Ecosystems & Species

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Tens of Thousands of Walruses Concentrating Along Alaska's Shore

Forced to haul-out along the Alaska shoreline as see ice has vanished from the Chukchi Sea, unprecedented numbers of walruses now are being reported onshore.  Meanwhile, a new Federal report was released yesterday (10 September 2010) saying that climate change would be a major contributor to a "clear trend of worsening conditions for the Pacific walrus" during the rest of the 21st century.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent Now Third Lowest on Record -- and Still Dropping

The National Snow and Ice Data Center reports today (7 Sept 2010) that with 1-2 weeks left in the melt season, Arctic Sea Ice extent now is the third lowest on record.  With anomalously warm air temperatures, persistent southerly winds, and thin disintegrating ice, the Chukchi sea saw especially rapid ice loss -- forcing large numbers of walruses to haul-out on land along the Alaska coast.

USGS Confirms Thousands of Walruses Hauling-Out on Alaska's Northwest Coast as Sea Ice Rapidly Retreats

Alaska Public Radio Network reports that "for only the third time in human memory, walruses have started to congregate in large numbers on Alaska’s Northwest coast. It says "the animals began hauling out on shore, after the sea ice they depend on for foraging disappeared."

Walruses Again Being Forced Ashore as Arctic Sea Ice Retreats

An animated map from the U.S. Geological Survey shows the daily locations of tagged walruses and sea ice distribution in the Chuckchi sea.  As the extent of Arctic sea ice again declines to one of the lowest levels on record -- especially off the coast of Alaska --  watch the walruses congregate on the remaining ice and increasingly in "haul outs" along the Alaska shoreline.

Madagascar drought forces farmers into charcoal devastation

Two years of drought and late arrival of the rainy season in south western Madagascar have forced hundreds of farmers into charcoal producing which is devastating forests, according to WWF field staff at Tollara.

A "Hardy Perennial of Climate Denialism": More CO2 in the Atmosphere Will be Good for Plants

Since plants use carbon dioxide (CO2) during photosynthesis, isn't more CO2 better for plants?  Peter Sinclair terms that notion "one of the hardy perennials of climate denialism," and tackles it in the latest of his series of "Climate Denial Crock of the Week" videos on Monday (16 August 2010).  Just four days later, scientists today (20 August) report in the journal Science that global plant productivity on land declined over the last decade because of a drying trend in the Southern Hemisphere and large-scale regional droughts in both hemispheres.  

The Pacific Walrus says: "The time has come...We have many things to talk about, people!"

In what she modestly calls a "doodle," talented writer and illustrator Karen Romano Young captures the plight of the Pacific Walrus as it faces a decline in vital Arctic sea ice.  "The walrus, some say, could be as much a poster child for the effects of climate change as its compatriot, the polar bear," says Young.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev: "Everyone is talking about climate change now."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday (4 August 2010) that the extensive heatwave, drought and fires in Russia are evidence of global climate change.  "Frankly, what is going on with the world’s climate at the moment should incite us all (I mean world leaders and heads of public organizations) to make a more strenuous effort to fight global climate change," he noted last Friday.

American Lobster’s Future in a Changing Climate

How the American Lobster will fair with climate change is uncertain, but projections show habitat shifts and an increasingly stressful environment.

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