Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Island on global warming theory list; Bush Admin. points to climate change phenomenon ...

Inhabited Island Vanishes Beneath the Waves; Global Warming Blamed
Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dec 27, 4:53 PM (ET) by JOHN HEILPRIN,2933,238634,00.html

See more on this issue at Net the Truth Online

Plate shift rather than global warming? Hyscience

Comment: We need to remember that Earth's plates are shifting in this region (plate tectonics). The island disappearing under the waves may be a result of plate shifting more than any global warming effects. Actually, the submergence was too fast for global warming

Lohachara island global warming plate shifting

Some locals aren't buying that global warming line, by the way...

Polar bears and climate change: A polarizing issue
December 27, 2006 11:56 AM PST
Environmentalists and global-warming naysayers shifted into high gear Wednesday in response to news that the Interior Department will hold public hearings on a Bush administration proposal to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Citing comments by an unnamed Interior Department official, The Washington Post reported that studies focusing on how the bears deal with shrinking Arctic sea ice, which they need for hunting, are prompting the department to submit the proposal Wednesday for publication in the Federal Register. The period for public comment on the proposal is 90 days after its publication.

Under pressure from environmental groups, the Interior Department has been examining the bears' response to climate change in some regions for the past two years. The issue is politically charged because the Bush administration has so far been reluctant to acknowledge that concerns about global warming, which scientists say is driven by power-plant and vehicle emissions, are based on solid scientific evidence...

Govt. Sees Polar Bears As 'Threatened'

WASHINGTON (AP) - Polar bears are in jeopardy and need stronger government protection because of melting Arctic sea ice related to global warming, the Bush administration said Wednesday.

Pollution and overhunting also threaten their existence. Greenland and Norway have the most polar bears, while a quarter of them live mainly in Alaska and travel to Canada and Russia.

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne on Wednesday proposed listing polar bears as a "threatened" species on the government list of imperiled species. The "endangered" category is reserved for species more likely to become extinct.


...Environmentalists hope that invoking the Endangered Species Act protections eventually might provide impetus for the government to cut back on its emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases blamed for warming the atmosphere.

The proposed listing also marks a potentially significant departure for the administration from its cautious rhetoric about the effects of global warming. Kempthorne cited the thinning sea ice brought about by global warming as the main culprit, although he said his department wasn't required by the endangered species law to study climate change.

President Bush's steadfast refusal to go along with United Nations-brokered mandatory controls on carbon dioxide, the chief global warming gas, has contributed to tensions between the United States and other nations.

Polar bears, an iconic and cold weather-dependent animal, are dropping in numbers and weight in the Arctic. In July, the House approved a U.S.-Russia treaty to help protect polar bears from overhunting and other threats to their survival

US Proposes Listing Polar Bears as Threatened Species by David McAlary
Washington 27 December 2006

McAlary report (Real Audio) - Download 322k
Listen to McAlary report (Real Audio)

The United States is proposing to declare polar bears a threatened species because of their shrinking Arctic ice habitat. As we hear from VOA's David McAlary, analysts say the move is an unusual admission by the Bush administration that global warming is an environmental threat...

U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne says he is making the proposal because receding Arctic sea ice may be responsible for polar bear population declines. He notes that Canada's western Hudson Bay polar bear numbers have dropped 22 percent and Alaskan polar bears may be suffering the same pressures, although he says their population decline is not yet statistically significant.

Bush administration proposes listing polar bears as threatened species
Published 2006-12-27 | Page
Polar bears are in jeopardy and need stronger government protection because of melting Arctic sea ice related to global warming, the U.S. administration said Wednesday.

Pollution and overhunting also threaten their existence. Greenland and Norway have the most polar bears, while a quarter of them live mainly in Alaska and travel to Canada and Russia.

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne on Wednesday proposed listing polar bears as a "threatened" species on the government list of imperiled species. The "endangered" category is reserved for species more likely to become extinct

US says global warming threatens polar bears
By Stephanie Kirchgaessner in New York
Published: December 27 2006 23:30 | Last updated: December 27 2006 23:30

Polar bears should be classified as a threatened species because global warming could cause their habitat to melt away, the Bush administration said on Wednesday.

The iconic arctic animals were being threatened by receding ice, said Dirk Kempthorne, secretary of the Interior Department, who stopped short of calling for an investigation into the causes of climate change, saying the issue was beyond his department’s remit.

“We need to just concentrate and focus on the species and its habitat,” he said, adding the George W. Bush administration had already spent $29bn researching climate change issues and related technology.

While the proposal did not represent a clear departure from the Bush administration’s stance on global warming, it marked the first time the White House had pointed to climate change as a phenomenon that could threaten the survival of a species.
Administration officials said they proposed adding polar bears to the threatened species list because Fish and Wildlife Service biologists feared that Alaska’s population of polar bears could experience a significant decline in the future. ..

Climate Change May Put Polar Bear on Threatened List
All Things Considered, December 27, 2006

The federal government says climate change threatens the polar bear with extinction, and the efforts under way to arrest global warming will not be adequate to save the mighty Arctic predator.

Proposal to List the Polar Bear as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act
The Service has proposed to protect the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA.) A proposed rule (pdf) that would add the polar bear to the federal list of threatened and endangered species was submitted to the Federal Register on December 27, 2006, we anticipate this notice being published on January 11, 2007, opening a 90-day comment period on this proposed listing.

The primary threat to polar bears is the decrease of sea ice coverage. Although some females use snow dens on land for birthing cubs, polar bears are almost completely dependent upon sea ice for their sustenance. Any significant changes in the abundance, distribution, or existence of sea ice will have effects on the number and behavior of these animals and their prey.

This proposed listing responds to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, dated February 16, 2005, to list the polar bear as threatened and to designate critical habitat. The Service’s comprehensive review of the status of the polar bear determined that the best available scientific and commercial data indicates that protecting the species as threatened throughout its range is appropriate. The Service now seeks public review of our proposed rule


Potential Effects of Contaminants and/or Climate Change on Polar Bears
Ecological changes in the Arctic related to both anthropogenic and natural patterns are poorly understood but are of significant conservation concern. A circumpolar study is currently underway to determine contaminant levels in polar bears and compare results with findings from a similar study completed 10 years ago. A bio-monitoring program is ongoing in Alaska.

Changes in sea ice as a result of global warming are known to affect polar bear productivity in other parts of the Arctic. An effort is currently underway in Alaska to assess sea ice habitat selection by polar bears using polar bear satellite radio locations and National Ice Center charts

Debate on Global Warming Has Polar Bear Hunting in Its Sights

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Global Warning on Global Warming

The top of the world is melting. There's been a debate burning for years about the causes of global warming, but the scientists you're about to meet say the debate is over. The seas are rising, the earth is getting hotter and polar bears may be headed toward extinction. What does the melting Arctic look like? 60 Minutes Correspondent Scott Pelley went north to see.




Daily Policy Digest


Environmental alarmists have made much of research claiming the Arctic's polar bear faces extinction from human-caused global warming, says H. Sterling Burnett, Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. But, says Burnett, those claims ignore contradictory research, including a new study by David Legates, director of the University of Delaware's Center for Climatic Research. Legates' new study, published by the National Center for Policy Analysis, points to research showing:

Air temperatures at the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet have decreased by 4 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since measurements began in 1987.

The maximum air temperature that Russian coastal stations reported for the 20th century was in 1938, when it was nearly four-tenths of a degree Fahrenheit warmer than the air temperature in 2000.

In Alaska, the onset of a climatic shift -- a warming -- in 1976-1977 ended the multi-decade cold trend in the mid-20th century returning temperatures to those of the early 20th century.

Interestingly, says Burnett, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has also written on the threats posed to polar bears from global warming. But its own data on some 22,000 polar bears in about 20 distinct populations worldwide seems to contradict their claims:

Only two bear populations are decreasing, and they are in areas where air temperatures have actually fallen, such as the Baffin Bay region. Another two populations are growing, and they live in areas were air temperatures have risen, near the Bering Strait and the Chukchi Sea.

These bears have survived for thousands of years, during both colder and warmer periods, and their populations are by and large in good shape, says Burnett. Polar bears may face many threats, but global warming is not primary among them. Source: Sterling Burnett, "Polar bears on thin ice?" Washington Times, May 15, 2006.

For more on Global Warming:

19 Dec 2005
How to be a real sceptic
Filed under: Climate Science— gavin @ 8:52 am

Two Sides to Global Warming
Is it proven fact, or just conventional wisdom?

Ronald Bailey | November 10, 2004

...So is dangerous rapid global warming merely the new conventional wisdom—or a credible forecast of our climatic future? There's plenty of evidence for both positions, and I'll keep reporting the data and the controversy...

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