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 Post subject: Go away and die
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 1:13 pm 
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Dr Molnar, Professor Andrew Derocher and colleagues from the University of Alberta and York University, Toronto focused on the physiology, behaviour and ecology of polar bears, and how these might change as temperatures increase. "We developed a model for the mating ecology of polar bears ... ," he says.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Go away and die
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 1:52 pm 
Predictably this is splashed across the press - including of course the BBC, where it gets a big write up on the website.


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 Post subject: Re: Go away and die
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 2:34 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:59 pm
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From the BBC page:
Quote:
"The status of polar bears is likely much more dire than suggested by the Canadian report," he adds.


It's worse than we thought!

A brief respite from the mostly non-committal blusterings comes a little earlier in the piece:
Quote:
However, these projections are essentially educated guesses, based on experts judging or extrapolating how current population trends might continue as the climate changes.


I have rarely seen the science of computer models described so conservatively on the BBC.


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 Post subject: Re: Go away and die
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 3:45 pm 
gareth wrote:
From the BBC page:
Quote:
"The status of polar bears is likely much more dire than suggested by the Canadian report," he adds.


It's worse than we thought!

A brief respite from the mostly non-committal blusterings comes a little earlier in the piece:
Quote:
However, these projections are essentially educated guesses, based on experts judging or extrapolating how current population trends might continue as the climate changes.


I have rarely seen the science of computer models described so conservatively on the BBC.


That paragraph on educated guesses refers to older models, not the new and improved model... So, it's still business as usual at the BBC


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 Post subject: Re: Go away and die
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:21 pm
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If you want to waste some time the article can be found here: Predicting survival, reproduction and abundance of polar bears under climate change.
I started out doing just that, but Lubos Motl beat me to it and saved me some time. His analyzis can be found here: BBC: Polar bears are quantized.

For you physicists out there what the four authors of this paper have made (according to Lubos) is to predict the photoelectric effect of the polar bears. PDT_Armataz_01_22

Quote:
Peter Molnar of Alberta summarized his research as follows: We may not see any substantial effect on polar bear reproduction and survival until some threshold is passed. At that point reproduction and survival will decline dramatically and very rapidly.


Of course this can be applied to all kinds of stuff those nasty sceptics don't agree with:
Quote:
Now, with Molnar's excellent new idea, the situation has changed dramatically. They can always say: "Screw any observations." The observations may show whatever they want and no change can be apparently occurring. However, at some tipping point, when the global mean temperature reaches 15.001917 °C, all the catastrophes take place overnight, very dramatically, and very rapidly. ;-)


Quite right, and according to the authors we are still waiting for observations, as they note in their Conclusion:

Quote:
There is no doubt that climate warming is occurring, and climatologists and other scientists have provided a number of predictive models for temperature, precipitation, sea ice, permafrost, and other issues (IPCC, 2007). Ecologists, by contrast, are still facing considerable challenges to obtain quantitative predictions for the resultant effects on species and ecosystems. It is clear that many species are already affected ([Walther et al., 2002] and [Parmesan, 2006]), but quantitative predictions are lacking for most species, and existing predictions are often associated with large uncertainty, largely due to limited data and insufficiently understood causal chains ([Berteaux et al., 2006], [Krebs and Berteaux, 2006] and Sutherland, 2006 W.J. Sutherland, Predicting the ecological consequences of environmental change: a review of the methods, Journal of Applied Ecology 43 (2006), pp. 599–616. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (47)[Sutherland, 2006]). The mechanistic framework advocated here may help to incorporate cause-effect relationships into ecological predictions, could link expected effects of climate change over various levels of biological organization, and could alert us to the presence of yet unobserved non-linearities in reproduction and survival in response to changing environmental conditions.
......
Mechanistic models are not the only means of predicting the climate change effects on species, but given their potential to predict into yet unobserved conditions, we believe they have been underutilized and present a fruitful line of research to address conservation challenges in a changing world.
(My emphasis)

Yes, right. Maybe this paper could have been published in Biological Hypotheses (there is a journal called Medical Hypotheses), but it does not really meet the requirements of a "Regular Paper".

Lubos Motl, however, despite being a theoretical physicist ends his post by referring to an interesting experiment which I think we all would like to see carried out soonest:

Quote:
A famous weatherman has proposed to perform a somewhat more rigorous research to compute [no, to measure] how many people - currently fed by the AGW panic - will be starved to death once the AGW superstitions will be rejected by all the grant agencies, too.


PDT_Armataz_01_17


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 Post subject: Re: Go away and die
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 7:20 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:59 pm
Posts: 1862
ppp wrote:
That paragraph on educated guesses refers to older models, not the new and improved model... So, it's still business as usual at the BBC

Comprehension fail on my part! Though I had in fact modeled article rather than read it. This is not a sign that my models are wrong just that the article has yet to reach an indeterminate tipping point and match my projection of said article...


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 Post subject: Re: Go away and die
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 8:39 pm 
Don't they realise polar bears are cousins of grizzly - or is it brown - bears?

Those beas that didn't move south fast enough in the last age gradually turned white in order to survive!


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 Post subject: Re: Go away and die
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 8:41 pm 
My apologies - it should of course read:

Don't they realise polar bears are cousins of grizzly - or is it brown - bears?

Those bears that didn't move south fast enough in the last ice age gradually turned white in order to survive!


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 Post subject: Re: Go away and die
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 8:42 pm 
Forgive my ignorance here but are the scientists saying that Polar Bears wont be mating so much if there is a warming .

Does this apply to any or all other species eg locusts ?


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 Post subject: Re: Go away and die
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 9:55 pm 
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Scaremongering: "Currently observed high litter production rates (IUCN 2006) despite reduced male numbers should not be taken as evidence that populations are secure. "
And admitting that their model is in fact rubbish: "Quantitative predictions of mating success require relatively accurate parameter estimates, particularly of pair formation rate, the most sensitive model parameter. There is, however, uncertainty in our pair formation rate estimate due to the lack of pairing data from March. An early mating season start combined with large variability in the timing of female oestrus would let us underestimate pair formation rate due to lower densities of available females at any given time. Models incorporating such variability were explored, but not supported better by the data. Without data on pairings from March, the timing of oestrus or encounter rates between males and females, this matter cannot be explored further. However, underestimated pair formation rates would result in underestimated female mating success, making all our predictions conservative."

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 Post subject: Re: Go away and die
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 9:37 am 
A model to predict the mating ecology of polar bears. Wow!!!

If this model can successfully predict the mating behaviour of polar bears, when data for such is not readily available, then the model should predict human mating behaviour with great precision.

They stand to make billions. They should go for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Go away and die
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 11:01 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 10:52 am
Posts: 841
Bloody hell, and they used to call slide rules "guessing sticks". I used them a lot with no problem, but "logs" when greater accuracy was required. Now we have these idiots with no data giving an "estimated temperature" to ten decimal places. The only solace I can find is reading "Atlas Shrugged" for a laugh.


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