Polarbeargate?

Every holiday flight you take to Tuscany another one of these DIES!!!

Every holiday flight you take to Tuscany another one of these DIES!!!

This is too good a story not to repeat, not least for the headline it invites: (H/T Ed West; Julian Morris)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A federal wildlife biologist whose observation in 2004 of presumably drowned polar bears in the Arctic helped to galvanize the global warming movement has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated for scientific misconduct, possibly over the veracity of that article.

Charles Monnett, an Anchorage-based scientist with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, or BOEMRE, was told July 18 that he was being put on leave, pending results of an investigation into “integrity issues.”

Something about this story is very odd. Surely, under the Obama administration any government official who was discovered to have been “emotionalising the issue” in order to raise public awareness of the terrible dangers of ManBearPig would be given a promotion, and a Congressional Medal of Honor at the very least? Can it really be possible that BOEMRE remains so principled and inviolate that it still insists its employees cleave to the truth?

It’s definitely one to watch, anyway. After all, the “drowning polar bear” story was instrumental in the US Interior Department’s controversial decision in 2008 to have Ursus maritimus declared a “threatened species.” (Despite evidence that polar bear populations have increased roughly five-fold in the last 50 years: not so much a threatened species, you might say; more like a plague or an infestation). It also prompted the silly scene in Al Gore’s fantasy movie An Inconvenient Truth where an animated polar bear is shown drowning because of “global warming.”

At Watts Up With That you’ll find an excellent World Climate Report essay reporting on the background to the “drowning polar bear” story.

But the part of the study that garnered the press attention so much so that it has become ingrained in global warming lore was that Monnett et al. reported the sighting of four polar bear carcasses floating in the sea several kilometers from shore, presumably having drowned. All four dead bears were spotted from the plane a few days after a strong storm had struck the area, with high winds and two meter high waves. Since polar bears are strong swimmers, the authors concluded that it was not just the swimming that caused the bears to drown, but that the swimming in association with high winds and waves, which made the exertion rate much greater, sapping the bears of their energy and leading to their deaths. The authors also suggested that the frequency and intensity of late summer and early fall storms should increase (as would the wave heights) because of global warming and thus the risk to swimming bears will increase along with the number of bears swimming (since there will be less ice) and subsequently more bears will drown. But they didn’t stop there—they suggested that the increased risk will not be borne by all bears equally, but that lone females and females with cubs will be most at risk—putting even more downward pressure of future polar bear populations. And thus a global warming poster child (or cub) is born.

But does all of this follow from the data? Again, we haven’t heard of any reports of polar bear drownings in Alaska in 2005, 2006, or 2007—all years with about the same, or even less late-summer sea ice off the north coast of Alaska than in 2004, the year of the documented drownings.

Lubos Motl, as is his splendid way, has some trenchant things to say on the subject.

One of the commenters at Watts Up With That thinks this story could turn out to be really juicy. His rationale is that no way would BOEMRE bring an action against an employee for something as innocent as having honest, peer-reviewed research twisted, misrepresented and exaggerated by the media. No, it would have to be way more serious than that.

The news is especially tragic for those of an eco-alarmist persuasion, coming as it does on the same day as new research from NASA (of all places: where’s Jimmy “death train” Hansen when he’s needed to put the correct spin on things?) blows yet another massive hole in CAGW theory.

NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA’s Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.

“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

Anyhoo, weep not for the polar bear. The polar bears are doing just fine.

Related posts:

  1. Memo to Prince Charles: CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is plant food.
  2. Why Man-Made Global Warming is a load of cobblers; Pt 1
  3. Syed Hasnain, RK Pachauri and the mystery of the non-disappearing glaciers
  4. The Economist: not a serious journal

4 thoughts on “Polarbeargate?”

  1. Liam says:5th August 2011 at 12:55 amYou should leave these types of articles to real scientists. a quick search from google will reveal papers supporting increased pressures on polar bears.Climate change is real, deal with it.
  2. Gordon says:6th August 2011 at 8:30 amHow many gates has Delingpole invented? What about Delingpolegate? The denial world’s useful idiot who admits he hasn’t time to read the science but finds plenty to attack it.
  3. London Calling says:7th August 2011 at 4:43 pmAd Hominem, yawn…
  4. Gordon says:10th August 2011 at 11:34 amAd Hominem? yep, pot calling kettle…

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Why from now on I’m flying Ryanair | James Delingpole

September 14, 2010

O'Leary: passionate about 'Climate Change'

O’Leary: passionate about ‘Climate Change’

Almost the best thing about Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary’s denunciation of “Man-made global warming” as a load of old “$!**@&**s!” is the horror it has engendered in the Independent.

Lest any of its readers have their consciousness led in a false direction by this outspoken “Climate Change Denier”, the Indie has chosen to accompany its report of O’Leary’s outrageous claims with a series of rebuttals from some foxy chick from the British Antarctic Survey.

It has also commissioned one of its leader writers to do an opinion piece headed Why Let The Facts Get In The Way When Your Profits Are At Stake?  – (yep, that’s the real problem: capitalism. If only we could all stop this damned economic growth nuisance, the planet would be sooo much better off) – majoring on the detail that O’Leary got one or two facts wrong about Galileo. And quite right too. The fact that an airline boss doesn’t know that Galileo lived in the Renaissance rather than the Middle Ages really deserves a whole chapter of its own in the next IPCC assessment report as perhaps the most incontrovertible piece of evidence yet that CAGW definitely exists.

I suspect that what the Indie and its readership would dearly love is  for this to become Michael O’Leary’s Gerald Ratner moment: the statement so palpably, disgustingly outrageous that all his customers desert him in their droves.

Problem is, no one who flies Ryanair gives a stuff about their carbon footprint. What they want is cheap flights – something government eco-taxes levied in the name of “combatting climate change” render less and less attainable each year.

Still, every cloud has a silver lining. If Michael O’Leary’s remarks prevent even one Independent reader climbing aboard one of his Carbon-Spewing Horror Machines of Winged Planetary Insta-Death, then it will have done both their moral conscience and that part of the world which doesn’t believe in drivel like carbon footprints the most mighty favour.

Related posts:

  1. Pope Catholic; night follows day; IPCC found telling pack of lies about sea level rises
  2. ‘BBC’s biased climate science reporting isn’t biased enough’ claims report
  3. Pen Hadow: Arctic Pillock – the comedy saga continues
  4. This government simply hasn’t a clue about ‘Climate Change’