Flannery will get you nowhere 15/5/2006
Tasmanian doom-merchant Tim Flannery has gone all the way to Canada to embarrass Australia.
Flannery told Canadians that global warming was going to melt the polar caps and do away with their polar bears.
Er, that is not exactly the case, Flannery was informed.
Bolta explains that Flannery attempted to impress the Canooks with his profound knowledge of the Bundy symbol.
“In the past, polar bears typically gave birth to triplets, but now they usually have one cub.”
As Bolta points out, this was news to Canadian scientist Dr Mitchell Taylor, a prominent polar bear biologist with the Government of the Arctic territory of Nunavut.
“That is a startling conclusion and certainly is a surprising revelation to the polar bear researchers who work here and to the people who live here. We really had no idea.”
Flannery, he said, was plain wrong. It was in fact rare for polar bears to ever give birth to triplets, and most usually had two cubs.
Given that polar bears don’t inhabit the Arctic’s more extreme cold regions, wouldn’t warming of those regions provide them with new habitat leading to population expansion?
Flannery has been contradicted by even more expert opinion:
Interestingly, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has also written on the threats posed to polar bears from global warming. But, their own data on polar bear populations contradict claims that rising air temperatures are causing a decline in polar bear populations.
According to the WWF there are some 22,000 polar bears in about 20 distinct populations worldwide. Only two bear populations — accounting for about 16.4 percent of the total — are decreasing, and they are in areas where air temperatures have actually fallen, such as the Baffin Bay region. By contrast, another two populations — about 13.6 percent of the total number — are growing and they live in areas were air temperatures have risen, near the Bering Strait and the Chukchi Sea.
As for the rest, 10 populations — comprising about 45.4 percent of the total — are stable, and the status of the remaining six is unknown. Conclusion: based on the available evidence there is little reason to believe the current warming trend will lead to extinction of polar bears.
Courtesy of Tim Blair.