Global warming research getting more dangerous?

August 7, 2008

polar.gif Talk about occupational hazards.Five Wildlife Conservation Society scientists studying the effects of global warming on shorebirds in Arctic Alaska had to be airlifted away from their remote camp late last month because of the appearance of another species whose life is changing as warming helps erode shores and melt sea ice. The researchers said a polar bear stuck on land forced them to evacuate their camp north of the remote Teshekpuk Lake on the Beaufort Sea –leaving food and tents behind.  The carnivorous bears would normally be out on sea ice this time of year. But with recent warming the ice is miles from shore and polar bears, which were recently listed as “threatened” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, are becoming increasingly trapped on land well away from their usual seal prey, said Dr. Steve Zack, who leads Arctic studies for WCS ”We had no idea how hungry they’d be and thus how ornery they’d be,” Zack, who made the decision for the researchers to evacuate even though they had been trained in bear safety, told me by his mobile phone from his current base near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. ”Where there’s one polar bear there are usually more,” he said, adding that government scientists have seen 32 polar bears stuck on shore this year, up from only one or two in previous years. In subsequent fly-overs over the abandoned camp, the team discovered that bears had eaten all of the food left by the researchers and destroyed two $500 tents. ”It was an ironic circumstance that studying climate change issues for our shorebirds put us in harm’s way with climate change effects on polar bears,” said Zack.  Image by Mark Maftei, WCS 

6 comments

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Even with such evidence people are still arguing that climate change aka Global Warming does not exist. Try telling a polar bear it isn’t hungry!

I live in Morro Bay in the central coast of California. The accelerated changes in the past five years are so very, very, obvious.I ran at a local beach for over 12 years, but after a 4 year hiatus, returned last week. I was slammed with the immediate that climate change is now, it’s much worse than we think, and that it’s in our own backyards, recreation areas, and homes.How can we save these majestic animals? By getting busy now; not just filling our SUV tanks and thinking about it!

What’s causing the warming? If you would let go of the tree and open your eyes to the past you would see that our climate runs in cycles of warm and cold. In the 70s and 80s they told us we were headed toward an ice age! These changes happen in regular patterns over thousands of years. How arrogant do you need to be to think we as a human race could influence our climate by driving cars? Please learn to research history and stop repeating what you hear from the radicals. Do you think you could manage that?

Posted by TE | Report as abusive

It’s not just driving a car. It’s the fact that a dramatically growing number of people are dirving cars. I’m talking billions here. With the sudden growth of developing countries such as China there are even more motorists, and more coal burning factories to supply energy to growing cities. It’s about the sheer numbers. It’s about the amount of waste that over 6 billion organisms can produce. It’s about coal burning factories and huge plants that produce massive amounts of CO2. You can not put that much carbon out in the atmosphere over a span of approximately 150 years (industrial revolution is probably were I would put the start time) and expect nothing to change.

Posted by Holly | Report as abusive

Global warming is occuring but we should be pragmatic in our approach.Yes we should reduce GHG but that means everyone including those who buy credits so they can continue to pollute. eg King GoreNext, we should be doing as much as possible to adapt to global warming. 100′s of billions of $$$ are being spent to reduce GHG but very little is spent on what we should do to adapt.Why, because global warming is going to continue for various reasons like weather cycles, China and the rest of the so called developing world who want a reasonable standard of living,cattle and all their methane etc.So adapt my friends.

Posted by buffalojump | Report as abusive

The question is, who would be so arrogant as to think that the more than seven billion people on this planet wouldn’t have an effect on the earth’s climate??? Scientists have studied and analyzed the historical composition of the atmosphere, dating back tens of thousands of years, using ice core samples from the poles. They have used this data to determine that the current CO2 levels in the earth’s atmosphere are so excessive that they have caused a major increase in average global temperature. Yes, climate change runs in cycles, but they have proven that the increase in temperature is not due to natural factors, and is actually occurring contrary to historical cycles.I suggest educating yourself on the science and facts behind global warming before you try to judge the research conducted by the real experts in the matter.

Posted by wildflower | Report as abusive