Google News and the establishment media are attempting to frighten people today with claims that polar bears may go extinct by 2100. The claims are absolute rubbish and fail the laugh test.

BBC, CBS, New Scientist, the New York Times, and Science Alert are among the many media outlets hyping the scare today. The scare is based on a new Nature Climate Change paper titled, “Fasting season length sets temporal limits for global polar bear persistence.” In the paper, the authors claim, “Our model captures demographic trends observed during 1979–2016, showing that recruitment and survival impact thresholds may already have been exceeded in some subpopulations. … It also suggests that, with high greenhouse gas emissions, steeply declining reproduction and survival will jeopardize the persistence of all but a few high-Arctic subpopulations by 2100.”

BBC’s uncritical coverage of the report is typical of establishment media coverage. In a story titled “Climate change: Polar bears could be lost by 2100,” the authors write in the first two sentences of the story, “Polar bears will be wiped out by the end of the century unless more is done to tackle climate change, a study predicts. Scientists say some populations have already reached their survival limits as the Arctic sea ice shrinks.”

However, as polar bear scientist Susan Crockford points out, the study’s claims are not based on data, but rather on projections based on extreme, unrealistic warming scenarios. Also, the authors extrapolate population declines from small segments of the polar bear population across the entire polar bear range.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation recently published Crockford’s report, The State of the Polar Bear 2019. Crockford, a zoologist specializing in polar bear research and population trends, provides comprehensive evidence and data showing polar bears are doing quite fine as temperatures continue their modest warming. Indeed, polar bear populations have been rising for more than half a century, and are likely quadruple the number that existed in the 1950s.

As real-world evidence shows something unalarming – in this case, substantial growth in polar bear populations – climate alarmists go to their usual bag of tricks and conjure up dubious computer models, projections, and speculation to trick the general populace into believing global warming is causing a polar bear crisis.

Very dishonest, and very sad.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News. In addition to directing The Heartland Institute's Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy, Burett puts Environment & Climate News together, is the editor of Heartland's Climate Change Weekly email, and the host of the Environment & Climate News Podcast.



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