Now that I have your attention, this post is about sea level rise and its effect on the bears. If you read nothing else from this post, look at Fielding et al's chart of sea level over the past 10,000 years. That will be the guts of the post. There will be sarcasm in this, as I really have no desire for the bears to go extinct. I have had a few bear friends in my time and harbor them no ill. But I do find it utterly ridiculous what is being said about the bears in the literature and I hope that my sarcasm will be properly interpreted.
My blog is called the migrant mind because I wander all over the intellectual landscape--always have. I also make connections between topics that others don't see or don't like. Today, I have discovered an amazing connection. Climatologists are the true young-earth creationists. I have spent much of the past 15 years arguing against young-earth creationism with their view that all was created within the past 6,000 years. Nothing at all happened prior to 6000 years ago.
Well, young-earth creationists are old earthers compared to the climatologists who believe that nothing of significance climatologically speaking happened prior to 200 years ago with the invention of the thermometer. It is truly an interesting religion these climatologists have. They come out of their caves with their gloomy prognostications of thermal doom, looking solely at their mercury filled tubes, spiraled wire thermal expansion-based thermometers and with a finger in the air, pronounce our future deaths--as if we didn't all already know we are going to die. They also pronounce the death of more species, as if every paleonlogist didn't know that the average life span of a mammalian species was 3 million years. (Stanley 1983). All are doomed to die.
So, what is it about polar bears and the melting ice that worries people today? I think it is because GW advocates are really young-earthers for whom nothing of importance happened before 200 years ago. My point in all this argument is that the world has already experienced everything that the global warming hysteriacs fear. The earth has already seen high CO2 levels and high sea levels, but it all happened prior to the creation of the thermometer--the sacred object of the climatologists. And, of course nothing existed BT (Before Thermometer).
I was, on another forum, debating with a gentleman about the fate of the poor polar bears. He contended that the melting of the ice would bring about their demise. I pointed out that the amount of ice on earth has gone up and down several times, with sea levels doing the opposite dance. I pointed to several times in history when the ice was much less and the seas higher. I pointed him to the city I lived in for a year and a half, Beijing, China. Wei, of Scripps Institute wrote:
"Examination of published data reveals that a marine bed in Beijing can be dated as 80 ka or younger on the basis of abundant nannofossils. This age is 30 times younger than that published previously on the basis of magnetostratigraphic and biostratigraphic interpretations. The abundant nannofossils and foraminifers suggest that Beijing was inundated by the sea within the past 80 k.y. The very recent nature of this marine transgression has profound societal and geological implications and thus calls for new studies and thorough evaluation of all relevant data sets." (Wei, 2002)
80 ka, for those who might not know is geo-speak for 80,000 years before themometer (BT)
There is also a 136,000 year old raised beach on Barbados at +7.4 meters (Johnson,1998) . But my favorite high sea level is the Suffolk strandlline spoken of by Flint.
"The Suffolk strandline, at 20-30 ft altitude, extends discontinuously from New Jersey to the eastern Gulf coast, with a mapped extent, including gaps, of at least 800 mi. The plain extednig eastward from it is covered with sediments (Cap May formation, Pamilico formation) containing a marine fauna recording temperatures slightly higher than those of today. At four localities these sediments overlie a zone of rooted tree stumps (cypress and cedar), showing that the Suffolk sea was preceded by a sealevel lower than the Suffolk and possibly lower than that of today. Radiocarbon dates on wood from two of these localities imply that the pre-Suffolk low sealevel antedates the last major glacial maximum." (Flint, 1957, p. 266-267)
I believe that the Suffolk strandline is now called the Pamlico. It matches strandlines on other continents which are also at 25 feet elevation.
"Shorelines at 360, 70, and 25 ft above sea level in the Coastal Plain of the United States agree perfectly with levels in Victoria, Australia. Intermediate levels in Australia are somewhat lower than in America, possibly indicating that they are levels on the terraces rather than at the shorelines. This correlation shows that both the Coastal Plain and Victoria have been stable areas ever since early Pleistocene time; neither has changed level with respect to the other. It also corroborates my opinion that the higher terraces in the Coastal plain are Quaternary for in both regions the terraces transgress Pliocene and older deposits. Table 1 compares my interpretation which differs fundamentally with that of Ward, Ross, and Colquhoun." (Cooke, 1971, p. 3231)
I also pointed out to my debate opponent that 125,000 years ago BT, during the MIS5e oxygen isotope stage, Greenland was half melted and held forests of spruce.
“de Vernal and Hillaire-Marcel analyzed a marine sediment core from the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) site 646, raised from a depth of 3460 m. At this site, sediment has been deposited continuously since at least MIS 17 (7). The core contains a rich terrestrial pollen record, because the core is located on the south Greenland continental rise, which captures runoff from the adjacent land mass. Taxa currently extant in southern Greenland are well represented, including spores from mosses and club mosses and pollen from shrub birch and alder. During inter-glacials, the record is punctuated by marked increases in total pollen concentrations and additional contributions from boreal coniferous trees, namely spruce and pine, neither of which survives in Greenland today. The pollen assemblages differ tremendously between inter-glacials, with direct implications for the past development of ecosystems in south Greenland. For example, spruce pollen concentrations were three times as high during MIS 13 and 5e, and more than 20 times as high during MIS 11, as during the Holocene. On the other hand, MIS 9 and 7, have unspectacular conifer pollen signatures similar to those in the Holocene.”
“How can we be sure that spruce grew in southern Greenland during MIS 13, 11, and 5e, and thus that the ice sheet was sufficiently reduced to allow for regional development of boreal forests? The spruce pollen in these interglacial sediments cannot be attributed to enhanced long-distance transport from North America or Europe. Because spruce pollen is far less easily dispersed than pine pollen, long-distance transport would lead to reduced spruce/pine ratios. Instead, increased spruce/ pine ratios are found in each warm episode recorded in the core. The exquisite preservation of the spruce grains, and their morphological affinities to Norway spruce, lend further credence to local sources.”
“There is independent evidence that spruce lived in Greenland in the mid-Pleistocene, in a region now covered by more than 2 km of ice. In 2007, Willerslev et al. (8) amplified DNA from sediment-rich ice at the base of the Dye 3 ice core, showing not only the presence of spruce but also of pine and yew, consistent with an ancient boreal forest. They could not assign an unambiguous date to the sediments entombing these genetic fossils, but their estimate of between 450,000 and 800,000 years is close enough to MIS 11 to be more than coincidental.” (Steig and Wolfe, 2008, p. 1595)
Interestingly, at this time, 125,000 years ago, when spruce forests populated now ice ridden Greenland, Bermuda was experiencing a high sea level and Stephen Jay Gould was one of the authors on that paper. Here is their chart. The MIS5e time is about 125,000 years ago. Note the sea level at Bermuda (and there wasn't a single car in sight at that time)
Doesn't that all fit together just too nicely? Warmer weather in Greenland melts the ice producing higher sea levels which Land, Mackenzie and Gould observe in Bermuda, and the stupid polar bears don't realize that they should have died at that time.
Of course, such data didn't impress my friendly debate opponent. He pointed out that the polar bear didn't evolve until long after this. Indeed, this gentleman said that the modern polar bear didn't get his teeth until within the past 10,000 years.
" Hecht (in Chaline, 1983) describes polar bear evolution: the first "polar bear", Ursus maritimus tyrannus, was essentially a brown bear subspecies, with brown bear dimensions and brown bear teeth. Over the next 20,000 years, body size reduced and the skull elongated. As late as 10,000 years ago, polar bears still had a high frequency of brown-bear-type molars. Only recently have they developed polar-bear-type teeth" http://www.geol.umd.edu/~candela/pbevol.html
So, my adversary countered that all those past rises and falls of sea level were irrelevant to the issue of the survival of the MODERN polar bear. They would die, he said because now they were specialized eaters and couldn't adapt. (which always seems odd to me as that gentleman was an evolutionist and the bear got his teeth by adaptation). I was stumped. Like many advocates of an ideology, my conversant was finding excuses not to deal with past rises in sea level. One can't easily argue against such an approach.
No one can doubt that when the world's ocean levels rise because of global warming, there will be less ice on the earth. No one seems to care that the future conditions are the same as the past conditions and for some reason the same conditions in the future will kill the bears when those conditions in the past didn't. Such logic!
GW advocates argue for the imminent demise of the polar bear, even if they are not knowledgeable in biology or ecology. There are lots of examples of it. James Hansen, professional Cassandra extraordinaire, has proclaimed it so it must be true.
"Arctic polar bears are also feeling the pressure of melting sea ice. Polar bears hunt seals on the sea ice and fast in the summer, when the ice retreats from shore. As ice is receding earlier, populations of bears in Canada have declined about 20%, with the weight of females and the number of surviving cubs decreasing a similar amount." James E. Hansen," Testimony of James E. Hansen, " Dangerous Human-Made Interference with Climate " here
Yet, he is a climatologist, not a biologist. But that doesn't matter. When a climatologist consults his sacred object, the thermometer, all things become clear. Even university reports by students, talk about the plight of the poor polar bear.
" *Polar Bears are drowning because they are forced to swim longer distanceslonger distances
*Food will become scarce
*Cubs have less of a chance to make it through their first year through year."
And then the other camel-hair attired people start singing the same song.
Polar Bears Are In Serious Trouble
Mar 14, 2009 - 3:57:39 PM
"(HealthNewsDigest.com) - There is no doubt that polar bears are in serious trouble. Already on the ropes due to other human threats, their numbers are falling faster than ever as a result of retreating ice due to global warming. The nonprofit International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which added the polar bear to its “Red List” of the world’s most imperiled wildlife back in 2006, predicts a 30 percent decline in population for the great white rulers of the Arctic within three generations (about 45 years)."
Yes, Virginia, the sky is falling for the poor polar bear. Consensus sheeple-think says so.
So, why am I so sarcastic about their demise? Because it is all a bunch of hooey group think. I think the following quotation captures it perfectly, especially in response to James E. Hansen's proclamations. Just exchange Dr. Hansen for Mr. Yare.
‘Mr Yare...seems to consider us all in a very deplorable state of ignorance. Indeed, it must be confessed, the remarks this gentleman makes...are by no means flattering. May we not fairly ask—what is the amount of all the real information this gentleman has been so kind as to give us in the...lengthy communications which he has thought proper to push into the world? Do not these productions remind one of the mountain in labour? May it not, in truth, be said of them—there is great cry and little wool? For my own part, I protest I felt sadly disappointed on perusing what I cannot help designating a tissue of irrelevant, profitless twaddle. In saying this, I mean no offence to Mr Yare...” (Castley, 1830, p. 665-675)
Here is what is being proposed by the global warming hysteriacs. The earth is warming. The polar bear's ice is melting causing the sea level to rise and making the poor polar bear swim longer and further, starving them into a death spiral. And all of this is due to the evils of mankind, the oil and coal companies.
So, if this is all true, why didn't the polar bears know that it was time for them to die when 5000 years BT, the oceans were as much as 7 feet higher than they are today? Global warming hysteriacs, of course know of no such thing because they don't read geology any more than do the young-earth creationists and nothing of importance happened in the BT world anyway.
All the boogey men who exist beneath the beds of global warming hysteriacs have already visited our planet. Today our planet has 385 ppm of CO2 in its atmosphere. But 55 million years ago, it had 1000 ppm. 150 million years ago, the atmosphere had 2800 ppm, almost 6 times more CO2 than we have today. (Of course, global warming hysteriacs don't know this). But, 300 million years ago, the atmosphere was about 300 ppm, about what we have today. Then 500 million years ago, the atmosphere had 8000 ppm. The earth has previously been where global warming hysteriacs fear we are going. And, the world didn't die. Global warming hysteriacs fear to go where we have already been.
Well, of course, the hysteriacs will say that CO2 wasn't that high since the polar bear evolved, and they would be correct. But they would be incorrect to conclude that warming since the bears evolved didn't produce sea levels higher than today. Indeed, 5000 years ago, er, 5000 years BT in that primitive, mysterious world before the thermometer, when some people were called Sumerians, the seas were considerably higher. Geology teaches us that. Climatologists, worshiping their thermometers, don't pay any more attention to events prior to 200 years ago than the young-earth creationists pay attention to events more than 6000 years ago. They don't know that we have had higher seas during historical times. Because of this, their knees quake and bowels get loose just thinking of sea level rise. "Oh my gosh," they say, "the sea is going to rise and drown us all, including those poor polar bears, these events, are totally unprecedented!" and of course, the climatologists clamber back into their dark caves to consult with the sacred thermometers never looking or knowing about anything beyond 200 years ago. Nothing, as I said, happened of importance in the world before the thermometer.
So, what are we to think of the fact that 7000 years ago the seas were 2 meters higher then than now? Two meters is almost 7 feet higher! Oh, I know, I haven't shown you the data yet. For the hysteriacs (and young-earth creationists) who don't read geological literature, the Holocene is the post-glacial times and is from 10,000 years ago to the present. Below is a chart of the Holocene sea level chart. What I want you to note is that the sea level on this chart was 2 meters higher than at present from about 5,500 to 3,000 years ago.
Fielding discusses this high sea level event. He says
"The highstand persisted from 5.5 to about 3 kyr BP, following which there was a slight (1–2 m) sea-level drop to the present level, achieved at about 2.5 kyr BP." (Fielding et al, , p. 420)
Oh my, the hysteriacs never tell us this.The sea level has FALLEN OVER THE PAST 3,000 years????? They never tell us that the sea levels were actually higher 5000 years ago, and those pesky polar bears didn't die when they were supposed to. Why didn't those poor pesky polar bears know they were supposed to die when there was less ice and higher sea levels? Bad bears! Where's my rolled newspaper (bops them on the nose) bad bears! Naughty, naughty, naughty, bears. Didn't the climatologists pronounce that if the seas rose polar bears would die? If they were proper bears they would have done the polite thing and kicked off in accord with the pronouncements of the sacred thermometer and then we wouldn't have to worry about them dying off today in the AT world (AT=After Thermometer). Such rudeness is something one comes to expect of bears, polar or not. Not that I am particularly hateful of bears, as I said, I have a few friends who are bears and if you just get used to their flatulence, they really aren't much of a problem and they enjoy watching American Idol.
Well, besides this chart, is there any real data that shows that the seas were higher during the past 5,000 years? Of course, science works on having data BEFORE they draw charts. Hysteriacs, however, like to make predictions about the future,without looking at the previous data--that is how global warming works. Their predictions also work without any real observational data because, in my years alive on this earth, I have found it rather difficult to get observational evidence on events that haven't happened yet. While it is hard to re-measure the temperature in Dallas, Texas in 1950, it is impossible in 2009 to measure the temperature in Dallas, Texas in 2050. Thus, the predictions are conveniently lacking any observational support.
Ok, so let's look at the observational data beyond Australia, which records past not future events.. Let's start in my state.
" Second, a series of ridges along the Copano Bay margin farther south consist of shelly mud and fine sand with subtidal foram assemblages, occur at elevations of 1.95 m above the modern intertidal zone, and have produced calibrated radiocarbon ages on foram tests of ca. 6.8 to 4.8 ka. These ridges are interpreted to represent relict shallow subtidal to intertidal spits that provide minimum sea-level positions for the middle Holocene, and are now emergent because of later sea-level fall(Blum et al, 2001, p. 581)
There were no automobiles, no coal fired electrical generation plants, and no oil industry to cause global warming, yet the beaches were higher. Surely this couldn't be due to, gasp, natural causes, could it??
Blum et al continue:
"It is clear that interpretation of a middle Holocene highstand along the Texas Coast runs counter to prevailing views and to some of the most recent studies in this same area. Yet, middle Holocene highstands of similar age and magnitude have been interpreted for low-latitude coasts of west Africa, eastern South America, Australia, and for many Pacific Islands (see the compilation by Pirazzoli 1991), whereas more recent studies in Hawaii (Fletcher and Jones 1996) and Australia (Beaman et al. 1994) continue to document these highstand events. These international sites are important for purposes of comparison because they, like the western Gulf of Mexico coast, are far removed from isostatic effects associated with deglaciation." (Blum et al, 2001, p. 586)
What? There is evidence for a 2 m higher sea level (7 foot higher) on other continents? That is what this geologist says on the pages of a science journal, something global warming hysteriacs think global warming denier's don't read. (the term global warming denier actually denigrates the term holocaust denier) But, here is more evidence.
"The post-glacial sealevel rose to ca. 3 m above the present in the northern Great Barrier Reef ca. 6,000 yrs BP. It oscillated with at least one younger highstand ca. 3,500 yrs BP, and two intermittent lowstands. The present level was reached only a few hundred years ago." (Meischner, 1996).
And more data:
"Swales in the Little Point Clear beach-ridge set are now flooded, and beach ridges in this set rise 1–2 m above modern sea level or roughly 6 m above proposed sea level 5,400 cal. yr BP (Tornqvist et al. 2002). Younger beach ridges in the Edith Hammock set are higher and often 5 m above modern sea level or roughly 6 m above proposed sea level (21 m) 2,500 cal. yr BP (Tornqvist et al. 2002)." (Rodriquez and Meyer, 2006, p. 267)
Friedman notes of the Gulf of Aqaba in the Middle East.
“For the middle Holocene centuries between 7.07 ± 0.38 and 2.62 ± 0.23 14C ka, an interval of approximately 4500 yr, a decrease of wide ranging sea-surface temperature is indicated (Figure 3). The interval 6–5 ka corresponds to the Flandrian or Atlantic period, when climate in many places was warmer and more humid, and sea levels in most oceans was +2m (+6.6 ft). ...Oxygen isotopes confirm that the climate in Britain 5000 yr ago was about 2[deg] C warmer than the area today (Evans et al., 2001). This conclusion contradicts the general impression gained from reading news reports, which project a warming trend for the recent past (last 100 yr)." (Friedman,, 2006, p. 979-980)
Oh my gosh, the temperature has COOLED since 5000 years ago. This is consistent with the Deuterium Temperature record of the Vostok core. Above the zero line is hotter than today. Below is cooler. Note that after the rise in global temperature out of the last glaciation about 12,000 years ago, the deuterium temperature record says that the earth was hotter than at the age of the last sample from the core which dates to 1933 (.017 kyr BP where 0 BP = 1950).
Note again the nice fit. While the sea levels were 2 m higher than at present, the deuterium curve shows a general period of hotter weather, from 9900 years BP to about 3800 years BP. And that matches most of the time that the sea levels were higher as shown in the sea level chart above. Hysteriacs never show the Vostok data on this scale because it can't be used to scare people with the coming doom predicted by the sacred thermometer.
Some will complain that the Vostok core ends before the massive influx of CO2 to the atmosphere after 1940. Not so fast. A Russian core shows that we are still cooler than in 1940--all the charts on this graph show that. But, the sacred thermometer, which is ritually placed next to air conditioners or on parking lots with great regularity, does not show this. I would believe the O18 and Deuterium before I would believe the sacred thermometer next to the air conditioner, or in a parking lot (see here)
Geology disputes what the young-earthers and the climatologists say. The sea level was also higher 5000 years ago. The earth was warmer 5000 years ago. Both the temperature and the sea level has fallen over the past 5000 years. Geology even disputes the supposed climate consensus because we have a very famous geologist, Friedman, expressing doubts about global warming on the pages of a scientific journal.
The seas were higher, the ice was less, and the polar bears didn't know they were supposed to die. Die bear die! You are already supposed to be dead. Why don't you know it? Why don't you DO it?
If the climatologists are right, all you polar bears will have another opportunity to behave like a good polar bear and die according to the role scripted for you by the sacred thermometer. This will happen when the earth gets as warm as it was 5000 years ago, and when the seas rise 2 meters as they did 5000 years ago. In other words you will have your opportunity when conditions become as they were in 5000 BT when you failed to do the right thing the first time and die, as the sacred thermometer has declared. Amen.
Michael Blum, et al, “Middle Holocene Sea-Level rise and Highstand at +2 m, Central Texas Coast, “JOURNAL OF SEDIMENTARY RESEARCH, VOL. 71, NO. 4, JULY, 2001, P. 581–588
J. Castley, 1830. “On the Habits and Vices of Horses.” The Veterinarian, 3 1830):665-675.
C. Wythe Cooke, “American Emerged Shourlines compared with Levels of Australian Marine Terraces,” Geological Society of America Bulletin, V 82(1971) P 3231-3234, p. 3231
CHRISTOPHER R. FIELDING, JONATHON D. TRUEMAN, AND JAN ALEXANDER, " HOLOCENE DEPOSITIONAL HISTORY OF THE BURDEKIN RIVER DELTA OF NORTHEASTERN AUSTRALIA: A MODEL FOR A LOW-ACCOMMODATION, HIGHSTAND DELTA" Journal of Sedimentary Research, 2006, v. 76, 411–428
Richard Foster Flint, Glacial and Pleistocene geology, (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1957) p. 266-267
Gerald M. Friedman, “Climatic significance of Holocene beachrock sites along shorelines of the Red Sea: Reply,” AAPG Bulletin, Jun 2006; 90: 975 – 982, p 979-980
R. G. Johnson 1998, "Last interglacial sealevel of +7.4 m at 136,000 yr BP on Barbados was coeval with the Vostok temperature maximum (in , Anonymous,)"American Geophysical Union, United States, Washington, DC
Dieter Meischner " Sealevel oscillations and growth history of the Great Barrier Reef."-- Göttinger Arb. Geol. Paläont., Sb 2: 71-76, 1 tab., 4 fig., Göttingen 1996.
ANTONIO B. RODRIGUEZ AND CRAIG T. MEYER, “SEA-LEVEL VARIATION DURING THE HOLOCENE DEDUCED FROM THE MORPHOLOGIC AND STRATIGRAPHIC EVOLUTION OF MORGAN PENINSULA, ALABAMA, U.S.A.” Journal of Sedimentary Research, 2006, v. 76, 257–269, p. 267
Steven M. Stanley, "Evolution of Life: Evidence for a New Pattern", Great Ideas Today, 1983, (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1983), p. 11
Eric J. Steig ad Alexander P. Wolfe, “Sprucing Up Greenland,” Science, 320(2008), p. 1595
Wuchang Wei, "Beijing inundated by the sea within the past 80 k.y.: Nannofossil evidence," Geology; April 2002; v. 30; no. 4; p. 379-381