Polar Bears and Global Warming

A CBS program “60 Minutes” during August 2006 had a large segment on polar bears being threatened by global warming. The same theme was featured in Al Gore's persuasive—but scientifically ridiculous—movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” about global warming. Here are some inconvenient truths that CBS and Al Gore didn't tell their viewers.

There are 22,000 polar bears in 20 distinct population groups worldwide. Only two of these groups are declining—and these are in areas such as Baffin Bay where the temperatures have gotten colder! Two groups have been increasing—and these are in areas such as the Bering Strait and the Chukchi Seas, where temperatures have gotten warmer! The other groups are stable.

The climate in Alaska has been warming since 1976-77. Prior to this, there was a multi-decade cooling period. Recent warming merely returned the Alaskan climate to what it had been in the early 20th century.

Pictures of melting at the edges of glaciers in Greenland are misleading. The Greenland ice sheet has thickened by almost seven feet since it was first measured by laser altimetry in 1979. And air temperatures at the summit have decreased steadily since they were first measured 19 years ago.

Maximum air temperatures at Russian coastal stations were highest in 1938, when they were nearly four-tenths of a degree warmer than in 2000.

In just the past 3,000 years there have been five distinct periods, each lasting several hundred years, when the earth's climate was significantly warmer than today. And the polar bears survived all of them. For 95 percent of the last 100 million years the earth was warmer than it is today, and the warmer climate was not caused by man or carbon dioxide levels. Studies show that global warming precedes rising levels of carbon dioxide—not the other way around. Global warming can't be caused by increased carbon dioxide levels, because you can't have a cause-and-effect relationship where the effect precedes the cause.

Everyone knows that the sun warms the earth, but the sun's heat is not uniform. It is variations in solar output (evidenced by sunspot cylces) and galactic cosmic rays that determine variations in the earth's climate. And the same process—not human activities—determines the carbon dioxide levels of the earth's atmosphere. For more information, see my booklet “What 'Global Warming'?” from American Liberty Publishers.

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