10,000+ Walruses Come Ashore in Alaska As Arctic Ice Melts

walrus photo

photo: Heather Thorkelson via flickr

In an event that the US Geological Survey is saying is "directly related to the lack of sea ice" in the Chukchi Sea, tens of thousands of walruses have come ashore in northwest Alaska. The AP quotes USGS biologist Anthony Fischbach as saying they "stretch out for one mile or more. This is just packed shoulder to shoulder."

chuckhi sea map

map: Wikipedia

The good news in this is that Fischbach says there should be enough food for them all, even though he doesn't know how the walruses will remain ashore.

Though not normal historically--walrus females normally rest on sea ice while raising their young--walruses have come ashore en masse in 2007 and 2009.

For a really good overview of the conditions of melting ice in the Arctic, and how summer sea ice is decreasing in both extent and volume, check out this video (via Climate Progress):

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More on Global Climate Change:
Walruses Also Threatened by Climate Change or Is It Their Dangerous Stampedes?
The Next Polar Bear: Pacific Walrus
Baby Walruses Drowning Because of Melting Ice

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