WEBCommentary Editor

Author: Bob Webster
Date:  March 22, 2011

Topic category:  Climate/Climate Change/Weather

Harp Seals and Climate Change

If the Harp seal were being found to be migrating northward, then their migration north would be blamed on "human-caused-global-warming." Why, the poor critters are being driven from their natural habitat by evil humans burning fossil fuels and they're having to crowd ever closer to the North Pole as the waters of the northern Atlantic warm too much for their comfort. However, a recent AP story, "Harp Seals From Canada Take a Liking to U.S. Waters" claims "no clear explanation" for a southward migration of the Harp seal! Could it be because of global cooling?

According to Wikipedia:  The Harp Seal or Saddleback seal is a species of earless seal native to the northernmost Atlantic Ocean and adjacent parts of the Arctic Ocean. It now belongs to the monotypic genus Pagophilus. Its scientific name, Pagophilus groenlandicus, means "ice-lover from Greenland", and its synonym, Phoca groenlandica means "Greenland seal".

The Associated Press (AP) in a recent story appearing at FOXNews.com, revealed (excerpts):

Harp seals from Canada are showing up in U.S. waters in greater numbers and farther south than usual, and biologists want to know why.

Small numbers of juvenile harp seals are typically found each winter stranded along the coast of the northeastern United States. But this year, well over 100 adult harp seals — not juveniles — have been spotted, said Mendy Garron, regional marine mammal stranding coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Gloucester, Mass. The sightings are reported by 14 seal stranding and rehabilitation organizations in New England and the Middle Atlantic.

A decade ago, harp seal sightings off Maine were rare, said Lynda Doughty, marine mammal stranding coordinator for the state Department of Marine Resources. The numbers have picked up the past few years, and this year there have been 40 documented sightings — more than double the number spotted last year.

“In some areas they’re reporting three times the normal number of sightings,” Garron said. “This year, we’ve had four sightings of adult harp seals in North Carolina, which we’ve never had before. We typically don’t see them that far south.”

For now, there is no clear explanation for why more seals are showing up in U.S. waters, said Gordon Waring, who heads the seal program at NOAA’s fisheries science center in Woods Hole, Mass.

They could be making their way south because of climatic conditions or perhaps in search of food, Waring said.
Within 24 hours, we find a related story by Marnie MacLean, NECN, wherein speculation emerges that decreased ice from changing climate (aka, human-caused-global-warming), may be to blame (excerpts):
Marine biologists say they are seeing an unusual trend [with] well over 100 adult harp seal sightings from Maine all the way to North Carolina.

While scientists can't point to an exact reason for the change, some speculate that a decrease in ice in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, where harp seals live could explain the change in migration patterns.

"If you decrease that ice they are going to go in different directions to haul up and give birth," said Charles Tilburg.

Tilburg believes the seals are a visible sign of the larger problem of climate change, and while there have been variations in ice and temperatures before it's not been at this scale.
Here we once again have "global warming" (you know, the warming supposedly caused predominantly by humans burning fossil fuels) being subtly blamed for what otherwise would be added to evidence of progressively colder Northern Hemisphere winters indicating climate cooling! If seals are being found further south, why is there no speculation that it just might be that their migration reflects a cooling of the northern Atlantic waters from recent colder winters in that region?

Speculation of this sort is never balanced. It is always produced in support of the deeply-flawed and dying theory of human-caused-global-warming.

Fanatics never give up.

For more on recent cold winters:  The Current Wisdom: Overplaying the Human Contribution to Recent Weather Extremes by Patrick J. Michaels, PhD.

For striking evidence for the collapse of "human-caused-global-warming" theory:  Ten Major Failures of So-called Consensus Science by Joseph D'Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow

Bob Webster
WEBCommentary (Editor, Publisher)

Biography - Bob Webster

Bob Webster, a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s) is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.

A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.

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