Monday, November 02, 2009










Reference: The decline of the caribou, Bangkok Post, November 2, 2009

It is reported that in 1989 there were 178000 Porcupine caribou in the Yukon and that "their number now is estimated to be 100,000" and from these data we may conclude that global warming is killing off the caribou because warming causes freezing rain in the calving season and that makes it hard for calving caribou to feed (The decline of the caribou, Bangkok Post, November 2, 2009). There are two things wrong with this analysis. First the data reported for 2009 was estimated by the authors to suit their purpose and it does not represent actual data. Second, if you don't cherry pick the start of the study period as 1989 but look at the entire available time series you get a very different picture because it shows that the population rose steadily from 100000 in 1972 to 178000 in 1989 and then decreased steadily down to 120000 in 2005. These data suggest, and caribou biologists agree, that caribou populations go through a 30 to 40 year cycle of growth and decay.This population dynamic cannot be related to global warming or carbon dioxide. Presenting only half of the caribou population cycle as a global warming phenomenon is just the kind of flimflam chicanery with which the war against carbon dioxide is now associated.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

9 comments:

william said...

In 30 years the mean june temperature has risen 3C. Warming also means higher snow fall. Warmer summers mean increased insect population affecting the caribou. More snow results in starving caribou and at best, a delayed migration to the calving grounds. Late migration means calving during migration and almost total mortality for these calves. The porcupine herd is in trouble, the peary herd reduced 98%. The woodland herds are endangered mainly from exploitation of the forests they live in.

Jamal said...

those conclusions are derived from a mis-representation of the data. that was the point of my post, william. please read it again. you may also write to me directly if you wish. my yahoo name is chaamjamal

william said...

I cannot find any population estimates prior to the 1972 or 3 date of the first survey on the chart. If you know of any survey prior to to this I would appreciate a ref. Decreased numbers of caribou in herds all around the Arctic are facts not mis-represented data. What is mis-represnting data is to take the numbers on the graph and say that these represent a natural cycle without data going back to1930. As far as I am aware such data does not exist.

Jamal said...

if i run into pre 72 data i will write you william. of course the decrase in population is a fact but that is not the question. the question is whether it is a trend imposed by carbon dioxide or whether it is a natural variability.

william said...

seehttp://74.125.155.132/scholar?q=cache:gIPHOqfOQmUJ:scholar.google.com/+author:%22Ferguson%22+intitle:%22Inuit+knowledge+of+long-term+changes+in+a+population+of+...%22+&hl=en

Jamal said...

thank you for the link william.

william said...

http://video.nytimes.com/video/playlist/the-big-melt/1194811622279/index.html

Jamal said...

hello william. thank you for the nyt link. i will read it and write again. cheers. jamal

Jamal said...

i watched the videos william and found them full of the same kind of misinformation that i read in the newspapers. example: their projections for arctic sea ice in 2008 and 2009 based on fall 2007 data were completely wrong but they are still pushing the conclusions from those projections.