Modern Polar Bear Habitat Among Coldest Of The Last 10,000 Years
The habitat range for polar bears extends across the circumpolar boundaries of the Arctic Ocean, primarily inclusive of North America (Canada), coastal Greenland, and northern Russia (Siberia, Northern Europe).
However, about 70 percent — 13 of 19 subpopulations — of the Earth’s polar bears reside in Canada. And Canada not only has not been warming to any unusual degree in the last few centuries, modern temperatures are still colder now than they have been for most of the last 10,000 years.
A Benighted Short-Term Climate Perspective
The media-popularized viewpoint that insists polar bears are sweltering under an imminent threat of extinction due to global warming in general and Arctic warming in particular is benighted by a lack of appreciation or understanding of a long-term geological context.
For most advocates of the position that climate changes in the Arctic are predominantly caused by the explosive rise in anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions since the mid-20th century, there is a conspicuous hyper-focus on the climate monitoring period beginning in the 1950s…or the late 1970s, when the satellite era began (and polar sea ice could be monitored).
The problem with this short-term perspective, of course, is that the 1950s to 1980s were a cold period in the Arctic, so any trend line beginning in those years will skew towards the point of view that more recent warming is unusual, if not unprecedented. As the graphs below illustrate, the 1920s to 1940s were a relatively warm period in the Arctic — similarly as warm as the most recent decades.
The willful selection of the coldest decades of the last 100 years as the prerequisite starting point for examining modern climatic trends is reflective of the tendentious narrow-mindedness afflicting most advocates of the position that we humans pose a dangerous threat to the biosphere. Expanding one’s perspective and focus beyond the last 60 or 70 years, or even a cursory look at the long-term climatic context as presented in the scientific literature, severely undercuts the perspective that recent climate changes in the Arctic are unusual, remarkable, or unprecedented.