They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but these images tell the story of a thousand climate studies.
The images above show 35,000 Pacific walrus, all looking for a place to rest. They usually rest on
Arctic ice. In these photos, they're all coming ashore in Alaska because there isn't any ice to be found.
The photos were taken during NOAA's annual Arctic marine mammal aerial survey, spokeswoman
Julie Speegle told the Associated Press. Walrus are coming ashore in record numbers, the report adds,
because they can't find sea ice on which to rest.
Experts say the phenomenon is directly related to the loss of sea ice in the Arctic, the AP also noted.
"We are witnessing a slow-motion catastrophe in the Arctic," Lou Leonard, vice president for climate
change at the World Wildlife Fund, said in a statement that was reported by CNN. "As this ice
dwindles, the Arctic will experience some of the most dramatic changes our generation has ever
witnessed. This loss will impact the annual migration of wildlife through the region, threaten the
long-term health of walrus and polar bear populations, and change the lives of those who rely
on the Arctic ecosystem for their way of life."
The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported Arctic ice coverage reached its lowest point of the
summer on Sept. 17, and sea ice extent will gradually build in the coming months. This year's sea
ice coverage in the Arctic was the sixth-lowest since records began in 1979, the report added.
link to images and article