Walrus and the ‘Elementary Penguin’

October 1, 2014

123243-5778393-6Sunshine and warm — maybe the forecast guys were right and the north coast of California could experience a gorgeous-weather day — a Wednesday and the first of a new month.
And temperatures could be in the high 70s, predicted to be in then low 80s by Friday.
We’ll just see.

Another sign of weird-ass environmental shit — a not-total surprise last Saturday: 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.

This the fourth such episode since 2007.

(Illustration found here).

Unlike seals, walrus have to get out the water on occasion, they like to beach awhile in groups, buddy-up and whatnot. This current bunching-up is bigger than normal, though. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discovered the herd on Saturday as part of its arctic marine mammal aerial survey.
The WWF reported similar situations on the Russian side of the Chukchi Sea, and is indicative of the near future:

Margaret Williams, managing director of the group’s Arctic program, said the phenomenon is “another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss”.
“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.”

To upchuck an opening refrain:

I am he as you are he as you are me
And we are all together
See how they run like pigs from a gun see how they fly
I’m crying

Rain walrus tears.

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