Polar bears theatened by myth?

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PostSun Nov 29, 2009 3:09 pm » by Cornbread714


Much less stable ice for polar bears, expert says
Survey by ship finds satellite data about thicker Arctic ice was wrong

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Associated Press
updated 6:56 p.m. ET Nov. 27, 2009
Arctic sea ice conditions are even worse than feared after a survey found that ice detected as older and thicker by satellites is actually thin and fragile, a prominent Canadian researcher reported Friday.

University of Manitoba researcher David Barber said experts around the world believed the ice was recovering because satellite images showed it expanding, but the thick, multiyear frozen sheets have been replaced by thin ice that cannot support the weight of a polar bear.

"Polar bears are being restricted to a small fringe of where this multiyear sea ice is. As we went further and further north, we saw less and less polar bears because this ice wasn't even strong enough for the polar bears to stand on," said Barber, who returned from an expedition to the Beaufort Sea in September.

Barber said permanent ice, which is normally up to 30 feet thick, was easily pierced by the research icebreaker he and his team were on.

The deterioration has far-reaching consequences for the North and its iconic mammal. Polar bears that rely on the permanent ice to survive the summer have fewer and fewer places of refuge, said Barber, who has been studying the Arctic ecosystem for 25 years.

Bears eating bears for food?
Scientists also said Friday that shrinking Arctic sea ice may be forcing some hungry polar bears to cannibalize bear cubs.

At least seven cases of mature male polar bears eating bear cubs have been spotted this year among the animals around Churchill, Manitoba, said Ian Stirling, a retired Environment Canada biologist who specializes in the Churchill bears.

Stirling said evidence suggests the cubs are being killed for food, not just so the male can mate with the sow.

He said the Hudson Bay sea ice, which the bears use to hunt the seals they consume to fatten up for winter, isn't appearing until weeks later than it used to.

The sea ice findings, which are soon to be published in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters, come as a shock to experts worldwide.

Although northern sea ice hit a record low in 2007, researchers believed it was recovering because of what they were seeing on satellite images.

But the satellites the experts relied on were misleading because the rotten ice looked sturdy on the surface and has a similar superficial temperature, Barber explained.

"The satellites give us only part of the story. The multiyear ice is disappearing and it's almost all gone now from the northern hemisphere."

Ice floe breaks up in 5 minutes
Barber said his team finally reached what it thought was stable ice, only to watch a crack appear just as researchers were preparing to descend onto the floe.

"As I watched, over the course of five minutes, the entire multiyear ice floe broke up into pieces. This floe was 10 miles across," said Barber, who holds the Canada research chair in Arctic science at the University of Manitoba.

The ice is unable to withstand battering waves and storms because global warming is rapidly melting it at a rate of 27,000 square miles each year, he said.

Multiyear sea ice used to cover 90 percent of the Arctic basin, Barber said. It now covers roughly 19 percent. Where it used to be up to 33 feet thick, it's now 6 feet at most.

The lack of sea ice may be good news to some who want to see the North opened to industry. Without thick ice blocking the way, ships can more easily gain access to the Arctic's natural resources.

"We were doing almost the same speed we'd do in open water through what we thought was multiyear sea ice," Barber said. "Transportation and all the issues of navigation across the pole all become very real when you no longer have any multiyear sea ice."
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PostSun Nov 29, 2009 4:25 pm » by Lowsix


i think no one knows for sure what is happening as evidenced by the recognition that co2 levels were not accurately, historicalyl pegged to warming and cooling periods as once thought, and newer evidence that perhaps natural geological and solar cycles were far more to blame for temperature flutuations than mankind, although surely man influences them. (when you come back to spank me, dont forget i bolded that part)

Because after all, what industrial processes
would have been in place to end the ice age?

Right?

I mean something warmed the globe up by 8 degrees twenty thousand years ago.
Surely it wasn't prehistoric mans pre-occupation with fossil fuels and Gas guzzling SUV's.

:D
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warløckmitbladderinfection wrote:blasphemous new gehenna inhabitant makes god sad...

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PostSun Nov 29, 2009 6:00 pm » by Cornbread714


LowSix wrote:i think no one knows for sure what is happening as evidenced by the recognition that co2 levels were not accurately, historicalyl pegged to warming and cooling periods as once thought, and newer evidence that perhaps natural geological and solar cycles were far more to blame for temperature flutuations than mankind, although surely man influences them. (when you come back to spank me, dont forget i bolded that part)

Because after all, what industrial processes
would have been in place to end the ice age?

Right?

I mean something warmed the globe up by 8 degrees twenty thousand years ago.
Surely it wasn't prehistoric mans pre-occupation with fossil fuels and Gas guzzling SUV's.

:D


I'm in total agreement, no need for spanking. I just like seeing rational debate on the subject, which seems to be rare these days. I think the hysteria on both sides obfuscates the issue and hinders research and possible measures that might actually be beneficial.

I think the jury is still out on the CO2 question, unfortunately, and maybe I'm beating a dead horse but I still don't believe there is some giant conspiracy in the scientific community to promote a myth.

Political spin? Yes, tons of it. A few "bought-off" scientists or narrow-minded researchers? Yes. On both sides.

I doubt we can do much to "reverse" the cycle but I believe we had better take a hard look at our current levels of resource squandering and rampant polluting. To think we are not having a major, and probably negative in common-sense terms, effect on the environment in general is naive. :sunny:
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PostSun Nov 29, 2009 6:28 pm » by Cornbread714


So, what's your opinion, Slush?
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PostSun Nov 29, 2009 6:59 pm » by domdabears


I just let Carlin speak for me on this one. It's exactly how I feel and something I just completely agree with. So here he goes...
I wanna be a Warhol
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PostSun Nov 29, 2009 7:20 pm » by Cornbread714


domdabears wrote:I just let Carlin speak for me on this one. It's exactly how I feel and something I just completely agree with. So here he goes...


Yeah, Carlin is brilliant and the points are well-taken. :flop:

It's kind of a rough time to be on the pro side of continued research into climate change, oh well, I can take the heat (pun intended :sunny: ).

That "Climategate" thing was pretty bad.

So back to business as usual, eh? Fuck it, let's trash this muthafucka!! :D

@ Slush: that's pretty much the way I see it, too.
Where's the beer and when do I get paid?
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