Failed Amstrup polar bear predictions have climate change community in a panic

Polar bear experts who falsely predicted that roughly 17,300 polar bears would be dead by now (given sea ice conditions since 2007) have realized their failure has not only kicked their own credibility to the curb, it has taken with it the reputations of their climate change colleagues.

This has left many folks unhappy about the toppling of this important global warming icon but ironically, consensus polar bear experts and climate scientists (and their supporters) were the ones who set up the polar bear as a proxy for AGW in the first place.

I published my professional criticisms on the failed predictions of the polar bear conservation community in a professional online scientific preprint journal, which has now been downloaded almost 2,000 times (Crockford 2017; Crockford and Geist 2017).

My paper demonstrates that the polar bear/sea ice decline hypothesis, particularly the one developed by Steven Amstrup, is a failure.

I’m not the only one who thinks so, as emails obtained from the US Fish and Wildlife Service show.

The argument the paper lays out and the facts it presents have not been challenged by any one of the consensus polar bear experts who object to it so strenuously.

Instead, they have chosen to misrepresent my work, and publicly belittle my credentials and scientific integrity in the published literature (Harvey et al. 2017) and online.

Harvey and colleagues suggest in their paper that I and others use polar bears as a proxy for AGW as part of a deliberate plan to undermine the public’s confidence in global warming.

Harvey et al. state:

“…the main strategy of denier blogs is, therefore, to focus on topics that are showy and in which it is therefore easy to generate public interest. These topics are used as “proxies” for AGW in general; in other words, they represent keystone dominoes that are strategically placed in front of many hundreds of others, each representing a separate line of evidence for AGW. By appearing to knock over the keystone domino, audiences targeted by the communication may assume all other dominoes are toppled in a form of “dismissal by association.” [my bold]

I do not recall ever stating or implying that if polar bear predictions of doom were wrong, then general climate change models must also be wrong. But if any other bloggers have done so, they can hardly be blamed.

A bit of reflection shows it was the climate science community itself — in collaboration with Arctic researchers and the media — who by the year 2000 (below left) set the polar bear up as an icon for catastrophic global warming. They made the polar bear a proxy for AGW.

Al Gore used the polar bears on an ice flow image (above right) to seal global warming icon status for the polar bear in his 2007 movie, An Inconvenient Truth (see National Post March 2007 article here).

As Harvey et al. co-author Michael Mann said only a few years ago(24 March 2014):

“We are now the polar bear.”

A clear association was made between polar bear survival and AGW, time and time again, as recently as last February (2017):

So, when the polar bears failed to die by the thousands as polar bear models predicted, after years of lower summer ice than any sea ice models predicted (see graphic below), some people may have logically stated or implied that perhaps general climate models are similarly flawed.

In essence, Mann’s “we are now the polar bear” statement came back to bite him and his colleagues in the ass (Amstrup and Ian Stirling included).

Predictably, they would like to blame someone else for their failure and embarrassment, so they wrote a sloppy tantrum paper that pretends my polar bear/sea ice decline document doesn’t exist.

I guess we all should have seen it coming.

Predicted sea ice changes (based on 2004 data) at 2020, 2050, and 2080 that were used in 2007 to predict a 67% decline in global polar bear numbers vs. an example of the sea ice extent reality experienced since 2007 (shown is 2012). See Crockford 2017 for details.

REFERENCES

Crockford, S.J. and Geist, V. 2018. Conservation Fiasco. Range Magazine, Winter 2017/2018, pg. 26-27. Pdf here.

Crockford, S.J. 2017. Testing the hypothesis that routine sea ice coverage of 3-5 mkm2 results in a greater than 30% decline in population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). PeerJ Preprints 2 March 2017. Doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2737v3 Open access. https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.2737v3

Harvey, J.A., van den Berg, D., Ellers, J., Kampen, R., Crowther, T.W., Roessingh, P., Verheggen, B., Nuijten, R. J. M., Post, E., Lewandowsky, S., Stirling, I., Balgopal, M., Amstrup, S.C., and Mann, M.E. 2017. Internet blogs, polar bears, and climate-change denial by proxy. Bioscience. DOI: 10.1093/biosci/bix133

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Comments (3)

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    Spurwing Plover

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    The Polar Bear became the mascot for the Global Warming/Climate Change wackos they made a dumb movie A Arctic Tale many Eco-Wackos especaily those idiots from Greenpeace were running around dressed as Polar Bears during their dumb protests and they use this to lure the kids into their watermelon(Green on outside Red inside)movment

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    David Lewis

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    The polar bear icon and the rest of the climate change movement are fundamentally different. With the polar bears, three dead bears were spotted from an airplane at 1500 feet. A “scientist” then assumed they had drowned due to lack of ice due to climate change and wrote a paper which was peer reviewed by his wife. The fundamental process here was sloppy science. Following this, politically motivated environmentalist and mainstream media ran with it.

    The fundamental nature of the climate change movement itself is fraud. In the very beginning, a fudge factor was added to the climate calculation to get the results they were after. That fudge factor was proven not to exist and today the climate models are designed to provide the politically desired results. Fraud exists in altering past temperature data, altering satellite data, removing ground sensors from cooler locations, and altering president day sensor data. Ocean acidification is a total fraud in that they picked the least acid year as their base line and hid data that disproved their hypothesis.

    There is one commonality between the polar bear icon and the rest of the climate change movement is they are both driven by politics. If it wasn’t for the political motivation neither would exist as an issue. This is the connection where by discrediting the assertion that the polar bears are in trouble also discredits the researchers in the rest of the climate change movement.

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      Sonnyhill

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      Politicians don’t confess.

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