Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Too Bad, Polar Bears Aren't Dying

The World Wildlife Fund has said polar bears are at risk because of global warming: "As their icy habitat disappears, the survival of the polar bear is at risk. "

Too bad for their fundraising efforts (which is really what global warming is all about, isn't it?), but polar bears are doing just fine:
Right now, though, Inuits like Nathaniel Kalluk here in Resolute Bay aren't exactly worried. "There are a lot more bears now than before," said Mr. Kalluk, who is 51 and has been hunting since childhood. "We'll spot 20 to 30 bears on a hunting trip. Twenty years ago, sometimes we didn't see any at all." This is not an isolated trend. Although the bears seem to be hurting in some places, like the Hudson Bay region south of here, their numbers have increased worldwide. In Canada, home to most of the world's polar bears, the population has risen by more than 20 percent in the past decade.

The chief reason for the rise is probably restrictions on hunting (for which conservationists deserve credit). ... But the increase might also be related to the recent warming, which could be helping bears in some places. After all, the bears have thrived in warmer climates than today's. In the 1930's, the Arctic was as warm as it is now, and in the distant past it was even warmer. The doomsday reports of the melting Arctic have focused on the rise in temperatures compared with the late 1970's, but that was a particularly cold period. So the bears can cope with some global warming, which would increase the diversity of species in the Arctic - and maybe the number of humans, too.
h/t Greenie Watch