A polar bear mother and her two cubs in Wapusk National Park on the shore of Hudson Bay near...(AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Jonathan Hayward/file
As I noted in Part 1
, the lIUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialists Group
was presented with a paper by Steven Amstrup disputing the claims of Armstrong and Green who claimed several violations of forecasting rules in the nine papers that were used to support the classification of Polar Bears as Endangered. As you may know, the ruling was made to declare the bears threatened instead, thus preventing the implementation of draconian regulations that would have crippled the US economy. A special comment was added to stipulate that man was not responsible for any alledged problems the bears were encountering further reducing the likelyhood of severe measures being implemented. These are the very same regulations that are in the bill that was recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives with only insignificant modifications.
So we continue… I should note, relative to AMS’s (Steven Amstrup’s paper) claim that insurance companies were using the output of GCM’s (General Circulation Models) to assess risk, that my home insurance company nearly doubled my premium as well as thousands of others claiming the LACK of storms for the past 70+ years…yes, you read that right…. as well as the specter of future predicted stronger and more frequent storms due to global warming
. This is in conflict with recent years’ observed storm intensity statistics that are some of the lowest on record. My rate was eventually reduced to less than we were paying before with only minor concessions and a home inspection for possible falling trees.
Now, back to the bears...According to the AMS paper,
“A-G appear to have simply chosen to believe, despite the laws of physics, that human contributions of GHGs (Green House Gases) to the atmosphere do not warm the world. Two of them expressed this view in their audit of the scientific reports of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 4th Assessment when they came to this remarkable conclusion: ‘Claims that the Earth will get warmer have no more credence than saying that it will get colder’ ”
A-G's statement was not related to the scientific reports of the UN’s IPCC 4th assessment, but rather the GCM’s that were contained in the report although in reality it may be hard to separate the two.
A-G made this claim,
”Some climate modelers state that the GCMs do not provide forecasts. According to one of the lead authors of the IPCC’s AR4 (Trenberth 2007), _ _ _ there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios. They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent “story lines” that then provide decision makers with information about which paths might be more desirable.
Further A-G noted,
“They (AMS) stated that “we extracted forecasts of the availability of sea ice for polar bears in the SB [southern Beaufort Sea] region, using monthly forecasts of sea ice concentrations from 10 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) fully-coupled general circulation models” (p. 11 of H6). That is, their forecasts are conditional on long-term forecasts of global warming producing dramatic effects.
If you find this discussion complicated, it is. We are talking about a complex relationship between Polar Bears, climate, ice, causes of climate and a number of other factors. It should be noted that one of the two papers, that A-G found representative, was co-authored by Amstrup. Not very independent… For those interested, the forecasting principles can be found at forecastingprinciples.com and were developed by Armstrong. Nevertheless they are quite logical as well as being detailed. The problems with the nine papers were not trivial or obscure. A notable comment in the A-G paper is appropriate.
“Because of the enormous uncertainty involved in long-term forecasts of polar bear populations, the lack of accurate time-series data on these populations, and the complex relationships that are subject to much uncertainty, prior evidence from forecasting research calls for simple and conservative methods.
As an addendum to this discussion, a report from the Canwest News Service
“OBESITY WARNING: COOL SUMMER PRODUCED FAT ARCTIC POLAR BEARS” points out the ice is thicker this year, allowing the Polar Bears to stay on the ice a few weeks longer. They are fat and happy. Although this supports the claim that Polar Bears do better with more and thicker ice, it also points out that the prediction of thinning sea ice is definitely suspect.
Other reports have identified lower birth rates for seals and bears in colder (more ice) conditions. The long-term effects of either scenario are unknown but a draconian approach to resolution of a problem requires that there be evidence of that problem, not the projections from a General Circulation Model. The Amstrup presentation is interesting in that it appears to be directed in some cases to a previous revision of the Armstrong-Green paper. In other cases he makes claims that are not specifically presented in their paper. It makes it hard to match up the critiques with the appropriate statements. Regardless, there are some really large holes in the Amstrup position especially including the relation of the bears future to man made CO2. Neither the IPCC or the papers Amstrup and others wrote, to influence the decision for endangered designation tie the CO2 man has emitted to the future of these brutally vicious but cuddly creatures. I wonder what the outcry would be if Polar Bears were killing baby Harp seals?
Source Link: examiner.com