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As many readers know, there was a erroneous and malicious paper recently published by The journal Bioscience titled Internet blogs, polar bears, and climate-change denial by proxy, (Harvey et al. 2017) covered here and here by WUWT, along with a request for retraction here.
The person who was the focus of the 14 authors of the Harvey et al. paper was Dr. Susan Crockford, and I decided to send her a series of interview questions so that she could tell her side of the story. She graciously responded within 48 hours of my request. This Q&A is unedited in content, with only two spelling and punctuation corrections plus font style changes to fit the format of this website. – Anthony Watts
Q. Are polar bears adaptable in their feeding habits? Is sea-ice an absolute requirement for their survival? Polar bears are relatively adaptable. They will scavenge, for example, or try new prey that presents itself, like dolphins trapped by ice in Svalbard a few years ago. Sea ice is an absolute requirement for their survival but they don’t need it year round. Polar bears need sea ice in the fall through spring, with spring being the critical season. Bears eat little in the summer whether they are on the ice or on land, and eat little through the cold and dark of the Arctic winter. Most food is consumed in the spring (2/3 of the yearly total) and the second most important time is fall, when bears that have fasted over the summer can recoup some of the weight they have lost. This ability to fast through the summer as well as through the depth of winter is clearly what has made it possible for polar bears to survive previous warm periods that had low amounts of summer sea ice.
But relax. Ursus maritimus, the charming carnivorous mascot that is the cash cow primus maximus for the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, IUCN, and other “green” exploiters, is not in any danger of extinction.
In fact, polar bear populations are thriving.
That is the message of Dr. Judith A Crockford, who runs the polarbearscience.com website.
“The more the polar bears fail to die in droves,” she wrote in a December 21 posting, “the shriller the message from activist polar bear researchers — via willing media megaphones — that the great death of the bears will soon be upon us, just you wait and see!”
Well, is that what happened? Dr. Crockford answers: But nothing of the kind happened.
There are still lots of polar bears and not even struggling-to-survive bears but lots of fat healthy bears everywhere across the Arctic, in what were considered by USGS biologists to be the most vulnerable regions of all: Western Hudson Bay (i.e., Churchill), Chukchi Sea and Southern Beaufort (Alaska) and the Barents Sea (Norway).
originally posted by: nOraKat
a reply to: ignorant_ape
a reply to: StallionDuck
Here is the deal - this is how most polar bears get their sustenance: They look for holes in the ice (I forgot how they got there) and what happens is seals that hunt in the ocean have to use these holes occasionally to breathe and get some air. Polar bears hang out around these holes to nab the seals just as they come up. This is probably how they get 90% of their food.
Now with less ice, or the ice breaking up into chunks, this entire situation goes away. I saw a documentary where they were hopelessly swimming around the ocean endlessly trying to hunt the seals, but to no avail. It is too easy for the seals to get away. It is pretty sad for them but I guess lucky for the seals.
Now whether this (warming/melting) is caused by humans or not is debatable since warming periods occurred even without humans. On the other hand there are weather patterns on Earth that are unprecedented and coincide with the developments of humans, and population growth.
This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death.