wrote. It was always known that the western Hudson Bay pop comes ashore in ice-free areas and fasts. Look at the latitude for this location compared with the rest of the pops of PBs. The papers did not say they could sustain themselves on berries, showed that males there rarely eat berries (even though their energy demands are very high), suggested why females with cubs go inland, and said quiet plainly that there are not enough foods like berries available to sustain these animals. If they could eat berries and adapt, why don’t they do so with more frequency? Why haven’t more recent studies suggested this? Why are papers still saying they live off their fat reserves? Why are these same authors you cited stating that PBs can not grow to be as large as they are on a diet of vegetation? As Derocher, Stirling and others have spent many years studying these animals and understanding the conditions they live in, I think they are well-placed to say that they will have problenms adapting if c/c happens too fast. I have provided information that has shown ringed seals (PB prey) are not adapting well to the changing conditions. There is other evidence out there to support it, which I’m sure you are aware of. So the scientists out there are putting forward counter arguments based on their studies and what is known of the bears, their prey and their environment. Why are you arguing with these reserachers? Who are you to disagree? In fact you have contradicted yourself here by first saying that your cited papers suggest PBs can adapt and then saying that Derocher claims they can’t if c/c happens too fast. Derocher was involved in the papers you cited! So (a) you are continuing to cherry pick information from the papers you cited, (b) you are refusing to accept more recent findings on PBs (c) you are continuing to disagree with experts who actually know something about PBS.

    >For me, Derocher et al.’s argument is inherently speculation since it is a prediction about the future.

    This is not all about the future. The changes are happening now and the research is showing it. I’m not sure why you refuse to accept or acknowledge it.

    >when you are unable to come up with a valid contrary argument

    That is your opinion Nichole, and going by what you have just written, not surprising at all.

    >It puts others off from contributing because they know that if you disagree, you will resort to school bully behaviour.

    So you can condone the trolling of Ivan, the bullying of Mott and the suggestion of killing PBs here? You have evidence it puts people off contributing? I could just as easily say that your inability to produce a valid argument to support your claims and understand the evidence before you also puts people off.

    >On the fact that others joined in on your campaign for me to post the emails, its amazing that those who tend to agree with each other tend to support each other.

    So? People here have their own opinions. They have tried to express them. Most often you have not listened to the side you are not in agreement with. They want answers and proof. Is that not fair enough? The fact that a marine mammal researcher like Libby decided to go to the source for information (Derocher) is not a glowing endorsement of what you have argued so far. If folk here want to do their own research into the matter, then I think it shows initiative and says something about the arguments and evidence you are presenting. It does not necessarily show that those in agreement show support. That’s your opinion again, and the point is hardly important to the topic at hand is it?

    >although since I don’t have any evidence of David’s motivations, I am not going to speculate on them.

    Of course not! He is usually on your side! But you are going to speculate on Ann’s and Libby’s and mine! You are very transparent with your alliances.

    >Since your fascinated with who I email, I also got a reply from Dr Nick Lunn, at the Canadian Wildlife Service.

    I am glad you have received replies from Derocher and Lunn. Hopefully they can contribute to the discussion here. Again you are misrepresnting me Nichole. I am not ‘fascinated’ with who you email. That is an immature response and undermines the intellectual interest I have in this topic.

    >Until that question is resolved, it is impossible to say that polar bears live off fat reserves exclusively!

    Nichole the paper was published in 1993. We are talking about one population of PBs with a southerly distribution. The author has since said the bears cannot get so big on berries. I have gone over this above and previously. There have been studies done on grizzlies and berries. I suggest you look over them. Any berry significance should have been well and truly researched by now (especially in light of c/c) and will only be valid for the populations of PBs that have access to berries, which are very, very few and in varying quantities and monthly availablility. No one is disputing that some PBs were shown to eat some berries. The paper says they can supplement their diet with berries. However it also suggests that males tend to live off their fat reserves exclusively. If berries were so important for these larger and more energy-demanding animals, surely they would be out eating berries, when they are available and where they are available??

    It seems you are still misinterpreting the information in the papers you cited in order to grasp onto an argument you have already formed. I hope that Derocher rsponds to you, I really do. If he does not, should you draw conclusions from that?

    BTW, I notice you have put in 6 consecutive posts (hence my lengthy and no doubt boring reply here). I trust your fair judgement of others such as myself should we do the same is as consistent as your judgement on relevance, courtesy and facts. I have also metered my response to the level of civility you have granted to me.

  130. Zach August 29, 2008 at 11:12 pm #

    “Note that NT has claimed that he provided links that refuted my conclusion but, pointedly, has not done a copy and paste of any alternate data.”

    Perhaps he would be breaching copyright!

    “And that, folks, means “Myth Busted”.”

    I am so glad the reseachers don’t need to do any research any more but just rely on Ian’s wisdom and expertise. What a bloody joke! The science of the deniers is never in any doubt. No wonder Nicole supports you.

    Travis, why do you or Ann or NT bother? I for one appreciate your efforts, but these people are fruitcakes with a fantasy view of the world. I just wish they lived in a separate one altogether.

  131. Ann Novek August 30, 2008 at 5:21 am #

    A short last input here. I got replies from Dr Aars , from the Norwegian Polar Institute ,and I will even question him more and might post the replies on my blog if I got his consent.

    However, methinks it’s OK to post one reply here .

    I asked Dr Aar’s if polar bear researchers could use DNA to calculate historical population estimates?

    He said such methods were very uncertain, I mentioned Palumbi’s work with grey whales, but he said they were uncertain and got criticism. He didn’t believe such methods could be used on polar bears in the future.

  132. Ann Novek August 30, 2008 at 5:48 am #

    Dr. Jon Aars is as well a permanent member of the Norwegian delegations IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group

  133. Nichole Hoskin August 30, 2008 at 7:18 am #

    Travis,

    Go back and read the comments above where I thanked NT for drawing my attention to the retraction of an opinion on sea ice extent. Who is selective and inconsistent?

  134. Nichole Hoskin August 30, 2008 at 7:28 am #

    Zach,

    Resorting to analogies with holocaust deniers is petty. Since denying the Holocaust is a crime in Europe and relates to denying historical fact….explain to me why it is the same as questioning predictions about the future.

  135. Nichole Hoskin August 30, 2008 at 7:33 am #

    Travis,

    Once again you show us all that you have poor comprehension skills. When did I supporting killing polar bears? In fact, if you read what I commented to Ann, I said I don’t have an opinion on harvesting per see and that I am not necessarily in favour of harvesting of polar bears.

  136. Ian Mott August 30, 2008 at 8:50 am #

    So, as expected, lots of rhetoric to obscure the fact that they have made no response to the calculation, based on Derocher’s own information, and freely available berry nutrition data, that a bear only needs to find 2kg of berries, or lichen equivalent, to cover base metablism and energy used in browsing for 1 kilometre.

    Lots of generalised opinion but a consistent refusal to shift from the general to the specifics of this issue. They continue to cite surveys showing a lack of berry consumption, but based on populations that still have good ice cover.

    Key fact, folks, berries dont grow on ice. But if the discussion is of a speculative nature as to the likely consequences of a reduction in ice cover then why would anyone continue to quote ice based surveys? Hello? Is anyone home?

    And why would anyone continue to cite surveys of entire populations when it is the sub-population of breeding females and adolescents that eat the berries? It is the retained fat reserves of females and adolescents that has been highlighted as critical to species survival.

    Interestingly, if Derocher’s average body fat budget of 22kg/week is derived from a survey that includes the much larger males then the minimum berry consumption threshholds indicated in my above posts would be smaller still for females and adolescents.

    No wonder the climate alarmists are so keen to ignore the whole issue.

  137. Tom Melville August 30, 2008 at 9:10 am #

    Ian Mott: I must say that one of the real pleasures of reading this blog is finding one of these situations where you completely dismantle these green myths with the basic maths of the issue. The “bull$hitistanis” as you call them really don’t like any consideration of the basic maths because it always brings them undone.

    But you should have extended the 2kg/km figure to give a minimum berry volume per hectare of land. That is, 1km distance x 2 metres wide = 2000m2, so 2kg/0.2ha = 10kg/ha. That is a really sparse distribution of berries in a landscape and a good indicator of why the females and adolescents are likely to exploit this food source whenever it is available.

  138. Nichole Hoskin August 30, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    Thanks Ann.

    That makes sense with what I know about DNA technology, in a criminal law context. DNA evidence, as used in Australian criminal trials, is a statistical probability, with a one in a 100,000,000 probability that there would be someone else, who is not related to the ‘offender’, having the same DNA profile as the offender.

  139. Nichole Hoskin August 30, 2008 at 9:35 am #

    Zach,

    Just because you don’t agree doesn’t make everyone else wrong.

    Why do you come here and read the comments if you think we are all fruitcakes?

  140. Nichole Hoskin August 30, 2008 at 9:41 am #

    Travis,

    I wish you would extend me the same civility I extend to you. When I questioned your interpretation of the articles, I refered to your interesting interpretation.

    When you questioned my interpretation of the articles, you accused me of misrepresentation.

    How is that the same civility?

    It’s ironic that you accuse me of misrepresentation and then proceed to misrepresent my views on harvesting of polar bears.

    Your lack of attention to detail became apparent when you were obsessed with the title of my 1st blog, yet you repeatedly mis-spelt my name, which was also in the title.

  141. Travis August 30, 2008 at 10:30 am #

    >When did I supporting killing polar bears?

    This is what I wrote Nichole…’So you can condone the trolling of Ivan, the bullying of Mott and the suggestion of killing PBs here?’ I did not say YOU suggested killing PBs. I was referring to what a couple of other posters suggested with regards to killing PBs. These comments (along with Ivan’s irrelevance and trolling) drew no remarks from you and yet when I post information I am told it is boring, off-topic….So any ‘poor comprehension skills’ are entirely your own. I read your comment to Ann re harvesting and took it on board.

    >I wish you would extend me the same civility I extend to you.

    Nichole you have just written here that my information is boring, off-topic, that I have no comprehension skills. In what way are you being somehow more civil to me than I was to you in my last post??

    If I accuse you of misinterpretation, it is being civil. There were no attacks or ad homs, it was a basic comment that you had not represented accurately what I had written. How is this being uncivil?

    >It’s ironic that you accuse me of misrepresentation and then proceed to misrepresent my views on harvesting of polar bears.

    I have just cleared this up here. Hopefully you can understand it.

    >Your lack of attention to detail became apparent when you were obsessed with the title of my 1st blog, yet you repeatedly mis-spelt my name, which was also in the title.

    Now you really are sounding desperate and irrational. Read back – others have mispelt your name. I actually APOLOGISED to you when I found I was doing it. The fact you have singled me out here smacks of your own victimisation against me. It doesn’t matter to you that others did it or that I apologised. If you are miffed at me for making counter-claims against your arguments Nichole, then say so, but please drop this petty victim stance that is hypocritical at best, and your own form of victimisation against a poster at worst.

    My ‘obsession’ with your first title was because it was misleading. I’ve gone over this a number of times and presented information to support this view. You can’t seem to comprehend this though and continue along the same path, selecting out what you consider to be noteworthy pieces that support the view of your title. It is my attention to detail that has questioned why you have been so deliberately selective.

    I see that Mott continues to push his made up information on PBs and berry consumption. For a start this is off-topic. It is also not based on fact, but based on speculation, something which a number of posters here have made clear they do not like with when it comes to PBs. The double standards, inconsistencies and selectivity of some here is really quite amazing.

    Here is something that perhaps Nichole, Mott and now Tom Meville may like to read:-

    http://www.esajournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&issn=0012-9658&volume=078&issue=04&page=1105&ct=1

    Of course an abstract is just that, and to get a full understanding, it is anticipated that you will read the entire article.

  142. Travis August 30, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    And here is another one:-

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/374279

  143. Travis August 30, 2008 at 12:22 pm #

    >yet you repeatedly mis-spelt my name, which was also in the title.

    Let’s collate some data here: David and J. Hansford attributed the thread to Jennifer. Hillary Gibbons called you Nicole, Mott called you Nicole, Ann called you Nicole, NT called you Nicole (repeatedly, gosh!). I called you Nicole repeatedly and apologised for it. If it was such an issue for you, why didn’t you raise it earlier, like on the previous thread when I was mispelling it???

  144. david@tokyo August 30, 2008 at 1:50 pm #

    > David’s motivations

    I like sustainable whaling, and other examples of sustainable use.

    > He is usually on your side!

    I don’t recall ever being involved in other discussions with Nichole, so I don’t know how such a judgement might be made.

    > David and J. Hansford attributed the thread to Jennifer.

    No I didn’t. I only addressed a comment to Jennifer after I saw a comment from her mentioning that Nichole had been in contact with Mr. Derocher.

    Please leave me out of the squabbles.

  145. Travis August 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm #

    >No I didn’t.

    I did not say it was YOU, I said it was David. It’s quite possible that other Davids read and comment here.

  146. Nichole Hoskin August 30, 2008 at 5:04 pm #

    Travis,

    I didn’t comment because Ivan’s suggestion appeared to me to be black humour. Plus, they haven’t accused me of misrepresenting Derocher’s paper. If you the poke a tiger, you should expect to get bitten.

    On the name thing, it wasn’t an issue for me, thats why I didn’t raise it. It was an example of your lack of attention to detail.
    Ivan always spelt my name correctly and from memory Ian Mott did from pretty early on.

  147. Nichole Hoskin August 30, 2008 at 5:21 pm #

    Travis,

    “If I accuse you of misinterpretation, it is being civil.” If you think that you are being civil, then why do you consider my responses to be uncivil? Maybe you should consider your part in the interactions instead of focusing on what everyone is saying back to you after you make inflammatory comments

    Besides, this is a side-track.

    Show me how I ‘misrepresented’ papers I cited? Your previous argument appeared to be that because I misrepresented the papers I cited by not refering to papers on climate change, which would raise a whole range of different issues not relevant to the point I was making.

    Prove that I misrepresented the papers. Point to the statements I made that you think ‘misrepresents’ the papers cited by me in the piece.

  148. Jennifer Marohasy August 30, 2008 at 7:42 pm #

    Libby, I was interested to read in your comment in the above thread that you are “extremely disappointed by what is written in the opening piece to this thread”. But can you tell me what is factually wrong with it?
    Cheers,

  149. Ian Mott August 30, 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    Yes, every reader should take a good look at the links that Travis supplied just above. And lets all hope that you can glean a great deal more from it than poor Travis, who seems to read things only to the point when he thinks his prejudices may be served.

    He saw some initial information from Welsh et al that pointed to an upper limit to the physical ability of bears to eat berries and assumed that this supported his broader position that PBs without ice pack must lose body fat.

    So lets just run the calculator over the numbers for him, shall we? Welsh said;

    “Maximum intakes ranged from 30 g/min for 0.5-g berries to >200 g/min for 4.2-g fruits”.

    But if Travis had shown even minimal intellectual curiosity he would have multiplied the bottom of the range 30g/min intake by 60 minutes and at least 22 hours in the Arctic summer daytime and discovered that this amounted to 1.8kg/hour and 39.6kg each day.

    And when we multiply this total by the 2180kj in each nominal kg of berries we get 86,328kj, divided by the 37.656kj in each gram of fat then we have an equivalent of 2.292kg of fat intake per day or 16kg/week. And if, as Derocher has indicated, it takes 1.5 baby seals to produce 22kg of fat then this lowest range berry intake is the equivalent of 1.09 baby seals/week.

    But wait, there is also the upper range. If Travis had multiplied the upper range intake of 200g/min by the same 60 minutes and 22 hours he would have discovered that this amounted to a massive 12kg/hour and 264kg per day.

    And when we multiply this total by the 2180kj in each nominal kg of berries we get 575,520kj, divided by the 37.656kj in each gram of fat then we have an equivalent of 15.283kg of fat intake per day or 107kg/week. And using Derocher’s average, this is the equivalent of 7.3 baby seals each week.

    Please note, however, that:

    “The highest bite rates were obtained during the initial encounter with each patch as bears consumed all visually apparent fruits on the surface. Bite rates quickly dropped by 15–20% as foraging continued within the patch”.

    So we should reduce the above mentioned range of berry consumption and baby seal equivalents by 20%, but keep in mind that;

    “Maximum bite rates were not depressed until initial fruit density fell to <50 berries/m3″.

    Now lets see, berry size varied between 0.5g and 4.2g each. So this lower fruit density of 50/m3 would give a lower range of fruit volume of between 25g/m3 for small berries and 210g/m3 for large berries.

    More importantly, note that;

    “Maximum daily fresh fruit intake for the captive bears averaged 34 ± 6% (mean ± 1 sd) of body mass”.

    Yes folks, you did read that correctly, the average maximum intake was 34% of body mass. And the average body mass of a female PB is?

    Furthermore, the link to Felicetti tels us that;

    “Daily fat gain was up to three times higher in bears fed low-protein diets ad lib., compared with bears consuming the higher-protein diet and gaining mass at the same rate. Thus, bears eating fruit can either consume other foods to increase dietary protein content and reduce energy expenditure, intake, and potentially foraging time or overeat high-fruit diets and use diet-induced thermogenesis and fat synthesis to deal with their skewed energy-to-protein ratio. These are not discrete options but a continuum that creates numerous solutions for balancing energy expenditure, intake, foraging time, fat accumulation, and ultimately fitness, depending on food availability, foraging efficiency, bear size, and body condition”.

    So we have clear evidence that the range of berry intakes and resulting nutritional budgets exhibited by bears is significantly greater than the so-called “fasting rates” that have been claimed by the Polar Bear alarmists to be the inescapable doom of this species if polar ice sheets are reduced.

    The limits on bears capacity to substitute berries for seal meat are far above the average energy budgets experienced by PBs hunting on ice sheets.

    Indeed, there are sufficient grounds to investigate whether PB populations may even increase if a warmer climate were to increase the distribution, density and duration of vegetative food sources as the ice sheet dependent carnivorous part of their diet decreases.

  150. Tom Melville August 30, 2008 at 9:18 pm #

    According to Wikipedia, “an adult male weighs around 400–680 kg (880–1,500 lb),[2] while an adult female is about half that size”. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_Bear

    So a 300kg female Polar Bear could consume 100KG of berries each day if they were available. That is one “kick-ass” calculator you have there Ian.

  151. Travis August 31, 2008 at 12:22 am #

    >Plus, they haven’t accused me of misrepresenting Derocher’s paper. If you the poke a tiger, you should expect to get bitten.

    Exactly! Disagree and you get bitten. The debate here has always been fair and open hasn’t it? ‘We don’t always agree with what we publish, but we believe in giving people an opportunity to be heard.’ Pffftt!!

    >On the name thing, it wasn’t an issue for me, thats why I didn’t raise it. It was an example of your lack of attention to detail.

    Gawd this is childish. Why raise it now? Point scoring? It mattered not to you that I apologised on the last thread, which is a hell of a lot more than most people here would bother doing and clearly demonstrates how selective you are.

    >Besides, this is a side-track.

    This is all your side-track Nichole. Re-read what has been written the past 24 hours. Hopefully we can move on now.

    >Show me how I ‘misrepresented’ papers I cited?

    (There goes that hope.) I have done this several times! I’m not going to reproduce it here and have you accuse me of writing lengthy boring comments. And you accuse me of lacking attention to detail?? If you have not bothered to read my comments previously, then it says a lot about your willingness to take on board other’s comments. It says a lot more actually.

    >Your previous argument appeared to be that because I misrepresented the papers I cited by not refering to papers on climate change.

    No, this was not my argument in the slightest! The fact you are claiming this really demonstrates how pointless it is in providing an opposing view to you and that you are still willing to misrepresent me. Not only do you get ‘bitten’, your opinions and information get totally chewed up and spat out if you oppose the world view here.

    >Prove that I misrepresented the papers. Point to the statements I made that you think ‘misrepresents’ the papers cited by me in the piece.

    You go back and actually read what I wrote. If you choose not to for the various excuses you have rattled off previously then so be it. I am amazed and amused at what has been written here. I’m glad this gets archived. Ann suggested you stick with roos. I suggest you stick with law. If this sounds uncivil it is because you have not even had the courtesy to read what I write and have continued to disrespect the information I provide, misrepresent me, go off on childish tangents and refuse to try and understand the science.

    >Yes, every reader should take a good look at the links that Travis supplied just above. And lets all hope that you can glean a great deal more from it than poor Travis, who seems to read things only to the point when he thinks his prejudices may be served.

    Let’s thank poor Travis for actually bothering to LOOK for literature. NO?? How unusual…

    >He saw some initial information from Welsh et al that pointed to an upper limit to the physical ability of bears to eat berries and assumed that this supported his broader position that PBs without ice pack must lose body fat.

    Where Mott did I say this? Where? You tell me Mott. Go through both threads and tell me where I stated this. I know you wont and you can’t. You are once again lying about me, which seems to be par for the course with certain posters here. I wont expect an apology from you Mott, just some sort of verbal abuse.

    >So lets just run the calculator over the numbers for him, shall we?

    That’s exactly right Mott. You sit in your armchair and do your envelope scribbles. Have you actually read the papers in their entirety like I suggested? No of course not. LOL!!!So very predictable. You have gone on the abstracts alone and shown just how ‘clever’ you really are. RAOTFL!!! BTW, be careful of breaching copyright!

    >So we have clear evidence that the range of berry intakes and resulting nutritional budgets exhibited by bears is significantly greater than the so-called “fasting rates” that have been claimed by the Polar Bear alarmists to be the inescapable doom of this species if polar ice sheets are reduced.

    You are a very, very silly man. The papers are for grizzlies and black bears. PBs have evolved to live off the ice, otherwise they would still be living in latitudes where the other two species are found and eating similar diets.

    The Welsh et al abstract says ‘While large captive bears could gain body mass very rapidly when given fruit ad libitum, foraging efficiencies increasingly constrained growth rates of wild bears >100 kg. We concluded that large bears, such as grizzlies, must depend on plants that permit large bite sizes or high bite rates through fruit clustering and bush configuration that reduce leaf-to-fruit ratios.’ So captive grizzlies could gain weight fast. Well, no surprises there. We’ll ignore the bit about large bears and what they require regarding leaf-to-fruit ratios, because it doesn’t quite support your argument when it comes to PBS.

    Your whole argument, based on what I have provided for you here and previously, and some literature provided by NT, is ‘supported’ by your own calculations. Calculations that are made up, are not fact and are speculation.

    >Indeed, there are sufficient grounds to investigate whether PB populations may even increase if a warmer climate were to increase the distribution, density and duration of vegetative food sources as the ice sheet dependent carnivorous part of their diet decreases.

    Off you go then Ian. To the High Arctic in your armchair. Again a remarkable inability to search what has been written and ability to make up crap based on ignorance.

    >So a 300kg female Polar Bear could consume 100KG of berries each day if they were available.

    So Tom, are they available in those quantities throughout the ice-free period for the populations of PBs? What has the literature said on this? I’ll give you a hint – the answer lies in the two threads.

    I seem to recall you popping up before Tom, in a similar vein to Alex, with a similar congratulatory style when it comes to Mott’s rubbish. Of course Mott would not post under an alias would he? That was what was suspected before, and how very, very hypocritical of him would that be? How very, very desperate would that be? Why not try a female pseudonym next time?

    The circular arguments that are going around based on Mott’s speculation just go to prove that certain people here are not interested in learning anything and continue to know nothing. Common sense and a basic understanding of the species and its requirements (which is all readily available in the literature) are of no interest to some posters as they have their own axe to grind and desperately want others to have sharp tools based on misinformation and ignorance. In reality they remain blunt and useless and are used to bash people over the head with.

  152. Ian Mott August 31, 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    So now every person that might agree with me is not real but actually me posting under another name? Sure, Travis, so tell us all how you do it, post under another name.

    You can froth and rail all you want, Travis, but the basic maths cannot simply be “made up”. The basic inputs of energy and nutrients and their equivalents cannot be simply “made up”. So we must conclude that you are unable to contest these specific issues of fact. Black, Brown, Kodiak and Grizzly Bears occupy a similar ecological niche and this will not obscure the similarities between Brown Bears and Polars. Despite the big difference in vegetation in their diet they have essentially the same range of body mass.

    Meanwhile, most of the differences, apart from web feet and heat retention, are behavioural, based on the presence or otherwise of pack ice.

    And this leads one to the conclusion that the recently observed reduction in body mass in locations where ice pack duration is shorter is merely a temporary one before this obviously intelligent species changes its behaviour during those times when the ice pack is not present.

    What we have demonstrated very clearly is that the generalised statements by certain members of the research community that berry intake cannot match the energy balance provided by seal hunting is way off the mark. They admit that this view is unsupported by evidence but have been content to allow this unsubstantiated opinion to remain in the policy debate.

    It should also be pointed out that if the current climatic conditions remain or get warmer then there is likely to be a few decades of lag before the berry species can occupy all of their new niche.

    But when this happens there are initial grounds to conclude that the Polar Bear population may actually increase as their vegetation augmented home ranges shrink to match those of the far more numerous Brown Bear population.

    So why don’t you admit it, Travis/Libby/Ann, the threat claimed to be faced by Polar Bears from reduced ice pack duration is based on a misrepresentation by omission. And no amount of silly acronyms like “RAOTFL” or totally meaningless expressions like “Pfffft” etc will restore credibility to a bunch of shonks who have been caught out lying to the public.

  153. Nichole Hoskin August 31, 2008 at 8:17 pm #

    Travis,
    You have not proven that I misrepresent the papers.

    Here’s a summary for you:
    Both Clarke and Stirling and Derocher and Stirling agree that polar bears females and their cubs eat berries, although the berries are not the reason they go to in-land areas. It appears that females and cubs emerge from their dens at the time when the berries are abundant. Because some females have been living off fat stores for up to 8 months, they take advantage of the abundant berries. Since the alternative is potentially that the mothers stop lactating and the cubs would die, females and their young take advantage of an opportunity that they did not seek out. They eat the berries in order to stop the decline in their physical condition and improve the chances of their cubs surviving.

    To quote Clarke and Stirling:
    “Although such feeding is not felt to be significant in the overall diet (Lunn and Stirling 1985, Ramsay and Hobson 1991), it might assist bears to conserve their fat reserves. This could be beneficial if it permitted bears to lactate longer or allowed them to return to the ice in better condition, and would be critical for animals which came ashore with insufficient reserves to fast until freeze-up. The weight of bears coming ashore has varied among years. Derocher et al. (1993) documented an increase in the incidence of terrestrial feeding from 1987 through1991; during the same period, body weights of adult female bears coming ashore decreased significantly (Derocher and Stirling 1992). This suggests that in years when bears come ashore in poorer condition or must spend more time ashore because of the timing of break-up or ice formation, supplemental food might become more important.”

    Further evidence, as cited by Derocher et al, include considering studies of brown bear digestive tracts which show that brown bears can eat berries without suffer negative health consequences–polar bears are so close to brown bears that it is reasonable to apply the same to polar bears–according to Derocher et al.

  154. Nichole Hoskin August 31, 2008 at 8:30 pm #

    Travis,

    I have read your previous comments and I cannot see any evidence to support your claims that I misrepresented the papers I cited.

    I appreciate your efforts in looking for articles, however, I don’t share your interpretation. Maybe our differing opinions reflect differing interpretations. Just because I don’t agree with you and made a point you don’t agree with in my piece does not mean that I misrepresented the papers I cited.

    It’s ironic that you will jump on Ian Mott when you feel he is misrepresenting your views, yet you have no problem with accusing me of misrepresenting articles and refuse to justify this new claim.

  155. Nichole Hoskin August 31, 2008 at 8:43 pm #

    Travis,

    Your comments to Ian, that he has failed to read the research on polar bears, suggests that all the scientific papers on polar bears agree, that all the experts agree and that there is no debate or differing views.

    Do you only look for information that conforms to your pre-existing view or do you read what is actually there?

    Applying your logic back to you, can we assume that all people who come here and agree with you are you posting under a fake name? And you accuse me of side-tracking!

  156. Nichole Hoskin August 31, 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    Travis,

    Your comments about ‘some people’ being unwilling to learn something new suggest that you have something new to tell us. If you do, enlighten us. Nothing you have said is new and you appear to be unable to understand why others would hold differing opinions. Since your not a polar bear expert, maybe you could learn to understand diverse views, rather than assuming that you are teaching us something new.

  157. Travis September 1, 2008 at 7:47 am #

    Nichole,

    Thanks for the summaries of the 1993 and 1998 papers. I hadn’t read them before, let alone breached copyright and bored you and Ivan.

    >I have read your previous comments and I cannot see any evidence to support your claims that I misrepresented the papers I cited.

    Of course you can’t.

    >Maybe our differing opinions reflect differing interpretations.

    Maybe you are a lawyer and I have been a zoologist.

    >It’s ironic that you will jump on Ian Mott when you feel he is misrepresenting your views, yet you have no problem with accusing me of misrepresenting articles and refuse to justify this new claim.

    It’s ironic that you will support Mott and his made-up calculations and dismiss the scientific literature. I am ‘jumping on’ both of you for misrepresenting what has been written, by myself or by the experts. At least I am consistent. The double standards you have exhibited here would make any law firm proud. I refuse to justify the claim (again) because you refuse to see it. Go along with Mott’s calculations though. They are on-topic, factual, carefully sourced from NT and myself and fit in perfectly with what is being represented here by you.

    >Your comments to Ian, that he has failed to read the research on polar bears, suggests that all the scientific papers on polar bears agree, that all the experts agree and that there is no debate or differing views.

    Yes Nichole, that has to be the answer doesn’t it? How logical of you. Almost as logical as Mott’s conclusions based on his ‘mathematics which don’t lie’.

    >Do you only look for information that conforms to your pre-existing view or do you read what is actually there?

    Of course I only look for information that supports my pre-existing view, and of course I don’t read what is actually there. How logical of you. Sigh…

    >Applying your logic back to you, can we assume that all people who come here and agree with you are you posting under a fake name? And you accuse me of side-tracking!

    As you are not really aware of the comments in the past between myself and Mott regarding this, I suggest you at least leave this topic out of your swag of silliness. Yes, I did accuse you of sidetracking, and also being childish. You continue with both.

    >Your comments about ‘some people’ being unwilling to learn something new suggest that you have something new to tell us.

    If course Nichole. That is your logical answer isn’t it? I guess you knew the information in the 2008 papers I cited?

    >Nothing you have said is new and you appear to be unable to understand why others would hold differing opinions.

    Of course. You have enlightened us with new information. No one knew that the west Hudson Bay area was ice-free and PBs stayed there for 4 months and occasionally supplemented their diet with vegetation. That was a totally new topic to explore from papers from 1993 and 1998. I liked your considered inclusion of the author’s 2007 comments regarding berries too. And I saw how many 2008 references from you? But my 2008 ones were not new and the information was not new and you learnt nothing. Of course. Yes, I can’t understand the differing views of others, how logical of you.

    >Since your not a polar bear expert, maybe you could learn to understand diverse views, rather than assuming that you are teaching us something new.

    Of course Nichole. I am not a lawyer either. There there. I would never assume I am teaching you anything. I believe that is an impossibility.

    Perhaps your next post can be ‘Polar bears are really black bears, it’s only ice glare that makes them white.’

  158. Nichole Hoskin September 1, 2008 at 7:49 am #

    Travis,

    Since Clarke and Stirling and Derocher and Stirling raise the prospect that females and cubs eating berries could improve chances of cub survival–this raises the prospect that there will be a higher recruitment rate.

  159. Nichole Hoskin September 1, 2008 at 8:07 am #

    Travis,

    You have been a zoologist. Which animals did you research/work with?

    Do you really want to get into a competition on education? Not really relevant to the discussion and a feeble attempt to assert your superior interpretation without actually providing evidence to support your claims

    Since it doesn’t appear to have occured to you, my degrees have equipped me with research skills, critical analysis skills and studying evidence law gave me rigorous framework that enables assessment of whether there is evidence to support the claims made.

    Of course I can’t see where you demonstrated that I misrepresented the papers I cited because you never actually made that argument. You quoted from the papers and then assumed that that proved your point. It didn’t.

    If you want to make the argument that I misrepresented the papers, your going to need to point to the specific statements I made and the contrary quotes from the papers I cited. You might also want to explain what you mean when you say I misrepresented the papers.

    Making other claims, such as that I am inconsistent etc….again without reference to evidence, doesn’t help your case, it just wastes time and adds to the unsupported claims you have made.

  160. Nichole Hoskin September 1, 2008 at 8:26 am #

    Travis,

    Where did I say I was presenting new information?
    Another incorrect assumption made by you.

    What I was doing was going back to research on polar bears that is relevant to the current concerns about climate change, since some predict that the melting of sea ice in summer will threaten polar bears. Most of the current concerns don’t mention the fact that polar bears in western Hudson Bay live with the open-water in the summer, and suggest that the predicted changes are novel, which is not the case.

    Careful about being critical of lawyers, since to get into law you have to be part of the elite of the education system, in the top 5% of the State. The entry marks are far higher than zoology and comparable to those for medicine, vet science, dentristry and engineering. Plus, to get a law degree, you have to either already have another degree or do a combined degree. Thus, lawyers have a broader education than just the law.

  161. Nichole Hoskin September 1, 2008 at 8:34 am #

    Travis,

    Accusing me of silliness and being childish just points to your hypocracy because you clearly engage in the same. If I let you get away with your attacks on Ian, this could potentially lead to a situation where only people who agree to you contribute. Since that is not a debate, what is the point.

    Interestingly, you didn’t acknowledge my positive comments to you, ie that I appreciate your efforts in reading papers etc. Since you are focusing only on my negative comments, you are being inconsistent and only praising those who agree with you.

  162. Nichole Hoskin September 1, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    Travis,

    I read the 1993 paper on the possible effects of climatic change and I had read the Stirling and Parkinson article on climate change theory, along with other papers making the same argument, weeks ago.

    I also read the USGS papers on computer modelling of climate change and polar bear population numbers.

    Have you read Garshelis’ article questioning whether we know enough about bear population numbers. (David L. Garshelis, ‘Misconceptions, Ironies and Uncertainties Regarding Trends in Bear Populations’, Ursus 2002 13, pp 321-334.) Garshelis argues that we can have better outcomes for bear populations if we know more about them, rather than making assumptions. Garshelis makes a few points, such as the point that increased deaths in populations of unknown size are not necessarily evidence for concern and that there is evidence that some harvested bear populations are stable while there are protected bear populations that are declining.

  163. Travis September 1, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    >Since Clarke and Stirling and Derocher and Stirling raise the prospect that females and cubs eating berries could improve chances of cub survival–this raises the prospect that there will be a higher recruitment rate.

    OK. So that paper was 1993. What has been said about PB recruitment rate in western Hudson Bay since then? Now has that been mentioned here somewhere…?

    >Since it doesn’t appear to have occured to you, my degrees have equipped me with research skills, critical analysis skills and studying evidence law gave me rigorous framework that enables assessment of whether there is evidence to support the claims made.

    Um, wonder why it didn’t occur to me…

    >Of course I can’t see where you demonstrated that I misrepresented the papers I cited because you never actually made that argument. You quoted from the papers and then assumed that that proved your point. It didn’t.

    Of course. Stick with this argument. I’m sure Mott will wade in to back you up soon. That will increase your credibility immensely!

    >Making other claims, such as that I am inconsistent etc….again without reference to evidence, doesn’t help your case, it just wastes time and adds to the unsupported claims you have made.

    I’ve pointed this out as we’ve gone along. The evidence is there, you just fail to see it.

    >Where did I say I was presenting new information?
    Another incorrect assumption made by you.

    Yes. Silly me. I was criticized for not presenting new information, but you don’t have to!

    >What I was doing was going back to research on polar bears that is relevant to the current concerns about climate change, since some predict that the melting of sea ice in summer will threaten polar bears.

    OK. Going back to this with regards to current concerns is all well and good, but you neglected to include more recent information. There is nothing wrong with citing old literature, but since you are looking at CURRENT concerns then try and include newer information. What has been discovered since? Where are we now? How has the debate progressed? Again, I harp about the 2007 comments by Derocher and Stirling regarding berries, which Ann raised with you too (on the previous on-topic thread).

    >Most of the current concerns don’t mention the fact that polar bears in western Hudson Bay live with the open-water in the summer, and suggest that the predicted changes are novel, which is not the case.

    Not true! How can you possibly state this?? For one thing I have provided for you a reference from this year which mentions the western Hudson Bay pop and the ice-free period. This is a very ignorant comment to make if you want to advance your argument.

    >Careful about being critical of lawyers, since to get into law you have to be part of the elite of the education system, in the top 5% of the State.

    LOL! I couldn’t care less. High scores don’t mean you are smart Nichole. As you yourself just wrote ‘Do you really want to get into a competition on education? Not really relevant to the discussion and a feeble attempt to assert your superior interpretation without actually providing evidence to support your claims’. Now how is that for double standards? LOL!!!

    >If I let you get away with your attacks on Ian, this could potentially lead to a situation where only people who agree to you contribute. Since that is not a debate, what is the point.

    Please tell me you are joking! You can’t possibly be serious with this!!! Did you know that many lawyers take up comedy? Some of our best stand-ups have a background in law. True.

    >Interestingly, you didn’t acknowledge my positive comments to you, ie that I appreciate your efforts in reading papers etc. Since you are focusing only on my negative comments, you are being inconsistent and only praising those who agree with you.

    So there! Naa na nee naa na!!! LOL!

    >Garshelis argues that we can have better outcomes for bear populations if we know more about them, rather than making assumptions.

    So? And I wrote on the last thread and repeated it here (so this is the third time) ‘Much more needs to be known about individual populations and how they interact with their environment in flux before we can claim (a) they did it millenia ago so they can do it again (b) they are adaptable and will survive (c) they are fine no matter what (d) they will go extinct. My ‘disagreement’ is with your agenda and methods, not necessarily the data.’

    >Garshelis makes a few points, such as the point that increased deaths in populations of unknown size are not necessarily evidence for concern and that there is evidence that some harvested bear populations are stable while there are protected bear populations that are declining.

    Yes, and I included one paper here by Taylor et al (2008) regarding subpops. Where do you and Garshelis stand on this one paper? What has been published since 2002? How has technology advanced the research?

  164. Ian Mott September 1, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    Nichole, Tavis’ only aim here is bury your salient points in his pre-adolescent drivel. But in fact, he is sounding more and more like Libby every day. Hence his accusations that others are using a second blog name.

    Readers will recognise how Travis has tried to dismiss the basic nutritional budget comparisons between berry/sedge augmented diets and purely carnivorous diets as some sort of rhetoric in mathematical form. This in itself betrays his underlying ignorance and his incapacity to refute the findings.

    Lets not be mistaken here, if there were serious flaws in the maths then it would amount to a very good opportunity to humiliate me with his corrections. But no corrections have been offered, just generalised grumpiness laced with spite. Ergo, my, albeit indicative, figures remain in place until properly challenged by a credible argument based on more accurate figures.

    Just to spell that out for Travis and the other eco-trogs, 2 + 5 + rhetoric does not equal 12.

    So we are left with a green claim that loss of ice pack duration will result in serious reduction in PB energy budgets and hence major species decline. Yet, the evidence is clear that an expanded berry/sedge area in response to a reduced ice pack duration has the potential to more than offset PB energy budgets.

    And will someone explain to this sad plodder that there are no copyright issues in relation to properly referenced quoting of research papers for the purpose of public discussion. Note that this misconception has been exhibited by Travis, Libby and NT, so are they all one and the same?

  165. Libby September 1, 2008 at 10:37 am #

    I’ve just returned from a weekend away. Ian please cease your verballing of me. I am not interested in your comments. I am not Travis or NT. Point out where I wrote anything about copyright issues, otherwise an apology is in order (again).

  166. Ian Mott September 1, 2008 at 10:58 am #

    The simple truth as to why hunting is unlikely to have reduced PB numbers.

    According to the IUCN Bear Specialist Group at http://www.bearbiology.com/iba/bears-of-the-world/polar-bear.html

    “The adult sex ratio is 1:1 but since most females reproduce only once every three years, only a third of them are available in each breeding season. This results in intense competition between males for mates, which is probably one of the reasons why males are twice the size of females”.

    It is also the reason why up to two thirds of the adult male population could be killed without having any impact on the birth rate. At breeding time there are three adult males to each available female. Ergo, 66% of the food resources consumed by adult males do not contribute to the on-going survival of the species.

    We also know that trophy hunting has always focussed on adult males rather than the females and adolescents that are only half the size.

    Ergo, the PB population did not decline as low as claimed and the recovery was much faster than we have been led to believe.

  167. Travis September 1, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    >Most of the current concerns don’t mention the fact that polar bears in western Hudson Bay live with the open-water in the summer, and suggest that the predicted changes are novel, which is not the case.

    I wrote this one the previous thread:-
    Schliebe et al (2008) write:-
    -PBs and their primary prey, ringed seals, are both highly dependent on sea ice, raising concerns that both species may exhibit population-level responses to changing sea ice conditions.
    – While the life-history of some PB populations, such as Western Hudson Bay and Baffin Bay, includes spending up to 4 months of the year on land during the fall open-water period, PBs in Alaskan populations typically spend most of the year on sea ice.
    – Reductions in the sea ice in Western and Southern Hudson Bay have resulted in PBs spending more time FASTING (my capitals) on land and as a consequence, human-bear interactions have increased (Stirling and Parkinson 2006) and bear body condition and reproduction have declined (Stirling et al. 1999; Dowsley 2006; Obbard et al. 2006; Stirling and Parkinson 2006) ultimately resulting in population declines (Regeher et al. 2008).
    – PBs that come on land in most areas typically consume minimal, if any, food and therefore, spend the duration fasting while they wait the re-formation of ice needed to access and hunt seals. For this reason, longer ice-free periods in Western and Southern Hudson bay, Canada, are more clearly linked to reduction in body condition and natality (Stirling et al, 1999; Dowsley 2006; Obbard et al. 2006).

    Any comments?? Were you paying attention to detail Nichole? Pfffttt!!!

    >Careful about being critical of lawyers, since to get into law you have to be part of the elite of the education system, in the top 5% of the State. The entry marks are far higher than zoology and comparable to those for medicine, vet science, dentristry and engineering. Plus, to get a law degree, you have to either already have another degree or do a combined degree. Thus, lawyers have a broader education than just the law.

    Perhaps that would account for why you don’t pay any attention to PB experts (not sure how many of them have law degrees) or most others? What would zoologists or vets know about animals that a lawyer woudn’t?

    >If I let you get away with your attacks on Ian, this could potentially lead to a situation where only people who agree to you contribute. Since that is not a debate, what is the point.

    Well, the evidence would seem to suggest otherwise wouldn’t it? NT and Ann are no longer here. Libby has just come here to correct Mott. But other than that it is you, Mott and I continuing this ‘discussion’. Perhaps your ‘critical analysis skills’ failed you here?

    Nichole wrote:-
    >Applying your logic back to you, can we assume that all people who come here and agree with you are you posting under a fake name? And you accuse me of side-tracking!

    After which Mott wrote:-
    >But in fact, he is sounding more and more like Libby every day. Hence his accusations that others are using a second blog name.

    So I trust Mott will get the same hand-smacking?

    >And will someone explain to this sad plodder that there are no copyright issues in relation to properly referenced quoting of research papers for the purpose of public discussion. Note that this misconception has been exhibited by Travis, Libby and NT, so are they all one and the same?

    LOL!!! Nichole was the one who wrote about breaching copyright Mott!! I’ve tried to find where NT and Libby have mentioned this but can’t. I have, after Nichole did. Are you telling porkies AGAIN Mott?!!

  168. Travis September 1, 2008 at 11:11 am #

    One more thing Nichole. I have not read every paper on PBs. I was not asked by my boss to do so, I have other things to do in my life, and as you are probably aware, there is a huge amount of literature to wade through.

    Some advice though – when you are discussing PBs and climate change, you need to look at what is happening to their prey. I have raised this numerous times before. What is hapenning to belugas and ringed seals and walrus? What is happening to their prey? What is available on this in the current literature? For example a new paper has just come out ‘Climate change impacts on seals and whales in the North Atlantic Arctic and adjacent shelf seas’. To take only PBs into consideration for your debate is over-simplifying these highly-specialised carnivores and the issue.

  169. Nichole Hoskin September 1, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    Travis,

    No, both Clarke and Stirling (1998) and Derocher and Stirling (1993) talk about the body weight issue for females and the prospect that eating berries could avoid females stopping lacatating and improve cub survival.

    In fact, Clarke and Stirling cite the 1993 paper as raising the prospect of better cub survival.

    Show me where you quoted me and then quoted papers, with observational data, that demonstrates I misrepresented the papers I cited.
    I can’t find it because it is not there.

    More recent research? Does this more recent research provide data that shows that female and subadult polar bears cannot supplement their fat stores by eating vegetation? If you can show me the data, from more recent papers, then I will gladly accept that I was wrong in the first piece.

    However, the more recent research you refered to in the long quotes didn’t deal with the issue I raised. They canvassed the ideas about why climate change is doom for polar bears. In fact they do not discuss the earlier observations of females and subadult polar bears eating berries. If they considered the berry observations and disproved them, then I would have cited them.

  170. Nichole Hoskin September 1, 2008 at 11:37 am #

    Travis,

    when I made the comment that most of the current concerns don’t mention the WHB population and open-water season, I did not say that ALL climate change theory omits this fact. Doesn’t your reference to one paper support my conclusion, since if they all mentioned the WHB population, you would have gotten back to me with a long list of references and the quotes from the 1993 and later papers on climate change?

  171. Nichole Hoskin September 1, 2008 at 11:47 am #

    Travis,

    Lawyers don’t think we know more about everything than everybody else. In fact, most lawyers regularly work with experts in particular fields, since most litigation requires expert evidence, on the accuracy of DNA evidence, or whatever else is at question.

    Because lawyers hear both sides of expert debates when they sit through days/weeks of hearing the expert evidence of their own experts and those of the other parties, they are aware that there is a big difference between expert opinion and being able to conclusively prove that the experts view is correct.

  172. Travis September 1, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    Nichole,

    >They canvassed the ideas about why climate change is doom for polar bears.

    Did they really??

    >In fact they do not discuss the earlier observations of females and subadult polar bears eating berries. If they considered the berry observations and disproved them, then I would have cited them.

    Ann provided information about berries and bear size, Libby provided information about berries and bear size and I mentioned it too (oh wait, maybe we are all the same person??). Stirling and Derocher considered the berry observations. You conveniently ignored their recent comments.

    You are doing a very good job of confusing issues and facts and trying to make petty point scores. I guess that’s what your profession has trained you to do. To write: ‘Doesn’t your reference to one paper support my conclusion, since if they all mentioned the WHB population, you would have gotten back to me with a long list of references and the quotes from the 1993 and later papers on climate change?’ is so pointless is beggars belief. Yes, I have nothing better to do than sit here and get references for you and Mott. As you don’t even read what is written on your own threads you can’t be expected to read anything provided to you by someone who is poking a tiger. LOL!!Enjoy Mott’s intellectual stimulation.

    BTW, I notice Mott didn’t get that wrist smack, nor a telling off for misrepresenting NT and Libby with the copyright comment. LOL!!!

  173. Ann Novek September 1, 2008 at 1:02 pm #

    Dear Friends,

    Have to pop up for a short while again, since I missed Paul Bigg’s ( quite important) question:

    Polar Bears have survived earlier warming periods:

    I will post here an excerpt from a study called , BEARHEALTH, the one that Dr Derocher mentioned to Libby , that will be published soon in peer reviewed journals:

    ” In BearHealth we aim at focusing on the effects of toxicant exposure and climate change on the health of polar bears. As a species, the polar bear appeared 200 000 years ago during the Pleistocene. Since then, there have been large variations in the global climate, including a warm period approximately 125 000 years ago. Thus, since the Polar bear still exists, it has obviously able to adapt to climate changes in previous times. Today, the Polar bear is also exposed to other anthropogenic stressors, such as toxic man-made pollutants. Some of these toxicants are persistent against degradation, and are biomagnified in food chains. Because the Polar bear is the apex predator in the Arctic, levels of some persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), can reach very high levels. Associations between pollutant levels and physiological factors, such as hormone and vitamin status and immune function, have been reported in Polar bears. Our concern is that alterations in the physiological homeostasis of polar bears caused by toxicants or endocrine disrupting chemicals may significantly abrupt the physiological (and evolutionary) adaptations of the Polar bear to a warmer climate in the Arctic. Thus, in combination, a warmer temperature in the Arctic and high levels of toxicants and endocrine disrupters may cause the extinction of the Polar bear. “

    Main aim of the project:Identify region specific health effects (biomarker responses) of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and climate change in polar bears.”

    As Travis mentioned the warming will also have an impact on key prey species but we also know from a recent study from the Norwegian Polar Institute , that also bottom dwelling organisms are affected , who are at the bottom of the food chain.

  174. Nichole Hoskin September 1, 2008 at 1:58 pm #

    Travis,
    I haven’t disagreed with you that, under climate change theory, polar bears are argued to be threatened because of predicted reductions/disappearance of ringed seals. In fact, I haven’t made any comments about those views.

    Why do these predictions invalidate the observational data from the 1993 and 1998 papers?

    If your too busy to find the evidence to support your claims, then don’t be surprised when those of us who have made the time to find the evidence disagree with you.

  175. Ann Novek September 1, 2008 at 2:45 pm #

    Jennifer Marohasy also posed a question about polar bears and carrying capacity.

    I will take the liberty here and post Dr. Aars ( from IUCN’s Polar bear Specialist Group and the Norwegian Polar Institute) reply to me :

    ” The carrying capacity changes all the time , depending on the availability
    of sea ice , seals etc. But it’s pretty obvious that the carrying capacity
    decreases constantly since the sea ice extent is decreasing”.

  176. Ian Mott September 1, 2008 at 3:06 pm #

    I have seen that site, Ann, and it should more appropriately be called “Bearwank”.

    Not a word from Travis about the sex ratio of adult PBs and the high incidence of adult males in the hunt total?

    The simple facts of the matter are that adult males are listed as one of the main causes of cub mortality. So any reduction in the numbers of adult males will increase the survival rates of bear cubs. And this will partially offset the impact of hunting on total population.

    And it also follows that for a pre-hunting population of circa 25,000 PBs to be reduced to the order of only 5,000 to 10,000, then breeding females must also have been equally targeted. This, in the absence of actual data on the sex ratio of hunted PBs, is highly unlikely.

    In fact, if the adult population of, say, 20,000 is divided by an equal sex ratio we get 10,000 of each, of which 3,300 will breed each year. And for a stable population this would mean 3,300 surviving to adult hood and 3,300 dieing. And many of the 1,650 dieing males would be either directly or indirectly killed in fights with other, generally younger, males.

    It means that the adult male population could be reduced by 6,600 down to 3,300 and each breeding female would still be matched by an adult male. That is, the total adult population could drop to only 13,300 but cub survival would actually improve. And as adult males would still continue to compete for the breeding females, genetic selection would still take place.

    It would also mean that on a long term basis, some 66% of each year’s cohort of males could continue to be hunted. This would not just be the 3,300 that survived under the pre-hunting static population because cub survival would be much greater in the absence of so many adult males. A modest 9% improvement in cub survival would bring the total annual increment to 3,600 animals, 1,800 of which will be males, allowing an annual hunt of 600.

    Another 1,800 would be female, instead of the previous 1,650. In the medium term this would produce an additional increase in the total number of breeding females and their commensurate birth rate.

    This increase in birth rate should not be under estimated. If the supply of baby seals is distributed between the sexes on the basis of average body mass then we can safely assume that 66% of the food resource was consumed by the male half of the population which are generally twice the weight of the females. And that means that a 66% reduction in the number of males will produce 44% reduction in total seal consumption.

    It follows that this artificial ‘surplus’ of baby seals will then be available for the females and their cubs, thereby increasing the number of twins and further increasing the survival rate of all cubs. And once again, of that increased survival cohort, 33% (2/3rds of the male half) could also be added to the hunting quota.

    So even at the rawest level of analysis, when we take a 40 year hunting period, and factor in 1,650 of the males each year that are shot instead of being killed in fights with other males, we get a minimum of 66,000 animals with no impact on total population at all.

    Add the 6,600 cull-down of the male population and the total comes to 72,600 animals. And add in the additional hunting of the expanded male cub survival rate, of at least another 300 each year, (over the 40 years) and the total hunting number could easily amount to 85,000 males with no adverse impact on female breeding rates.

    That total is 4.25 times greater than the original static population, or a 106% cull rate each decade. If post breeding females were also included in the hunt then the total could be another 66,000 animals higher.

    These numbers are provided as a general indicator of the fundamental demographics of the PB species and should not be quoted as anything but indicative. But they shed considerable light on the nature of the so-called threat of hunting on the Polar Bear population.

    Anyone seeking to dispute these relationships will need to come up with some detailed and verifiable evidence to the contrary.

    It also follows from this, that if there really is going to be a major undersupply of food stocks for the Polar Bear population due to shorter ice pack duration then the best way to ensure that breeding females are adequately fed is to cull the surplus males who use up all their energy stock on unsuccessful mating combat.

  177. Ian Mott September 1, 2008 at 5:43 pm #

    If we apply the above analysis to the Svalbard population, assumed to be 3000 adult PBs then Ann’s estimate of 30,000 animals hunted over the century from 1871 to 1971 works out at exactly 100% cull rate per decade. This conforms very closely to the above modelled scenario.

    From this we can conclude that the total numbers may have declined to perhaps 2000 but the number of breeding females, and the survival rate of their progeny, both increased. The viability of this population would not have been reduced by this level of hunting if most of the hunt involved adult males.

    Once the hunting stopped then the survival rate of cubs would have dropped as an increased portion of adult males killed more cubs, the number of males killed by each other would have increased, and the sex ratio would have returned to parity.

    The ban on hunting merely shifted the mortality around while the greens claimed credit for “saving” a population that was not under threat. Plus ca change…

  178. Travis September 1, 2008 at 6:04 pm #

    >Not a word from Travis about the sex ratio of adult PBs and the high incidence of adult males in the hunt total?

    So why should I be commenting on this? Did I say anything about sex ratios of PBs and hunts? Nope. I can’t be bothered replying to you Mott. You can’t say thanks, can’t say sorry and continue posting silliness I’m totally bored with and I can’t even be bothered wasting my time reading. Why would I when I can read facts in the literature by experts (although they are not as funny)? I think you have pretty much proven here and on other threads that you rarely research stuff for yourself and just make up crap, then get all threatening when you are challenged. Growl tiger!!! It’s not even funny anymore :(

    Thanks Ann for more input.

    >I haven’t disagreed with you that, under climate change theory, polar bears are argued to be threatened because of predicted reductions/disappearance of ringed seals. In fact, I haven’t made any comments about those views.

    Never said you did.

    >Why do these predictions invalidate the observational data from the 1993 and 1998 papers?

    Not saying they do.

    >If your too busy to find the evidence to support your claims, then don’t be surprised when those of us who have made the time to find the evidence disagree with you.

    Yawn. There is a difference between being too busy and not being bothered. Of course I have found no evidence Nichole….blah, blah, blah….What evidence have you made the time to find Nichole?? Weren’t you asked by your boss to do this? I would hope you did find the time, although I wonder…you seem to make a lot of useless comments to me that have nary a fur ball to do with PBs.

    I’m still laughing at your comment: ‘when I made the comment that most of the current concerns don’t mention the WHB population and open-water season, I did not say that ALL climate change theory omits this fact. Doesn’t your reference to one paper support my conclusion, since if they all mentioned the WHB population, you would have gotten back to me with a long list of references and the quotes from the 1993 and later papers on climate change?’ LOL!! What a hoot! I think I would respect you as a lawyer with logic like that.

    Nichole wrote:-
    >Since Clarke and Stirling and Derocher and Stirling raise the prospect that females and cubs eating berries could improve chances of cub survival–this raises the prospect that there will be a higher recruitment rate.

    Travis wrote (from Schliebe et al (2008)):-
    >- Reductions in the sea ice in Western and Southern Hudson Bay have resulted in PBs spending more time FASTING (my capitals) on land and as a consequence, human-bear interactions have increased (Stirling and Parkinson 2006) and bear body condition and reproduction have declined (Stirling et al. 1999; Dowsley 2006; Obbard et al. 2006; Stirling and Parkinson 2006) ultimately resulting in population declines (Regeher et al. 2008).
    – PBs that come on land in most areas typically consume minimal, if any, food and therefore, spend the duration fasting while they wait the re-formation of ice needed to access and hunt seals. For this reason, longer ice-free periods in Western and Southern Hudson bay, Canada, are more clearly linked to reduction in body condition and natality (Stirling et al, 1999; Dowsley 2006; Obbard et al. 2006).

    This is the third time this has appeared

    Travis also wrote:-
    >Any comments??

    Going by your last post, I guess not. Sigh…

  179. Travis September 1, 2008 at 6:12 pm #

    RAOTFL!!!

    >If we apply the above analysis to the Svalbard population…From this we can conclude that the total numbers may have declined to perhaps 2000…then the survival rate of cubs would have dropped as an increased portion of adult males killed more cubs, the number of males killed by each other would have increased…

    OMG! Who needs GraemeBird??? Please stop, my sides hurt too much. Take back all I said about it not being funny…Yes, that is the sort of evidence Nichole would appreciate…LOL!!!

  180. Ian Mott September 1, 2008 at 9:23 pm #

    And that, dear readers, is Travis exhibiting a classic withdrawal response to input that conflicts with his prejudices. Some would call it outright denial. This guy is so ignorant that he regards some simple cross checking and analysis of data as some sort of adversarial plot. It is doubly sad when one realises that all of the data being analysed is from sources he has quoted himself.

    The simple demographic analysis that I have done above is a fairly standard ‘forensic accounting’ technique for reconstructing incomplete records. Any auditor worth his beans will confirms its validity as an analytical tool. It will not give an exact reconstruction but it is certainly capable of giving a strong indication of changes in character and scale. And it is lot more than the semi-coherent drivel that has been dished up by the research community to date.

    And in respect of the Svalbard reconstruction, the analysis can be validated by reference to historical records as to the sex composition of hunted Polar Bears. If the hunt always remained predominantly adult male then it becomes a demographic impossibility for the population to have declined below about 66% of the longterm equilibrium level. To drop below that level would require a large proportion of breeding females to be included in the hunt total. This is highly unlikely as the implications of hunting the breeding stock have been clear for many generations and to even the least informed hunters. A return to the original equilibrium population would be quite rapid once hunting ceased.

    But given that this turkey is so conspicuously out of his depth with even minor analytical work, it is left to some of the researchers in this field to provide evidence, if any, that the above kind of analysis is flawed. I await such response with interest and open mind but be warned, bull$hit will be properly rewarded.

  181. Travis September 1, 2008 at 10:12 pm #

    From Wiig, Aars and Born (2008) ‘Effects of Climate Change on Polar Bears’, Science Progress 91(2):151 – 173.

    – ‘Mortality rate of cubs vary among subpopulations but it is generally high. At Svalbard only about 34% survived until weaning at about 2.5 years of age whereas values about twice as high have been recorded during studies in Canada and Alaska. In western Hudson Bay, the cub survival during the first year was no more than 44%. Small cubs may die from starvation, hypothermia, drowning, or becasue they are killed by adult male polar bears.’
    -‘The subpopulation of polar bears living in the western Hudson Bay has been intensively studied by Canadian researchers since the late 1970s. Their studies indicate that the population has already been negatively affected by the climate changes.
    Studies in the western Hudson Bay have indicated that if the body mass of an adult female bear gets lower than a “critical body mass” of ca 189kg in the autumn, she will be unable to reproduce successfully. In this area, a significant positive relationship was found between the timing of sea ice break up in the spring and the body condition of adult polar (i.e. the later the ice break-up occurs the heavier the bears become) bears as well as their ability to produce and raise offspring. In the early to mid-1980s, the fecundity of female polar bears in western Hudson Bay was the highest recorded for polar bears anywhere. In some of those years, females successfully weaned up to about 40% of the cubs at 1.5 years of age instead of the normal 2.5 years. Through the late 1980s and the 1990s a steady decline in body condition of both males and females has been documented. During the same period the fecundity decreased. In the 1980s, the mean weight of pregnant female polar bears in western Hudson Bay in the autumn was 283kg. Up until 1992 an annual reduction in average body mass of 4.7kg for pregnant females was recorded. Assuming a continued loss of body mass at the same rate, they predicted that most females will be below the “critical body mass” for successful reproduction by 2012.’
    – The decrease in sea ice and earlier spring break-up has caused polar bear populations to decline. Between 1987 and 2004 the subpopulation of polar bears in western Hudson Bay has declined by ca 22% from an estimated 1194 to an estimated 935. Total survival of prime adult male and female polar bears (age 5 -19 years) was stable over the study period whereas survival of juvenile, subadult and senescent polar bears was correlated with spring sea ice break-up days which was ca 3 weeks earlier in 1984 than in 2004. This has caused the feeding time in spring to become shorter and bears have started the fasting season on land in a leaner condition than before.’
    -‘..as a part of their normal predatory life style polar bears exhibit some degree of ecological and behavioural plasticity…Given both the opportunistic nature of polar bears, and what seems to be a range of hunting and feeding strategies beside their main adaptation as expert seal hunters, it seems that local populations might be able to compensate for some of the loss of ringed seals as food by using other food sources.’
    – ‘In western Hudson Bay the diet shifted in relation to the timing of ice break up in the spring during the 1990s. The amount of ringed seals decreased in the diet of both sexes and the amount of harbour seals and to some extent bearded seals increased. It was not clear whether this was a result of decreased availability of ringed seals, an increased availability of harbour and bearded seals, or both.’
    – ‘In western Hudson Bay, a clear link has been established between climate warming, reduced sea ice presence, and observed declines in polar bear physical and reproductive parameters. These effects have been followed by a decrease in population size of more than 20% during the last 20 years.’
    -‘Given that polar bears are rather flexible animals that opportunistically can switch to alternative prey, it is very hard to predict how well they might cope as a species in future. However, it is obvious that a major loss of habitat will have a large impact and drastically change the distribution and number of polar bears.’

    This paper summarizes what has already been observed in PBs in certain areas with regards to the effects of global warming, as well as giving a good background on the biology of PBs. It did not mention berries or vegetation as food sources, which isn’t to say they don’t eat them. However, if as Nichole suggests ‘Since Clarke and Stirling and Derocher and Stirling raise the prospect that females and cubs eating berries could improve chances of cub survival–this raises the prospect that there will be a higher recruitment rate’, then why has there been a decrease in fecundity, body condition and numbers in this subpopulation since the two papers came out (1993 and 1998)?

    >’when I made the comment that most of the current concerns don’t mention the WHB population and open-water season, I did not say that ALL climate change theory omits this fact. Doesn’t your reference to one paper support my conclusion..

    I guess this is another paper that mentions western Hudson Bay. Gee, only two…LOL!!!

  182. Travis September 1, 2008 at 10:17 pm #

    >Anyone seeking to dispute these relationships will need to come up with some detailed and verifiable evidence to the contrary.

    >it is left to some of the researchers in this field to provide evidence, if any, that the above kind of analysis is flawed. I await such response with interest and open mind but be warned, bull$hit will be properly rewarded.

    RAOTFL!!!! Antarctic trophic cascades anyone? LOL!!! Pleeaassee stop. I need to pee! Yes, bullshit is properly rewarded here. Nichole loves your work!!! Tee hee hee….

  183. Ian Mott September 2, 2008 at 1:13 am #

    Yep, totally out of his depth.

  184. Ann Novek September 2, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    I posed following question to Dr. Aars( IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group)

    ” Have you any comments about Polar Bears and berries consumption?”

    Dr. Aars replied : ” I doubt very much that berries are a good alternative/ option for PBs. They consume all kinds of food, but primarily meat , and their body is better equipped to metabolise fat than carbohydrates.

    They shall not only survive , but reproduce as well. If they had managed on berries and vegetation , surely more PBs should have lived on this already , rather than loosing weight during longer faster periods as they annually do , for example in West Hudson Bay.” ( Translation from Norwegian).

  185. Ann September 2, 2008 at 8:41 am #

    Oops: ” rather than loosing weight during longer fasting periods..”

  186. Ann Novek September 2, 2008 at 9:20 am #

    ” While USFWS believes that polar bear numbers have increased with the introduction of international harvest limits , it’s unclear what data supports this belief?” – Nichole in Environmental Wiki

    Reply from Dr. Aars :

    ” There are many ways to estimate an increase in a population than just counting them.

    In many areas we have estimates on reproduction and survival , that tell us about the approximate growth in periods, and additionally we have population densities of animals under different observation and the number of pregnant females ( Svalbard).

    However , some subpopulations lack data that can tell us something about an increase in numbers.

    But it is however certain that in Svalbard the number of Polar Bears is now bigger than during the 70’s when the hunting pressure was huge.
    ( Translation from Norwegian)

  187. Ann Novek September 2, 2008 at 9:41 am #

    Question to Dr. Aars:

    ” Why are historical polar bear population estimates uncertain?

    Reply from Dr. Aars: ” The longer back in time we go , the less research was done to estimate populations / numbers.

  188. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 10:45 am #

    Ann,

    I am not sure that I agree with Dr Aars on that one. From what I have read of the Polar Bear Specialist Group Meeting Documents and papers on the methodology of estimating population numbers for polar bears, there was researchers trying to accurately estimate numbers, although there were logistical and technological problems that prevented them making accurate estimates.

    The main area that the Polar Bear Specialist Group was researching from 1965 and through the 1970s was population numbers. They tried various methods but there were always problems.

  189. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    Travis,

    I am aware that some scientists have made claims like that. The point I am making is that THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO PROVE THE CLAIMS.

    Without the evidence, the opinions are potentially wrong and cannot be conclusively proven to be correct

  190. Ann Novek September 2, 2008 at 10:55 am #

    ” jo lengre vi går tilbake, jo mindre var gjort for å estimere antall isbjørn.
    Så få tiår tilbake hadde vi bare gjetninger ” – Dr Aars

    Translation from Norwegian: ” The longer back in time we go , the less was done to estimate PB numbers.

    Only some decades ago , it was only ” guesstimates”

  191. Ann Novek September 2, 2008 at 11:03 am #

    Nichole,
    I’m sure Dr.Aars is much more competent than you to make any statements on this , he certainly knows tonnes of all those old research , but I specifically asked him to just make SHORT REPLIES to laypersons.

  192. Ann Novek September 2, 2008 at 11:33 am #

    And Nichole, I really hate to insult people, but why haven’t Dr Derocher responded to you on this thread?

    Actually , you must be totally wackoo if you believe that any serious scientist wants to participate in the blogoshere , and especially after your silly opening thread.

  193. Ann September 2, 2008 at 11:36 am #

    The serious scientists participate in scientific discussions in peer reviewed papers and perhaps e-mailing private persons but hardly on any silly and unscientific blogs.

  194. Travis September 2, 2008 at 1:00 pm #

    Nichole,

    >I am aware that some scientists have made claims like that. The point I am making is that THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO PROVE THE CLAIMS.

    Are you taling about the western Hudson Bay research into fecundity and condition?

    Thanks for your continuing info Ann.

  195. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 1:00 pm #

    Ann,

    Did you ask his permission to use his comments? I am not saying he is wrong, it is possible he would have been more specific in his response if he realised that you were putting his replies on the internet.

    From what I have read, his answer does not adequately address the reasons why we don’t know about population numbers until recently.

  196. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    Ann,

    I don’t expect Derocher to respond on the blog. I explained this all above to Travis, if Derocher wants to respond, he can email me.

    No Ann I was talking about the claim that polar bears live of fat stores exclusively during the open water season. This is obvious from looking at the 1998 and 1993 papers I cited because they all point to the fact that we need more research before we can assume that they only live off fat stores

  197. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 1:10 pm #

    Ann,

    You hate to insult people? I don’t get that impression from your comments here on the blog.

    It makes sense that Dr Aars gave you the general answer he did since you asked for a laypersons type answer. What I am talking about is scientific reasons for why scientists have not been able to reliably estimate population numbers.

    The general (layperson) version lacks sufficient detail to be meaningful to the debate.

  198. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 1:18 pm #

    Travis,

    In fact, since you have found a paper on climate change and WHB is mentioned, but there is no mention of the observations of polar bears eating berries etc, that is exactly my point.

    You wanted me to mention climate change theory in my 1st piece. Since I was writing about observations that are not directly addressed in most papers on climate change theory, I am not going to cite papers on a complelely different, although somewhat related topics. The piece was a short piece, not a PhD, so it is not going to cover every related argument involved.

  199. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    Ann,

    If your not interested in discussing the scientific observation data, rather than just asserting ‘expert opinions’ as if it is observational data/fact and making petty personal attacks, then I have nothing to say to you.

    I am not interested in anyone’s opinion unless I know whether or not there is observational data to supports the claim made. There is a difference between opinion and observational data/facts–ie the former is inherently uncertain and there is a high margin of error. The later may involve some uncertainty but the margin of error is dramatically reduced.

  200. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 1:35 pm #

    Ann,

    Doesn’t the second part of what Dr Aar’s said actually support the argument I made in the piece above, that there is no reliable historical data on polar bear population numbers.

    I completely agree that if you look at the research on polar bear population numbers before the 1990s, they were only able to make inaccurate estimates, which was acknowledge by the scientists.

  201. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    Travis,

    >Why do these predictions invalidate the observational data from the 1993 and 1998 papers?

    >>Not saying they do.

    Then what is your point? If they don’t invalidate the observational data and make contrary claims, then how do you know their claims are accurate since the existing data challenges the contrary claim?

  202. Ann Novek September 2, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    Nichole ,
    I will just say that I hope you’re decent enough and keep out Dr Aars name from our internal discussion,
    that has nothing to do with Dr Aars scientific integrity.

    Thanks
    Ann Novek

  203. Travis September 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm #

    Nichole,

    >No Ann I was talking about the claim that polar bears live of fat stores exclusively during the open water season. This is obvious from looking at the 1998 and 1993 papers I cited because they all point to the fact that we need more research before we can assume that they only live off fat stores

    Is this s’posed to be in response to my question? It’s obvious that these animals live mostly off fat stores Nichole. What do the males do? Some females and subadults eat some berries in this populaton. What has happened to the conditiin of the bears and the recruitment rate since these two papers came out? Why is it that all PB researchers seem to be in aggreement that the animals live off their fat stores? They SUPPLEMENT their diets at times in certain areas. NO ONE is disputing this and they never have.

    >In fact, since you have found a paper on climate change and WHB is mentioned, but there is no mention of the observations of polar bears eating berries etc, that is exactly my point.

    Which point was that? That they can sustain themselves off berries or this… ‘ >Since Clarke and Stirling and Derocher and Stirling raise the prospect that females and cubs eating berries could improve chances of cub survival–this raises the prospect that there will be a higher recruitment rate.’

    You have continued to dodge the fact that two authors from the original ‘berry’ paper do not think PBs can sustain themselves on berries. You have also ignored the recent research on the western Hudson Bay pop which shows that these animals, despite actually having berries to eat (whcich most pops don’t have) have decreased their fedundity and body condition.

    >You wanted me to mention climate change theory in my 1st piece.

    Bullshit! I did not ‘want’ you to do any such thing. I questioned you as to why you did not include the 1993 c/c paper, it does not mean I ‘wanted’ you to mention the theory at all at. Let’s see how you twist that around some more eh?

    >The piece was a short piece, not a PhD, so it is not going to cover every related argument involved.

    Pffftt!! Including the other points raised in the papers themselves like what the male PBs do and why the females head inland where the berries are.

    >I am not interested in anyone’s opinion unless I know whether or not there is observational data to supports the claim made.

    And what of Mott’s fabulous calculations? Is that evidence enough for you? Hence why you ignore things such as the research from western Hudson Bay about the conditions of the bears. You have cherry-picked you way through both threads and admitted that anyone who disagrees with you gets ‘bitten’. You have demonstrated you are not open to other ideas and yet accuse posters such as myself of not being receptive of different views.

    >I completely agree that if you look at the research on polar bear population numbers before the 1990s, they were only able to make inaccurate estimates, which was acknowledge by the scientists.

    So what? There are no accurate estimate for the historial populations of many, many species prior to hunting, human disturbance, disease outbreaks, etc, etc. You have this issue that since there were no accurate estimates (certainly not accurate for a non-PB expert like yourself) that the researchrs can’ extrapolate whether the current populations have been increasing, decreasing or ‘there have always been about 20,000 polar bears in the Arctic’.

    Researchers do the best they can with what they have (equipment, funds, weather conditions etc). You seem to think that the natural sciences should be an exact art. Perhaps that is because it is something you simply don’t understand and approach with preconceived and biased ideas?

  204. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 6:07 pm #

    Ann,

    I’m not sure what you mean on ‘keeping Dr Aars out of our internal discussion’.

  205. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    Travis,

    I don’t expect exact data on most things.

    I am only raising the lack of accurate data because we need to acknowledge data inaccuracies when they exist. My issue is about the language used. If there is a large margin of error/uncertainty, then scientists need to use qualified language to let the reader know that it is the best we can do with problematic data.

    However, it is an entirely different matter to make a statement in language that conveys it as a statement of fact, when the data is problematic and uncertain. To assert a claim as a fact when the there is no reliable data is to misrepresent the state of scientific knowledge.

    Isn’t part of the point of academic science to identify areas where further research is needed to improve our knowledge? If scientists are being deceptive about the state of knowledge, then research will potentially be focused on false assumptions.

  206. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    Travis,

    I don’t expect exact data on most things.

    I am only raising the lack of accurate data because we need to acknowledge data inaccuracies when they exist. My issue is about the language used. If there is a large margin of error/uncertainty, then scientists need to use qualified language to let the reader know that it is the best we can do with problematic data.

    However, it is an entirely different matter to make a statement in language that conveys it as a statement of fact, when the data is problematic and uncertain. To assert a claim as a fact when the there is no reliable data is to misrepresent the state of scientific knowledge.

    Isn’t part of the point of academic science to identify areas where further research is needed to improve our knowledge? If scientists are being deceptive about the state of knowledge, then research will potentially be based on false assumptions.

  207. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    Travis,

    Did you change your name to Ann? Since your name is not Ann, the comment is not directed to you. That’s how addressing a comment to a named person usually works.

  208. Nichole Hoskin September 2, 2008 at 6:40 pm #

    Travis,

    Other examples of ‘obvious’ opinions that have been proven wrong–by applying rigorous scientific methodology and observations:

    1. the world is flat

    2. the solar system revolves around the earth

    3. there is an in-land sea in Australia

    and

    4. potentially that polar bears live exclusively off fat stores during open water season in WHB–

    I accept that it is a reasonable hypothesis but we cannot resolve which competing hypothesis is correct until scientists do further research.

  209. Travis September 3, 2008 at 8:19 am #

    >I’m not sure what you mean on ‘keeping Dr Aars out of our internal discussion’.

    I would have thought it was pretty self-explanatory. But then I’m not a lawyer!

    >Isn’t part of the point of academic science to identify areas where further research is needed to improve our knowledge?

    Most papers will acknowledge in their discussions/conclusions that further research is needed. They may also suggest what that involves. Have you not read his before Nichole? Tsk.

    >If scientists are being deceptive about the state of knowledge, then research will potentially be focused on false assumptions.

    Regarding PBs, this statement seems to be rooted in your own biases and inability to interpret scientific data properly.

    >Did you change your name to Ann? Since your name is not Ann, the comment is not directed to you. That’s how addressing a comment to a named person usually works.

    Um ah, touchy, touchy. Another bite from the tiger! LOL!! It was an innocent enough question Nichole. Actually I’m NT and Libby, remember? Oh yeah that’s right, it’s ok for Mott to make claims about pseudonyms, but not me. Such a fair hand you deal…

    >Other examples of ‘obvious’ opinions that have been proven wrong–by applying rigorous scientific methodology and observations:…4. potentially that polar bears live exclusively off fat stores during open water season in WHB–

    So why has the research not been done Nichole? Why do most PB researchers (note, not lawyers) say that they live off their fat reserves OR supplement their diet in some areas during some periods? What do the male PBs in western Hudson Bay who do not have access to berries do, going by your 1993 and 1998 papers??? Please answer this because you have managed to avoid the issue of the recent research on this population that shows they have been losing body condition and reproductive success. I wonder why.

  210. Libby September 3, 2008 at 11:22 am #

    I see Ian Mott still refuses to take responsibility for what he writes and attributes to others. He always has and always will be allowed to. Apologies are thin on the ground here, so people should be grateful when they are offered to them.

    I like these selections of quotes though from Nichole to Travis, particularly in light of Mr Mott’s chronic behaviour to certain people here and his reliance on others to do his googling for him whilst he dreams up ideas he can not substantiate:

    “Applying your logic back to you, can we assume that all people who come here and agree with you are you posting under a fake name?”

    “It’s ironic that you will jump on Ian Mott when you feel he is misrepresenting your views, yet you have no problem with accusing me of misrepresenting articles and refuse to justify this new claim.”

    (and I particularly like)

    “Yes I have made positive comments to Ian Mott. Did it occur to you that I was doing it because I know that you and others will attack him and I appreciate his contributions because he provides a different view to the majority of commentors.”

    “If I let you get away with your attacks on Ian, this could potentially lead to a situation where only people who agree to you contribute. Since that is not a debate, what is the point.”

    “its amazing that those who tend to agree with each other tend to support each other. Kinda like what I was trying to do with Ian Mott, although since I don’t have any evidence of David’s motivations, I am not going to speculate on them.”

    “I am going to respond to comments, to put up the contrary viewpoint and provide a balanced discussion and consider a diverse range of sources and evidence.”

    “Who is selective and inconsistent?”
    ~~~~~~~~
    Ann asked Dr. Aars:

    ” Why are historical polar bear population estimates uncertain?

    Reply from Dr. Aars: ” The longer back in time we go , the less research was done to estimate populations / numbers.”

    To which Nichole replied:

    “Ann,

    I am not sure that I agree with Dr Aars on that one. From what I have read of the Polar Bear Specialist Group Meeting Documents and papers on the methodology of estimating population numbers for polar bears, there was researchers trying to accurately estimate numbers, although there were logistical and technological problems that prevented them making accurate estimates.

    The main area that the Polar Bear Specialist Group was researching from 1965 and through the 1970s was population numbers. They tried various methods but there were always problems.”

    Perhaps Dr Aars saying the further back the less research can indeed point to the fact that the ways and wherefores for doing ‘valuable’ research did not exist, regardless of trying, therefore of course there was less research done that could be useful for answering questions about populations. He did not dismiss that population estimates were done. His interpretation and Nichole’s is what is at stake here. Personally I would agree with Ann and go with Dr Aars. But of course “there is a big difference between expert opinion and being able to conclusively prove that the experts (sic) view is correct.”
    ~~~~~~~
    Regarding researchers and getting their views to questions posed, Nichole has written:

    “However, I would like a detailed response from Derocher on his views on what I have written. But that is something that he can choose to do if he wishes, after he has read the links I sent him.”

    “I don’t expect Derocher to respond on the blog. I explained this all above to Travis, if Derocher wants to respond, he can email me.”

    “If your not interested in discussing the scientific observation data, rather than just asserting ‘expert opinions’ as if it is observational data/fact and making petty personal attacks, then I have nothing to say to you.”

    “I am not interested in anyone’s opinion unless I know whether or not there is observational data to supports the claim made.”

    Reading through, it does seem that Dr Derocher has not emailed Nichole in relation to her questions/the content of this thread. Of course I could be wrong, like most of those who disagree with Nichole seem to be (including the experts).

    But Ann has written:

    “The serious scientists participate in scientific discussions in peer reviewed papers and perhaps e-mailing private persons but hardly on any silly and unscientific blogs.”

    Obviously Ann received some correspondence from Dr Derocher!

    And as an aside…

    I thought Graeme Bird had left this thread well and truly alone until I read from Nichole:

    “I am aware that some scientists have made claims like that. The point I am making is that THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO PROVE THE CLAIMS.

    Without the evidence, the opinions are potentially wrong and cannot be conclusively proven to be correct”

    I think some people here have done a mighty fine job of providing Nichole with EVIDENCE and differing views. I have not seen many of these considered by Nichole, who seems to instead favour Ian Mott’s self-constructed mathematical calculations. There is a lot of inconsistency here, and a valiant attempt to contort what has been written in order to squeeze some sort of EVIDENCE to support an existing view that is pertinent to the bandwagon of AGW. Going by Nichole’s professional training, I don’t think any of us should be surprised by that. Never argue with a lawyer, unless you are a lawyer.

  211. Nichole Hoskin September 3, 2008 at 2:49 pm #

    Libby,

    Your speculation on me is the funniest thing I have read in a while. I thought we were discussing the science of polar bears, not having comedy hour.

    However, you seem far more interested in speculating on me…..nothing better to do with your time?

  212. Libby September 3, 2008 at 4:58 pm #

    “I thought we were discussing the science of polar bears”

    Some here have been trying to, but you can remove yourself from the “we”.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Annimal Ann’s Eco News » Jennifer Marohasy’s Blog and Polar Bears - March 17, 2009

    [...] http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/08/no-reliable-data-on-historical-polar-bear-numbers-a-note-fr… [...]

Website by 46digital