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Wed Oct 1, 2014, 09:39 AM

35,000 Walrus Converge On Alaska Beach As Sea Ice Retreats


In this aerial photo taken on Sept. 27, 2014, and provided by NOAA, some 35,000 walrus gather on shore near Point Lay, Alaska. Pacific walrus looking for places to rest in the absence of sea ice are coming to shore in record numbers on Alaska’s northwest coast.

An estimated 35,000 walrus have come ashore in record numbers on a beach in northwest Alaska for lack of better ground. As climate change warms the atmosphere, summer sea ice in the Arctic is diminishing, likely stranding these walrus from their preferred sea ice outposts. Arctic sea ice reached its lowest point this year in mid-September, and NASA reported it to be the sixth-lowest recorded since 1978.

The mass gathering of walrus was spotted on Saturday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s arctic marine mammal aerial survey. Andrea Medeiros, spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said walrus were first spotted on September 13 and have been moving on and off shore. Last week, around 50 walrus carcasses were spotted on the beach, the cause of death may have been a stampede. Unlike seals, walrus need breaks from swimming and tend to gather in groups.

“It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss,” said Margaret Williams, managing director of the WWF’s Arctic program. “The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change.”


In this aerial photo taken on Sept. 23, 2014 and released by NOAA, some 1500 walrus are gather on the northwest coast of Alaska


MORE:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/01/3574255/walrus-converge-alaska-beach/

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Reply 35,000 Walrus Converge On Alaska Beach As Sea Ice Retreats (Original post)
kpete Oct 2014 OP
dembotoz Oct 2014 #1

Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 1, 2014, 09:42 AM

1. don't tell sarah p--thats the kind of hunting she likes

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