sexta-feira, 5 de agosto de 2011

Those deadly cute polar bears

When I first read this sad news, I could only remember about the Leaf commercial below, and their cute and sweet polar bear. The AGW sickness has figured polar bears as those sweet big animals, that are being affected by global warming... Well, they are not that friendly!

Someone should have said that to Horatio Chapple, who died from a polar bear attack, when on an expedition with the British Schools Exploring Society, in Svalbard. The expedition, which in 2008 was named "Techniques to Investigate Climate Change in Svalbard", really featured the famous polar bear (both references only available at the moment through Google Cache):

Since discovery in 1596, Svalbard has been an epic destination for diverse groups such as whalers, hunters, miners, researchers and polar explorers, many of whom began their race to the North Pole form here. More than half of the archipelago is covered by glaciers and although the vegetation is sparse allowing for fascinating geological study, there are over 150 species of plant and numerous birds and mammals including the walrus, beluga whale and famous polar bear.

Svalbard is not only an exciting destination for adventure and exploration but also of tremendous importance in the gathering of data that has historically contributed, and continues to contribute, to issues such as climate change, ocean currents, glacial and geological processes and even the shape of the world!

Four other people were also injured, before the bear was killed. They have had the time of their lives, for £2,900 each. They will not see the polar bear as the Nissan Leaf's marketeers:

More information was given by the young explorers, in the expedition blog. On this July 27th entry, written by Marcus Wright, they were eager for the close encounter:

After arriving in Longyearbyen to see our first midnight sun we were all so relived to see our tents set up and waiting. I think we must of all dreamt of Polar bears because the next day was eagerly waiting for the ice flows to break up so we could move on to base camp. There was a P.bear sighting across the fjord about a mile away. Unfortunately a Westerly wind and freak climatic events have led to an unprecedented amount of ice in the fjord meaning we are marooned here for the time being. Despite this everyone was in good spirits because we encountered another P.bear floating on the ice, this time we were lucky enough to borrow an kind Norwegian guides telescope to see it properly. After that experience I can say for sure that everyone dreamt of P.bears that night. The ice flows are still dominating the fjord and our movements. We understand the depression causing the Westerly wind may not move off until Sunday. In light of this we have planned to strike camp and re locate to a more remote part of the island – should we find ourselves un able to get the boats to base camp again. During our time here we have explored Longyearbyen’s surrounding area. Although we are all itching to move to base camp, many including myself are thinking of home and the people awaiting our return. We are all thinking about you and want you to know everyone is enjoying themselves. Five weeks will fly by out here.

I'm sure the AGW crowd will not read this blog entry and will blame the lack of ice around Svalbard as the reason for the attack. They were also pretty confident they would tame those cute polar bears. From another entry in the blog:

The Fires spent a lot of time learning how they could make their lives easier once in the Arctic, the teams learnt how to work their stoves, put up their tents and were even trained in polar bear defence which is a requirement if spending time in Svalbard (not that a BSES Expedition has needed it!)

After all, they already had past experiences. See how they dealed with the issue in 2006. You can just see how these fires feel about polar bears: