Washington, D.C. 4/14/2008 8:30:43 AM
News / Politics

Polar Bears not Endangered, Experts Tell Senator Boxer

(Washington, DC 4-13-08) In an April 9 letter to Senator Barbara Boxer, Professor Scott Armstrong announced that the Armstrong, Green and Soon paper “Polar Bear Population Forecasts” has been accepted for publication in Interfaces. This is the only peer-reviewed paper on the topic that has been accepted for journal publication. The paper shows that there is no basis for a forecast that polar bear numbers will decline. If there is any change, one might expect a modest short-term upward trend.

Professor Armstrong hopes that this paper will lead Senator Boxer to reconsider the confidence that she has placed in the USGS administrative reports that predicted a sharp decline in the population of polar bears. There are no scientific forecasts of long-term global temperature and we therefore do not know whether temperatures will increase or decrease. Even the IPCC and its cadre of presumptive Nobel Peace laureates concede as much.

“Even if there were such temperature ‘forecasts,’ the relationship between Arctic ice conditions and global temperatures is not clear and neither is the relationship between ice conditions and polar bear numbers”, said Armstrong.  “For example, we do know that polar bears survived much warmer times in the past. In this uncertain situation, it is unscientific to forecast dramatic changes in bear number.”

For Senator Boxer's reaction to an earlier version of the Armstrong, Green, and Soon paper, presented to her committee on January 30, 2008, see the video of the Q&A of Professor Armstrong at
http://theclimatebet.com. The letter to Senator Boxer is also provided on this site.

For a comprehensive look a polar bears by expert bear biologists see “Demographic and Ecological Perspectives on the Status of Polar Bears.”

Also see “Examining Threats and Protections for the Polar Bear” by Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)  and “Bearing Up” by Governor Sarah Palin (R-Alaska).

Media contact:  J. Scott Armstrong, (http://bl121w.blu121.mail.live.com/mail/ApplicationMain_12.4.0080.0327.aspx?culture=en-US&hash=3235703610), 215-898-5087

                        Robert Ferguson, 202-288-5699 (bferguson@sppinstitute.org)