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Federal polar bear research critically flawed, says study in INFORMS journal
Date:5/8/2008

ecasting methods, and Principles of Forecasting. He is a co-founder of the Journal of Forecasting, the International Journal of Forecasting, the International Symposium on Forecasting, and forecastingprinciples.com.

The authors examined nine U.S. Geological Survey Administrative Reports posted on the Internet at http://usgs.gov/newsroom/special/polar_bears/. The studies include Forecasting the Wide-Range Status of Polar Bears at Selected Times in the 21st Century by Steven C. Amstrup et. al. and Polar Bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea II: Demography and Population Growth in Relation to Sea Ice Conditions by Christine M. Hunter et al.

Prof. Armstrong and his colleagues concluded that the most relevant study, Amstrup et al. properly applied only 15% of relevant forecasting principles and that the second study, Hunter et al. only 10%, while 46% were clearly contravened and 23% were apparently contravened.

Further, they write, the Geologic Survey reports do not adequately substantiate the authors assumptions about changes to sea ice and polar bears ability to adapt that are key to the recommendations.

Therefore, the authors write, a key feature of the U.S. Geological Survey reports is not scientifically supported.

The consequence, they maintain, is significant: The Interior Department cannot use the series of reports as a sound scientific basis for a decision about listing the polar bear as an endangered species.

Prof. Armstrong testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works on January 30, 2008 in a hearing, Examining Threats and Protections for the Polar Bear. A portion of the testimony can be viewed on a website partly supported by Prof. Armstrong and questioning climate change http://theclimatebet.com/.


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Contact: Barry List
barry.list@informs.org
443-757-3560
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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