Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Is Global Warming Making Polar Bears Smaller?

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Although since the Climategate scandal the science of manmade (anthropogenic) climate change has generally fallen into disrepute, that has not kept some researchers from speculating on the effect of climate change on different species.

According to a UPI report yesterday:

The size of polar bears is diminishing because of the myriad effects brought on by global climate change, researchers from Singapore determined.

A report published by the journal Natural Climate Change finds that lower levels of sea ice have led to smaller sized polar bears.

The authors of the article in Natural Climate Change, Jennifer Sheridan and David Bickford of the National University of Singapore, were quoted by London's Daily Telegraph explaining their findings: "The consequences of shrinkage [of polar ice] are not yet fully understood but could be far-reaching for biodiversity and humans alike.”

However, Fox News reports:

A leading climate scientist whose report in 2006 of drowning polar bears in Arctic waters galvanized the global warming movement — and was highlighted in Al Gore's Oscar-winning climate-change documentary — has been suspended, possibly over the accuracy of his observations.

Charles Monnett — who manages as much as $50 million worth of climate research on Arctic wildlife and ecology — was told on July 18 that he was being put on leave pending an investigation into "integrity issues," according to a letter posted online by the advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which is questioning Monnett's suspension.

The complaints against the Anchorage-based scientist with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) remain unclear, and the connection to his seven-page 2006 peer-reviewed paper on the drownings are unknown, despite a months-long or longer investigation.

 The scientific battle over polar bears and "global warming" goes back farther than Monnett, however. The London Telegraph reported that in June 2009, a photographer who worked to get the "wind-sculpted" effect on ice floes with polar bears expressly added:

... [K]eep in mind that the bears aren't in danger at all. It was, if you will, their playground for 15 minutes. You know what I mean? This is a perfect picture for climate change, in a way, because you have the impression that they are in the middle of the ocean and they are going to die. [Emphasis added.]

The photo was used at a conference in Copenhagen related to global warming.

Dr. Mitchell Taylor, who has studied global warming in the Arctic region for 30 years, disagrees with the premise of manmade global warming threatenig polar bears. He was a signatory to the Manhattan Declaration, in which more than 500 scientists maintained that there is global warming, but that it is not the result of manmade activities. Taylor was advised that he would not be allowed to attend the conference because his views "counter to human-induced climate change [were] extremely unhelpful."

In a New American article published a year ago today, author James Heiser noted the resignation of a top scientist over what he considered the global warming "fraud":

Until his resignation on October 6, Harold Lewis, a man who has been described as “one of America’s most distinguished physicists,” was a member of the American Physical Society (APS) for 67 years. What could lead Lewis, an emeritus professor of Physics of the University of California, Santa Barbara, to tender his resignation after nearly seven decades of membership in the APS?

In Lewis’ words:

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.

Last December, 1,000 top international scientists, including Nobel Prize winners, challenged the idea of manmade global warming in their report to the UN Climate Change Conference and also to the Senate.