Despite the clamoring nonsense that describes Polar Bears as a species in decline, it would seem that Polar Bears are doing just fine, thank you. Recent reports of Polar Bears drowning in the Arctic Ocean, due to exhaustion from a lack of ice to rest upon, turned out, on further examination, to be the victims of a massive storm. Undaunted by the facts the Envirowhackos continue the fight against Man-made Global Warming/Climate Change. And Polar Bears are exhibit One in their evidence.
But how endangered are the Marine Mammals with the Arctic growing warmer? Won't they disappear? How can they survive without the frozen Seas at the top of the World?
Big image at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/Prins-karls-forrland_pho.jpg
Very well, it would seem, if recent scientific discoveries are any measure.
In a remote place of the Arctic Ocean, in the far north, far from any major land area, sits the Svalbard Archipelago, whose most famous island is Spitsbergen. At the extreme west of this group of chilly islands is Prince Charles Foreland, (in Norwegian: Prins Karls Forland or Forlandet), where some scientists were doing some digging. They found a specimen of a Polar Bear jaw, complete with a tooth. Based on the sediments where it was found they have dated the find at approximately 130,000 years old. Older, in fact, than any previous Polar Bear find. This makes the age of Polar Bears much greater, since Science has regarded the White Bears as merely 100,000 years old. Supposedly that is when they split off from their cousins the Brown Bears.
What's the significance of this, aside from the fact that scientists were wrong about the emergence of Polar Bears in the evolutionary stream? Well, it seems that at the time the sediments were laid down the Earth was in the Eemian Period - the last Inter-Glacial period. We are now in the Holocene Period. The Eemian was much a much warmer time than now.
What's that mean? It means that Polar Bears survived a much warmer climate than we now experience. Survived and flourished.
From BBC News:
Professor Olafur Ingolfsson from the University of Iceland says tests show it was an adult, possibly a female.
"We have this specimen that confirms the polar bear was a morphologically distinct species at least 100,000 years ago, and this basically means that the polar bear has already survived one interglacial period," explained Professor Ingolfsson.
"And what's interesting about that is that the Eemian - the last interglacial - was much warmer than the Holocene (the present).
"This is telling us that despite the ongoing warming in the Arctic today, maybe we don't have to be quite so worried about the polar bear. That would be very encouraging."
Yes, it would. Polar Bears are magnificent beasts, the largest of the living bear family and, as Professor Ingolfsson says (this is a PDF file), "The Polar Bear is the only obligate carnivore among living bears; a highly specialized predator of seals." [obligate: Able to exist or survive only in a particular environment or by assuming a particular role.] These beautiful white-furred bears are also one of the few species on earth that will hunt and kill humans. Cuddly, they ain't!
The Polar Bear is so closely related to its cousins that it can successfully breed with them. Usually this only happens in captivity, since the different types of bears rarely overlap in the wild. However a bear shot in the Canadian Arctic in April, 2006, and thought to be a Polar Bear, was subsequently discovered to be a hybrid. The result of the mating of a Polar Bear and a Grizzly (*ouch!*). As John Roach at Nat'l Geo., put it:
DNA analysis has confirmed that a bear shot in the Canadian Arctic last month is a half-polar bear, half-grizzly hybrid. While the two bear species have interbred in zoos, this is the first evidence of a wild polar bear-grizzly offspring.
Wildlife officials seized the bear after noticing its white fur was interspersed with brown patches. It also had long claws, a concave facial profile, and a humped back, which are characteristic of a grizzly.
Now the genetic tests have confirmed that the hybrid's father was a grizzly and its mother was a polar bear.
Polar bears and grizzlies require an extended mating ritual to reproduce, Stirling said. Both live by themselves in large, open habitats.
To prevent wasting their eggs, females ovulate only after spending several days with a male, Stirling explained. "Then they mate several times over several days."
In other words, the mating between the polar bear and grizzly was more than a chance encounter. "That's what makes it quite interesting," he added.
Stirling says the hybrid has no official name, though locals have taken to calling it a "pizzly" and a "grolar bear."
Obligate they may be, but it would seem they don't feel "obligated" to keep it in the clan! Polar Bears get around.
Warming of the Arctic may cause the Polar Bear some difficulty. And discomfort. But it won't extinguish them. They passed through warmer times before. And they survived. Besides, the warming in the Arctic is not primarily from the atmosphere - the Greenhouse effect so beloved of the illiterati - but in fact from the earth's crust. We have entered a period of increased Volcanism, something we have absolutely no power to alter. And where are most of the volcanic eruptions taking place? On the ocean floors. As I mentioned last Summer:
So why is the ice cover seeming to shrink in the Arctic? Even while the air remains as cold as ever?
As Phil Brennan puts it: "The answer is quite simple: Mother Earth is belching up red hot magma through the ocean floor all across the globe. It may come as a surprise to you, but two-thirds of all volcanic activity takes place under the world's seas, and currently that activity is heating the oceans to the point where they are sending huge amounts of moisture up into the atmosphere, where it comes down as heavy rain in the spring, summer and fall, and snow in the winter."
And the word around the globe is the same: glaciers are growing, inching toward the seas, getting thicker. Not the opposite, which is the disinformation the Global Warming Alarmists want you to think.
What does that mean, in terms we can all understand? It means that Global Warming is a myth. If anything, we are beginning our descent into an Ice Age. And there is not one thing we can do to stop it. We may be able to mitigate the damage somewhat, with smart actions now, but we are not going to be able to change what the Earth decides to do.
We should do everything in our power to mitigate pollution, something the United States has been doing - at tremendous cost, I might add - for decades now. There is simply no reason to dump untreated waste into our waters, or pump poisons into the air. We have the technology to avoid that. And if we used our heads instead of blindly following the Chicken Littles we would expand our use of Nuclear Power, rather than waste time playing with Wind Power or Solar Power. We have the technology to wean ourselves from the use of Oil and Coal, and still maintain our technological Society. It is our responsibility and duty as rational beings to prevent pollution when and where we can. But pulling our hair out and wearing sackcloth and ashes will do nothing. Avoiding the facts to push an agenda will do nothing.
Polar Bears are thriving, their numbers growing. As Van Helsing remarks at Moobattery:
Even if the Goracle's most frenetic fantasies were to come true, and the North Pole were to melt in the foreseeable future, people living in northern latitudes will still get eaten by polar bears.
What more can I say? *wink*