‘Less ice means more conflicts with polar bears’ narrative not supported by scientific evidence

by S. Crockford, Apr 18, 2023 in WUWT


In another failed prediction, a new study on the number of polar bears killed in self-defense in Svalbard, Norway did not find the expected correlation with lack of sea ice or more tourists (Vongraven et al. 2023). Contrary to expectations, fewer bears were actually killed in self-defence as sea ice declined between 1987 and 2019.

Money Quote from the abstract:

…ice cover had no significant impact on the odds for a [polar bear] kill.”

It seems the warning from polar bear specialist Andrew Derocher a few months ago was just plain wrong:

“Poor ice conditions for polar bears at Svalbard this year. Low ice will make tough hunting conditions this coming spring. Time to plan for more human-bear conflicts unless conditions change.” [13 Feb 2023 tweet, my bold]

From the Discussion section of the Vongraven paper (pg. 9), my bold:

More bears on land for longer periods during which more people were accessing the same habitats could have been expected to increase the number of bear-human interactions, and the number of bears killed in defence of life and property. Despite a positive relationship between number of tourists and number of kills at a given time, the total numbers of bears killed did not increase over the years of the study and per-capita kills strongly declined. … This overall reduction in kills, despite greatly reduced sea ice habitat availability and more polar bears spending more time on land, may reflect success of the Svalbard Environmental Act of 2001.”

Nice save there, at the end. Hey, this wasn’t a failure of our prediction that loss of sea ice due to global warming would cause more polar bears to be killed because they attacked people, it’s a resounding victory for a law prohibiting people “seeking out” polar bears! As noted in the next two sentences:

Earth’s Mean Annual Temp Was Warmer 31,000 Years Ago… North Pole 22°C Warmer

by K. Richard, Apr 18, 2023 in ClimateChangeDispatch

Earth’s average annual temperature fluctuated by as much as 35°C (at high latitudes) from one millennial-scale period to the next during the last glacial period.

A recently-published 2-part study (Smul′skii, 2022a and 2022b) utilizes established orbital and insolation data to calculate Earth’s average temperature today (0 k years ago), 14.4°C, and at 25°N, 45°N, 65°N, 80°N, 0°, -25°S, -45°S, -65°S, and -80°S during 3 paleo epochs: 15.9 k years ago, 31.3 k years ago, and 46.4 k years ago. [emphasis, links added]

The Global Annual Temperature Of Earth: 14.4°C – The Same As A Century Ago

Consistent with dozens of other calculations, Smul′skii (2022a) determined the mean annual temperature of the modern period, which includes 1991-2018, ranges between 14.07 and 14.41°C.