August 21, 2017

Warming causes serious problem for walruses

Inside Climate News -A remote barrier island off Alaska's northwest coast has been mobbed by thousands of Pacific walruses in recent weeks in the earliest known "haul out" for the species.

Their arrival is tied to shrinking Arctic sea ice and follows one of the hottest months on record. It also comes as Arctic sea ice extent is near a record low for this time of year. Global Temperatures Rising

Last month, global temperatures tied July 2016 for the warmest July in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

....Walruses rely on the ice as they hunt for food. They typically dive from floating blocks of ice to feed on clams on the ocean floor. As the ice floes melt, however, this vanishing habitat recedes farther north, beyond the shallow waters of the continental shelf and into Arctic waters too deep for the foraging animals. Then they haul up on shore, crowding together, sometimes in herds of thousands, where deadly stampedes can occur.

As of last week, approximately 2,000 of the marine mammals were on shore, U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Andrea Medeiros wrote in an email.

"This early haul out shows that Pacific walruses are in terrible trouble," Emily Jeffers, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity said in a written statement. "The walrus, within the foreseeable future, will be at risk of extinction due to the loss of sea ice."

1 comment:

greg said...

Maybe we should abandon President toxic Dump on an iceberg.