February 09, 2019

The UnBearable Truth

Timothy Birdnow

The Russian-owned arctic islands of Novaya Zemla (New Land) are a forbidden wasteland in the far north. The tail end of the Ural mountains, these two large islands are primarily used as a military installation and former testing ground for Russian nuclear weapons.

Recently, they have been invaded by a large influx of polar bears, who are ransacking the settlement and imperiling the population. The French wire service AFP reports that Russian settlers have requested permission to shoot the animals, who have been a protected species since 2006. As of yet, the Russian Federation government has granted no such approval.

The bears have been chasing people and breaking into buildings. The settlers have been forced to tear down unused structures to prevent the bears from settling in.

Novaya Zemla is a pair of long islands separating the Barents and Kara seas.

Why are the bears so aggressive now? The French, of course, have the answer"

Polar bears are affected by global warming with melting Arctic ice forcing them to spend more time on land where they compete for food.

That is utter nonsense, but it makes an easy explanation.

First, consider this.

A report by the Nunavut government in Canada said that Eskimo people are imperiled by polar bears as a result of an increase in bear populations.

From the article:

Researchers agree that polar bears represent a growing threat to Inuit communities, but say that is because climate change has pushed them closer to human settlements – not because the bear population is growing.

"There seems to be a divergence between scientists and Inuit on the threat that climate change poses to this species,” said Andrew Derocher, a polar bear researcher at the University of Alberta.

So polar bear populations in the former Northwest Territory - now called Nunavut - in Canada have been increasing. This is disputed by the "experts" who tell the local Innuit to ignore their lying eyes. I thought native peoples were supposed to be believed at all times - Strange how they are now just ignorant hicks to the aristocracy.

Second I would like to point out that Novaya Zemla is very, very cold in winter. The December average high is just 17.4 degrees F. in January it is 12.4 and February 11.3. Those are the HIGH temperatures. The average mean is 4.5 in Dec., minus 14.1 in Jan. and minus 14.7 in February. In other words, it's bitterly cold, and the idea that warming has more polar bears coming "ashore" at this time is ludicrous; there is no open ice at this time of year on the Kara Sea, which is almost always frozen over.

The Barents Sea is a different story.

Consider this: Figure 1. Arctic sea ice extent for XXXX XX, 20XX was X.XX million square kilometers (X.XX million square miles). The orange line shows the 1981 to 2010 average extent for that day. Sea Ice Index data. About the data||Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center|High-resolution image

The spike in the right hand side of the graphic is Novaya Zemla. Note the western part of the islands is clear while the eastern is ice encrusted.

The Barents Sea is a shallow body of water and, as a result, is warmed fairly easily by ocean currents. It is in the path of the eastern side of the graphic is the Barents Sea, and the place where it ends is Novaya Zemla.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center:

Unfortunately, as a result of the partial government shutdown, we are unable to access the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) pages to retrieve information on atmospheric air temperatures and sea level pressure patterns. Instead, we turn to daily (2 meters above the surface) mean air temperatures north of 80 degrees North from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) operational model. This analysis shows that air temperatures remained above the 1958 to 2002 average for all of December

End excerpt.

This part of the Arctic ocean is dominated by the North Atlantic Current. The NAC (also sometimes refereed to as the North Atlantic drift) is a warm-water current that splits off the Gulf Stream, the warm water that moves from the Caribbean north to warm Europe. The NAC moves into the Arctic, warming Iceland and northern Scandinavia. It's a large part of why the Arctic is so much warmer than the Antarctic. Novaya Zemla is the barrier that stops the movement of this particular current, so Novaya Zemla's Barents Sea coast is often ice-free while her Kara Sea coast is almost always packed.

Now look at this.

Due to natural variability this current has been weakening, slowing down. A swifter current forces warm water down deeper, into the ocean, and thus the heat is lost to the surface for a time. But when the current slows the heat remains up high, and it warms the Arctic. Since we are in a period of a very slow current, we are witnessing warmer surface temperatures in the Barents Sea, thus making the west coast of Novaya Zemla ice free. It often happens; this is nothing unusual. It is a big more dramatic now, but a natural part of the ocean cycle.

Polar bears do not hibernate. But often on cold days they snuggle into temporary dens, or find some other shelter. Does it not occur to anyone to wonder if these polar bears invading the Russian settlements aren't happy to find ready-made shelter? This could in fact indicate that it is cold outside; the bears are smart enough to know a good thing when they find it.

Here is a graphic illustrating the temperature anomalies in the Arctic.

Figure 2X. This plot shows the departure from average air temperature in the Arctic at the 925 hPa level, in degrees Celsius, for XXXmonthXX 20XX. Yellows and reds indicate higher than average temperatures; blues and purples indicate lower than average temperatures.||Credit: NSIDC courtesy NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Physical Sciences Division| High-resolution image

Notice how we aren't seeing a warming trend here. This does not explain the ice loss, nor the polar bears invading human settlements.

In point of fact, there has been an eleven year trend of Arctic ice growth.

Remember; the Earth is coming out of an ice age, and the current interglacial was cooler in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries than now. It was warmer before the Little Ice Age, though; warmer than the current warming period.

Oh, and we have had more ice in the Arctic now than in thelast nine thousand years.

So, due to a modest warming caused by the  the Arctic Oscillation we have more active bears, who are now well-protected by the Russia government, so they have nothing to fear by coming into human settlements. When it gets cooler later in the day they are helping themselves to refreshment and enjoying the warmth of human housing. It makes perfect sense. The claim by the French article that it is because of Global Warming melting the ice caps does not stand the light of inquiry. But then, the entire "climate change" argument never does hold water.

Oh, and by the way, what have the Russian military been doing up there? The United States is pulling out of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) with the Russians and there has been a flurry of activity in Novaya Zemlya for the last few months.

How much have they disturbed the natural habitat of the bears? Heavy activity would spook the bears natural prey.

Global Warming? Naaah...

Oh, one more thing; the Russians and the Chinese have been experimenting with warming the ionosphere above the Russian Arctic. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:43 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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