Saturday, December 22, 2012

Polar Bears:  The Fuzzy Face of Climate Change -
“Take the 2050 thing, for example,” [population ecologist named Robert Rockwell who was based at the American Museum of Natural History in New York] said. “That’s just a huge problem.” Rocky was referring to a series of reports, sprawling over more than 400 pages, that Amstrup had written for the U.S. Geological Survey. One single factoid had been catnip to the press, reported and re-reported in every media outlet on Earth. One typical headline read “Scientists: Most Polar Bears Dead by 2050.” Rocky reiterated the ways in which he thought the Heavy Hitters had botched their methodology and made biased assumptions. I had no way of knowing whether Rocky was right, but I had faith in the scientific process to do the heavy lifting that I couldn’t do.

Surely some journal would weed out flimsy numbers and peer reviewers would reject shoddy work, right?

“That’s just it!,” Rocky thundered. “Those USGS papers aren’t science. They’re junk! And they should be thrown out.” Rocky felt that Amstrup and his colleagues had crossed the line from science to advocacy. “If this had been a bird or a fish, I guarantee you it would not have happened this quickly.”
ONE WINTER AFTERNOON I stopped by the makeshift Churchill office of a nonprofit dedicated to protecting polar bears. The place swirled with activity, and at one point a publicist for a major environmental organization sat down next to me. “It’s just so sad,” she said, pushing her lips into a long pout. “They all look so skinny that it’s hard to look at them.” A few minutes later, her chair was filled by a biologist with the Manitoba conservation department. “The bears look good,” he mused. “I haven’t seen them this fat in years.”

Experts aside, most of the tourists who traveled to Churchill had written the narrative of their trip long before they arrived. You don’t necessarily go to Churchill because you want to see healthy, happy bears. But one glaring problem with the standard doomsday scenario was that very few of the locals wanted anything to do with it. [Via Judith Curry]
Global Warming Helps Arctic Species - Business Insider
A new study indicates that global warming may actually benefit Arctic animals and ecosystem, by expanding their ranges and increasing biodiversity in the area as warmer-climate species move north.
Terence Corcoran: Climate science freakout
As the skeptics wound up, so did the alarmists. A writer for The Guardian attacked Alec Rawls, saying he has “completely misrepresented” the report. A scientist, Steven Sharwood, attacked Rawls for having reached “ridiculous” conclusions on solar radiation. Rawls has since counterattacked.

All this and more can be found at the blog sites and in media commentaries. Some worthwhile cites include Rawls blog,, climatedepot, climate spectator, the Global Warming Policy Foundation and many others. A good starting point is Mr. Revkin at The New York Times, whose blog post links to scores of sites and the leaked AR5 document.

The good of this is that we have a science debate, rather than a dumped consensus. It’s not pretty, but it is an improvement over the secretive science that has dominated the IPCC since its inception.
Graham Readfearn | Australian Press Council Finds Against Climate Sceptic Columnists
Whether they like it or not, serial climate science misinformers James Delingpole and Andrew Bolt are the latest News Ltd contributors to have their online articles furnished with freshly-added hyperlinks to APC judgements finding against them.

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