What do 35,000 walruses have to do with climate change?

27.11.14 By

Hint: this is what climate change impacts look like

The video below shows more than 35,000 walruses that hauled out of the sea on a beach in Alaska. The reasons why this event is so dramatic have been outlined by IUCN Climate Change Specialist Group participant and arctic mammal expert Dr Kit Kovacs. Dr Kovacs has said:

“It is extremely likely that it is the direct result of climate change. For Arctic animals, climate change sucks. They are really adapted to the specific conditions.”

The US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has also observed this a relatively new phenomenon. Walruses are forced onto land when the sea ice they use as a resting place between dives for food disappears.

A report from the National Snow and Ice Data Center said Arctic sea ice had reached its lowest extent of the year on September 17 2014, the sixth-lowest amount of Arctic sea ice on record.