This is the image the global warming crowd shows to dramatize the supposed threat to polar bears from melting arctic ice. The poor bear is on the a sliver of ice and is about to drown? But consider this:
The polar bear is an excellent swimmer and individuals have been seen in open Arctic waters as far as 200 mi (320 km) from land. With its body fat providing buoyancy, it swims in a dog-paddle fashion using its large forepaws for propulsion. Polar bears can swim 6 miles/hour.
200 miles! The other piece of information that Al Gore and the global warming people neglect to tell is that the worldwide population of polar bears has been growing. The same Wikipedia article reports this:
Warnings about the future of the polar bear are often contrasted with the fact that worldwide population estimates have increased over the past 50 years and are relatively stable today. Some estimates of the global population are around 5,000–10,000 in the early 1970s; other estimates were 20,000–40,000 during the 1980s. Current estimates put the global population at between 20,000 and 25,000.
Watt’s Up with That? reports that recent thinning of arctic ice is related to ocean current changes. A similar thinning of arctic ice occurred in the 1920s.
I would add that the polar bear has lived through many previous periods of warming over hundreds of thousands if not millions of years. While many species have become extinct during hundreds of millions of years of evolution, the species that survived have been robust enough to make it through fluctuations in climate over an era much longer than the short period during which humans have observed climate.
Don’t let the global warming prophets of doom convince you with cheap emotional appeals, that we need to abandon technological advances and revert back to 19th century levels of carbon emissions. Climate is a lot more complex than their simplistic models. There are cyclical changes in sun activity, the earth’s orbit around the sun and many other factors that influence climate.
CO2 in the atmosphere has increased from about 280 to 380 parts per million over the past 150 years. This is an increase from 0.028% of the earth’s atmosphere to 0.038%. A portion of this 0.01% additional C02 is attributable to human activity. We know from ice cores that CO2 has increased in the past AFTER periods of global warming as a result of the warming oceans and thawing soil releasing C02. If the CO2 theory of global warming were correct, wouldn’t these increases in CO2 after increases in global temperatures not result in still further warming? Clearly, our planet has processes that reduce CO2. Climate is a lot more complex than what Al Gore would like you to believe. The debate on cause and effect is not over and the consequences of changes in climate are complex. An increase in temperature has both positive and negative effects. I will post more on this with a lot of citations from scientific sources.