Despite the Arctic warming twice as fast as anywhere else in the world, critical indicator species like polar bears, ice seals, and walruses are thriving.
In two new recently-released GWPF videos, Dr. Susan Crockford, a Canadian wildlife expert, explains why Arctic marine mammal species are flourishing despite declining summer sea ice.
“The Truth about Attenborough’s Falling Walrus” provides evidence from US government biologists in the 1990s that walrus deaths due to falls from cliffs are natural events not caused by declines in summer sea ice blamed on rising CO2. Over-crowding is often the primary cause. Moreover, a comprehensive assessment by the US Fish and Wildlife Service determined in late 2017 that walrus in the Chukchi Sea were not threatened with extinction by lack of ice, despite claims to the contrary made earlier this year by Sir David Attenborough in a highly-publicized Netflix/World Wildlife Fund documentary.
“No Climate Emergency for Polar Bears” is a graphic reminder that polar bears, walrus and Arctic seals have survived through periods of much less ice than has existed in the Arctic since 2007 during their evolutionary history. The fact that polar bears especially are doing so well despite almost 50% less summer ice than existed in the 1980s is strong evidence they possess a natural ability to adapt quickly to extreme sea ice changes that predictive models have failed to appreciate.
Dr. Crockford explains that emaciated polar bears – along with dozens of bears onshore at garbage dumps or bears that fatally attack people – are not evidence of climate change. In fact, overall polar bears have been doing very well in a warmer world and this year has been no exception. She states,
Polar bears, walrus, and ice seals are important ecosystem indicators. However, contrary to prevailing rhetoric, these species have been taking reduced summer sea ice in their stride. I can only conclude that if there is no climate emergency in the Arctic, which is said to be warming twice as fast as anywhere else in the world, there cannot be a climate emergency anywhere.”