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Latest Polar Bear Scare Shredded By Susan Crockford

July 22, 2020

By Paul Homewood


While I was away cycling (again!), the BBC ran this report:


Polar bears will be wiped out by the end of the century unless more is done to tackle climate change, a study predicts. 



Dr Susan Crockford has quickly demolished both the study and the story:



Apparently, a prediction that polar bears could be nearly extinct by 2100 (which was first suggested back in 2007) is news today because there is a new model. As for all previous models, this prediction of future polar bear devastation depends on using the so-called ‘business as usual’ RCP8.5 climate scenario, which has been roundly criticized in recent years as totally implausible, which even the BBC has mentioned. This new model, published today as a pay-walled paper in Nature Climate Change, also did something I warned against in my last post: it uses polar bear data collected up to 2009 only from Western Hudson Bay – which is an outlier in many respects – to predict the response of bears worldwide. The lead author, Peter Molnar, is a former student of vocal polar bear catastrophist Andrew Derocher – who himself learned his trade from the king of polar bear calamity forecasts, Ian Stirling. Steven Amstrup, another co-author of this paper, provided the ‘expert opinion’ for the failed USGS polar bear extinction model featured in my book, The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened.

Well, these authors and their supporters got the headlines they crave, including coverage by outlets like the BBC and New York Times (see below) but I have to say that the combination of using out-of-date Western Hudson Bay information on when polar bears come ashore in summer and leave for the ice in fall (only to 2009) to make vague projections (‘possible’, ‘likely’, ‘very likely’) about all other subpopulations in addition to depending on the most extreme and now discredited RCP8.5 climate scenario (Hausfather and Peters 2020) for this newest polar bear survival model is all that’s needed to dismiss it as exaggerated-fear-mongering-by-proxy. Why would anyone believe that the output of this new model describes a plausible future for polar bears?

Meanwhile, polar bear populations worldwide continue to thrive despite declines in sea ice. And as I have pointed out on numerous occasions, the ice free period for WH has not continued to decline since 1998 but rather has remained stable (with yearly variation) at about 3 weeks longer than it was in the 1980s (Castro de la Guardia et al 2017). Moreover, for the last five years at least, including this one, the ice-free season for WH bears has been better (only 1-2 weeks longer than the 1980s), although no official data on this phenomenon has yet been published. Oddly, this more recent data for Hudson Bay was not used for the Molnar model.


Susan’s full account is here.

  1. robin Lambert permalink
    July 22, 2020 6:03 pm

    BBC CNN and mainstream Medya are like Bears with sore paws if they cant get their Own Way..They are Wrong Certain areas in Tundra have More Polar bears than five years ago.

  2. It doesn't add up... permalink
    July 22, 2020 6:38 pm

    The BBC is like Kanye West. It suffers from bipolar disorder.

  3. jack broughton permalink
    July 22, 2020 7:19 pm

    Susan asks why anyone would believe the new model of the future anymore than the previous discredited one. The answer is simple: it suits BBC (and their acolytes) politics, any scientist who says what they want is reported as though he has discovered the holy grail.

    • July 22, 2020 10:53 pm

      Becozzzz those “scientists” ( I struggle to keep a straight face using that word) need to keep producing output to get next years funding. As for the BBC I can only think the drive is a combination of serious marxism and a lot of indoctrinated journos who had to show their pink undies at the interview. Their lack of objectivity now across a range of subjects reported or not reported on by the BBC is consistent with people seeing the whole world through a far left wing or more accurately a marxist lense. It would be interesting to see where this was published ( if at all) and if so, WHO CHECKED THIS PAPER which I will admit to only having seen the highlights from? Seems anything gets through today if the subject matter is conforming to the narrative. As for the fact that Dr Crockford outlines each of the authors “successes”, they are in a very lucrative business which says just produce anything and we will push it through so long as it supports the cause and in return we will fund you to produce more. These people are in one business only keeping the money flowing and those giving other peoples money do not care a jot for the scientific method so long as they get the “oh god it is worse than we thought” scenarios falling out the rear end of the cow that they fed their data into.
      I am trying to locate an article I read which considered the standard way that research is performed across the sciences today. If I remember correctly, right across the science disciplines the ratio is a fairly uniform 80% of empirical data and 20% of modelling. The climate industry does not fall under the category of science in my humble opinion because the percentages are completely reversed, with around only 20% empirical data used as compared to 80% modelling.To go below 50% hard data is not science but conjecture and that seems to fall into place when we witness the attacks going on today against the need to adhere to the scientific method. Do you think that these two things, the need to publish flawed modelling producing doom laden findings and the attacks on the scientific method happening at the same time are a coincidence?

      • July 23, 2020 3:00 am

        “As for the fact that Dr Crockford outlines each of the authors “successes”, they are in a very lucrative business which says just produce anything and we will push it through so long as it supports the cause and in return we will fund you to produce more”

        What I read in their published papers is that they clearly state the uncertainties and the statistical weaknesses in their studies (brevity of study period and localization of the study area for example). Their projections are made with the word “could”.

        The media either do not understand these statements or do not want to understand. Please see the literature review at the bottom of this post:

  4. Phillip Bratby permalink
    July 22, 2020 8:56 pm

    All the more reason to defund the BBC.

    • July 22, 2020 11:01 pm

      Whilst I agree to a point, is this not also dong the work of the marxists who want to get rid of our institutions? Are we not ultimately playing into their hands? All the people in a country with bad leadership are not bad. What is needed is a free and impartial investigation with complete access to all internal personell and documentation taking in the last 30 years of output to detect the fall in standards of impartiality and the key individuals who are responsible for that. Then it takes a PM with a big majority and equally big gonads to drain the swamp. Of course with 30 years of serious left wing indoctrination within the arts faculties it will be difficult to obtain the result which is all we really want, a BBC who adhere to their own charter!

  5. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    July 22, 2020 8:59 pm

    Next week Helen Briggs and Victoria Gill will be reporting on school board meetings, the following week on puppies and kittens needing homes. Or not. One needs to get out and do a bit of note taking to report on such topics.
    Likely they will just continue making things up. Bless their little hearts.

    • July 22, 2020 11:05 pm

      Well no… I see a pattern. Their remit is to regurgitate anything without question, adding little emotional caveats to heighten the alarm as long as it conforms to whatever the grey men and women who form the BBC politburo dictate.

  6. CheshireRed permalink
    July 23, 2020 9:06 am

    Surely there’s a logic fail here? ‘Less ice means bears have to travel farther to find seals’.

    Less ice equals a smaller surface area of ice, which means it should be easier for bears to hunt seals.

  7. Harry Passfield permalink
    July 23, 2020 9:09 am

    “Latest polar-bear scare shredded by Susan Crockford”.

    Such a shame, really, that that shredding wasn’t also broadcast by the BBC. Many alarmists will get their news and views from the BBC and will not know of Susan Crockford or her work.

    • Joseph Sharp permalink
      July 23, 2020 9:54 am

      Do you really expect the BBC to report such a contrarian view? That would show a lack of bias.

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