A Tory MP has used the findings of U.S. climate skeptics to conclude the global polar bear population is flourishing.

Ryan Leef, who represents Yukon, said in a letter to a constituent in February that “pessimistic studies” from those who want to see the beloved bears declared endangered have been judged “unscientific and inconsequential” by researchers.

“The global polar bear population has quadrupled over the last 40 years,” Leef wrote.

To support his claim, Leef sent the constituent — a high school science teacher — a 2008 report prepared by a marketing expert from the University of Pennsylvania, an economic forecaster from Australia and a Harvard astronomer, Postmedia reports.

In a lengthy rebuttal by seven climate and polar bear experts in 2009, the study was described as bogus and misleading.

“The effects of global warming on polar bears, if it continues as projected, will be severe,” the report concludes. “By mid-century, polar bears will most likely be limited to a small portion of their current range.”

Ian Stirling, an international expert on bears at the University of Alberta who contributed to the rebuttal, told Postmedia he was shocked by Leef’s letter.

“I am absolutely appalled that a Canadian MP would circulate this kind of stuff to a constituent asking in good faith about the conservation of polar bears in Canada,” he said.

Steven Amstrup, chief scientist at Polar Bears International, said the trio behind the study Leef cited were “professional climate change deniers,” and that to suggest the iconic bears are fine is akin to living on a different planet.

The Polar Bear Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission reports that of the 19 populations of polar bears, eight are declining, three are stable, seven have insufficient data and only one is increasing.

Environment Canada, which currently lists the bears as a “species of special concern,” says this country is home to approximately 16,000 of the estimated 20,000–25,000 polar bears in the Arctic.

The department says climate change remains “the most important threat to their long-term range-wide security.”

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    A Polar Bear plays with a bush on the tundra while waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze 14 November 2007 outside Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Polar Bears return every year to Churchill, the Polar Bear capital of the world, to hunt for seals on the icepack until the Spring thaw. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

  • Polar Bears Begin Seal Hunting On Frozen Icepacks In Northern Canada

    A Polar Bear plays with a bush on the tundra while waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze 14 November 2007 outside Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Polar Bears return every year to Churchill, the Polar Bear capital of the world, to hunt for seals on the icepack until the Spring thaw. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

  • Polar Bears Begin Seal Hunting On Frozen Icepacks In Northern Canada

    A Polar Bear plays with a bush on the tundra while waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze 14 November 2007 outside Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Polar Bears return every year to Churchill, the Polar Bear capital of the world, to hunt for seals on the icepack until the Spring thaw. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

  • Polar Bears Begin Seal Hunting On Frozen Icepacks In Northern Canada

    A Polar Bear plays with a bush on the tundra while waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze 14 November 2007 outside Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Polar Bears return every year to Churchill, the Polar Bear capital of the world, to hunt for seals on the icepack until the Spring thaw. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

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  • Polar Bears Begin Seal Hunting On Frozen Icepacks In Northern Canada

    A Polar Bear looks up as the sound of the camera catches his ear on the edge of Hudson Bay aheasd of the full freeze-over 14 November 2007 outside Churchill, Mantioba, Canada. Polar Bears return every year to Churchill, the Polar Bear capital of the world, where they remain hunting for seals on the icepack until the Spring thaw. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

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  • Polar Bears Begin Seal Hunting On Frozen Icepacks In Northern Canada

    A mother Polar Bear and her cubs wait on the tundra for the Hudson Bay to freeze 14 November 2007 outside Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Polar Bears return to Churchill, the Polar Bear capital of the world, to hunt for seals on the icepack every year at this time and remain on the icepack feeding on seals until the Spring thaw. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

  • A polar bear mother and her two cubs walk along the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Man. in this Wednesday Nov. 7, 2007 photo. They're etched onto canadian coins, are part of Canada's national identity and lure tourists to the Arctic every year, but the majestic Canadian polar bear could pose a significant risk to northern communities if climate change continues to wreak havoc on its natural habitat. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press - Jonathan Hayward)

  • Polar Bears Begin Seal Hunting On Frozen Icepacks In Northern Canada

    A Polar Bear walks on the edge of Hudson Bay ahead of the full freeze-over 14 November 2007 outside Churchill, Mantioba, Canada. Polar Bears return every year to Churchill, the Polar Bear capital of the world, where they remain hunting for seals on the icepack until the Spring thaw. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

  • Polar Bears Begin Seal Hunting On Frozen Icepacks In Northern Canada

    A Polar Bear walks on the frozen tundra on the edge of Hudson Bay waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze-over 14 November 2007 outside Churchill, Mantioba, Canada. Polar Bears return every year to Churchill, the Polar Bear capital of the world, where they remain hunting for seals on the icepack until the Spring thaw. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

  • A mother polar bear and her cubs sleep o

    A mother polar bear and her cubs sleep on the tundra on the edge of the Hudson Bay waiting for the bay to freeze over, 13 November 2007, outside Churchill, Mantioba, Canada. Polar bears return to Churchill, the polar bear capital of the world, to hunt for seals on the icepack every year at this time and remain on the icepack feeding on seals until the spring thaw. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards

  • Polar Bears Begin Seal Hunting On Frozen Icepacks In Northern Canada

    A Polar Bear walks on the frozen tundra waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze-over 14 November 2007 outside Churchill, Mantioba, Canada. Polar Bears return every year to Churchill, the Polar Bear capital of the world, to hunt for seals on the icepack where they remain until the Spring thaw. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

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