Climate Craziness of the Week – 'Mass gathering of 35,000 walruses is latest sign of global warming'

Because -there’s no other possible explanation- global warming must be to blame.

mass_walrusEric Worrall writes: In a sign that the climate alarmist camp has not only jumped the shark, but danced an intricate ballet while taking the leap, we now have the latest sign of the end times – global warming is being blamed for a gathering of walrus.

Apparently an estimated 35,000 walrus have gathered on Alaskan beaches, allegedly because they can’t find enough ice.

In the unenlightened old days, the appearance of 35,000 walrus would have been a cause for optimism, evidence that the species was doing well. But in this age of post normal science, such an event has to be interpreted as a portent of global warming – and so, by definition, it must be spooky and bad.

According to the WWF;

“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.”

If only we all had the ability to listen to the Walrus, like the WWF – the world would be a very different place.


Climate Depot has a big special report on this nonsense:

Media hyped walrus climate scare stories debunked – Claims recycled year-after-year – A Climate Depot Rebuttal


198 thoughts on “Climate Craziness of the Week – 'Mass gathering of 35,000 walruses is latest sign of global warming'

  1. Walrus Whispering………….Shhhhhhhhhh, quiet, listen to what they are telling the world!!!!!!
    What did they say?……give us your money!

    • Simple solution, build a series of Walrus Hunting Platforms that are anchored to the Shallows. After the Ice receeds in spring, an manned observation platform could then raise them to the Water surface Level allowing for the Wallies to hunt in the summer. Then in the winter, when the ice appears, the platforms could be lowered to a point below any ship’s draw for the winter season.

  2. Question. Or questions. Where have these walruses been up to the point they descended on this Alaskan beach? The ice has been thinning all summer (which, I am led to understand is somethign that ice does during the summer). So why haven’t the walruses been showing up gradually over the course of the season.
    Also, it says “This summer, the sea ice’s annual low point was the sixth smallest since satellite monitoring began in 1979.” That means there were five summer’s with even less ice over the past 35 years. Where were the walruses during those summers?
    Non-government-funded minds want to know.

    • I believe this report, or something like it such as a polar bear story, pops up at the end of every September they can’t report that the Arctic ice is at its lowest point evuh.

    • I suspect that walrus prefer the beach to ice. Who wouldn’t?. Through the years I have seen several photographs of walrus sunning themselves onshore but never any photos of them on ice. The post is simply more alarmist invention.

      • And stampedes on the beach can be caused by a hungry polar bear, researcher’s helicopters who then claim global warming killed the pups.

      • Congrats. You can copy and paste a bs article with absolutely no facts to back up their claims besides he said she said bullshit. This has happened more then twice. This is a natural occurance. Keep drinking the kool aid idiot.

      • Congratulations back to you justin for the speed of your name calling. Yes, I know nothing about the habits of walruses but at least I have the sense to appreciate that and read around the subject a bit before making pronouncements on what I do not know. You may notice I said the article may provide some of the missing details the other poster was asking for. It does provide some dates of walrus landings.
        So, here is another article that you will probably dismiss without reading because it does not fit your bias. It says “Until 2007, it was unheard of for walruses to leave the sea ice for dry land for prolonged periods of time. But the retreat of sea ice has seen “drastic changes” in behaviour, Jay said. Walruses have struck out for beaches in six of the last eight years. “
        I have no idea if that is true or not and I would need to research further. But I am capable of reading an article without dismissing it out of hand.

      • @justin
        Both sides were guilty of simplification.
        Or a better article than that last one, if you can haul that scepticism into gear and actually read it critically:
        Some nice pictures:
        An interesting supposition:
        “It’s always the boys. Before 2006 I am not aware of any mass haul outs that included females on land,” she said.

      • It seems I did overlook a 2007 event which took place on a remote Russian beach in the Western Chukchi Sea, at some vague time noted as “late summer and fall.” I have updated my post accordingly, without erasing the original. I made a mistake and I corrected it.
        However, in 2012 the sea ice was even lower – where did all the walruses go then? Accounts differ – WWF said on 5 October
        “We and others expected large numbers of walruses to haul out in the area of Point Lay, Alaska, where they have hauled out in recent years. But most of the walruses instead opted to continue swimming far to the West, to haul out in the vicinity of Russia’s Cape Serdtse-Kamen where other walruses already were hauled out….Though we cannot yet confirm that large numbers of walruses are hauled out at the remote cape, that certainly was the case last year.”
        [my bold, and note there is no mention of how many walruses WWF meant by “large numbers”]
        USGS officials, however, reportedly said the animals were offshore (Nov. 14):
        “Despite record low ice this year, remnant ice floating off Alaska’s northwest allowed walrus to stay offshore.”
        This BIGSTORY report did not say anything about haulouts in Russia or how many stayed on the remnant ice. As a result, both accounts are too vague to be of any use in assessing why tens of thousands of walrus sometimes huddle together in one place – and not always the same place.
        The point is, it is not entirely clear what causes walrus females with calves to come together in such enormous numbers that the calves are at risk of trampling.
        Lack of ice is a convenient excuse for recent events but it certainly was NOT the case for the incidents I mentioned from 1978 and 1972. Those are valid documented incidents of mass gatherings of females with calves that were reported in the scientific literature, at times and places when lack of ice was not a factor and when many trampling deaths occurred.
        In 1978, the animals LEFT the ice near Point Lay to travel through open water to the haulouts on and around St. Lawrence Island; in 1972, there was ice around the Wrangel Island beach the walruses chose to haul out on.
        Low ice coverage was not a factor in the late 70s, so it had to be something else. What? Perhaps a combination of factors, we simply don’t know yet.
        But blaming the phenomenon entirely on global warming when the evidence clearly indicates that lack of sea ice in the Chukchi Sea cannot be the primary factor is not going to get anyone closer to the correct answer.
        See also this post at Bishop Hill and its update:
        Susan Crockford, PolarBearScience

      • What? Perhaps a combination of factors, we simply don’t know yet.
        Thanks for the reply Susan Crockford.

  3. Personally, it’s the human race I fear for, and I’m serious. Rather than getting more intelligent, we’re holding on to the superstitions of yesteryear, and adding a higher level of stupidity that just beggars belief. I seriously fear for our future.

    • “I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…
      The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance” Carl Sagan ….

      • Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
        For those who want the reference.

      • Gee, wasn’t there a movie about that – “Idiocracy” I think it was called. Sounds prophetic sometimes when I listen to some politicians.

      • Funny but sad how Sagan identified the obvious problems in education, but couldn’t (or wouldn’t) identify his own employers, co-employees, peers & political allies as right at the heart & cause of the problem.

    • “The planet’s fine. The people are f@#$ed. Difference!” – George Carlin (my generations comic philosopher extraordinaire!)

      • Yep. Professional comedians make the best philosophers…. and historians, and sociologists, and political scientists, and psychologists, and (fill in the blank). Just take a look at the many, many, many times over millionaire Jon Stewart.

      • This trend has been happening long before the internet, as the Carl Sagan quote shows.
        The internet liberated and gives us a chance.

  4. Just imagine if their numbers hadn’t been reduced by 50% since 1970! We’d be up to our armpits in Walruses. We’d probably have a Walnado or perhaps even a Walricane hitting Nome any day now.

  5. The article wrings it hands about 50 of them dying. Given their lifespan of about 25 years, in a population of 35,000 one would expect 25 to die every week.

  6. College students from the Midwest gather on beaches in Florida during Spring Break; attributed to global warming, since there can be no other logical explanation for the behavior of college students from the Midwest

    • And how many of them die each year by drunkenly falling off hotel balconies? That’s due to global warming causing their beer to be warmer and thus more effective. /sarc

    • Maybe. Here is the Pacific Walrus under attack.

      Abstract – 04 Dec 2012
      Killer whales (Orcinus orca) hunting for walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) near Retkyn Spit, Chukotka
      Group hunting by killer whales for walruses was observed in August 18, 2008, in the littoral area (3 km from the haulout of walruses, Retkyn Spit, Chukotka). The group of killer whales consisted of seven adults (one adult male did not participate in attacks) and two calves. Based on prey type, these killer whales were mammal-eating. The total duration of their hunt activity was not less than 95 min. The hunt consisted of three phases. The first phase was an attack on the group of walruses and choice of individual prey; the second phase was attacks on the chosen walrus; and the third (final) phase was a decrease in activity of killer whales and leaving group with walrus from sea shore…….

      Occam’s razor?

  7. Quoting Dr. Susan Crockford at Climate Depot, “this is blatant nonsense and those who support or encourage this interpretation are misinforming the public“. So what’s new? This is what the alarmists always do.

    • Yes. So what are (we) you going to do about it other than vent here?
      That is a serious question. Anthony contributes this blog. Susan does hers. I wrote an ebook.
      What will you and yours do? That is a mild challenge–just do something beyond here.

  8. For a start there is not “35,000” walruses in that photo. I did a quick estimate based on the number of walruses I counted on the left of the “haulout” there is only an estimated 2500 to 3000 walruses maximum.

  9. This calls to mind an old Peanuts comic strip (sorry Josh) in which Violet tells Linus that he is “Just plain stupid crazy”. That he “Acts like someone who has just fallen out of a tree” and that he is “Stark Raving Stupid.” I have the strip still and it is a priceless bit of simplistic abuse which applies perfectly to this bit of sophomoric nonsense.

  10. We can’t think of anything else, so it must be climate disruption!
    (is /sarc tag really necessary?)

  11. How Walruses Work
    Each summer, nine million pounds of walrus flesh packs the beaches of Round Island, off the southwest coast of Alaska in the Bering Sea. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why, but for a few months each summer, about 12,000 male Pacific walruses congregate on the two mile (3.2 km) long island. From the base of the cliffs to the bubbly surf, all you can see is walrus.

  12. That old Beatles’ song, I Am the Walrus, keeps running through my head since I read the above article. John Lennon wrote the song on purpose to be completely nonsensical, as an answer to some of the nonsensical lyrics Bob Dylan was getting away with at the time. I do believe that nonsense is the key to this latest climate alarmism fiasco – as a sidenote, apparently Lennon was high on LSD when he wrote the lyrics, as least, that is what he claimed.

    • But isn’t that answer exactly the “Catch 22” of Climate Change (er, New Age Liberal Wisdom and Intelligence) and Eco-Terrorism-by-Dictate?
      If Lennon were on LSD when he wrote the song “The Walrus”, then he was out of his mind and didn’t know what he was writing or why he was writing, and thus the song cannot mean anything and is silly because the seond guy was obviously right and was doing crazy things. If he wrote the song to criticize another singer and his mindlessness and crazy ideas, then the first guy couldn’t have been out of his mind when he wrote it, so the second guy actually was crazy and out of his mind.

      • Actually, he had heard that some liberal arts college had a course on psychoanalysing the lyrics of every beatles song. That pissed him off so much, he wrote that nonsensical song to piss them off in return.

  13. Alarmists grasping at straws
    I am reminded of a Supertramp song
    ” If everyone was listening you know, There would be a chance that we could save the show”

  14. “…the climate alarmist camp has not only jumped the shark, but danced an intricate ballet while taking the leap…”
    That’s a nice turn of phrase and sums them up better than I ever could!

  15. In Norway, the communist national broadcast, NRK,s webpage – say 35 000 animals are stranded in lack of ice. I cannot even begin to explain how ridiculous that is for ANY explanation. Strongly reminds me of the swedish minister claiming the penguins caught on a floating ice sheet in the Antarctic – far from the shore, had to be rescued. WWF, of course, jumped right on board and immediately drew a parallel to the polar bears – apparently they are now (again) in a lot of trouble. NRK and WWF seem to think norwegians don’t know english and are complete morons. And, as always when it comes to climate-articles, no comments allowed.
    Links in Norwegian.

  16. Apparently hard to come by good estimates of population numbers, and even harder to estimate trends, according to NOAA:
    NOAA says they gave up aerial surveys following a workshop in 2000. Their latest publication is in 2010, with an estimate of the number of Pacific walrus only (Atlantic walrus are out of NOAA’s jurisdiction) of 129,000, but with a confidence range of 55,000-507,000. They state the estimate (from a survey in 2006) is biased low due to bad weather preventing flyovers of some areas known to harbor walrus. Historical estimates, based on hunting harvests, are around 200,000, but probably with even wider error bands.

    • If the temperature had a range of confidence like that you would either drop dead of heat exhaustion the moment you stepped outside or your nuts would fall off with the cold.

  17. Just saw the same thing on CNN where they blamed this together with the dry up of the Aral Sea on global warming.
    Mass gathering of walruses is a normal behavior which was also observed by Vitus Bering himself nearly 300 years ago. Nothing abnormal with that.

  18. Please post your all time favorite photograph of walruses; masses of them, or one, actually pulled out on some ice rather than on some rocky shore. No rocks please, just ice !

  19. I´m preparing a “Save the Penguins from Climate Warming” campaign for next year, so this walrus gathering will really help the fund raising effort. Contributions can be made using the same address you used for my Drowning Islands campaign (which by the way was highly successful, we are now helping the Funafuti natives adapt to higher sea level).

  20. I watched hours and hours of wildlife shows in my youth (that means many years ago), and clearly remember many documentaries that showed thousands of walruses on rocky and sandy shores. They were seldom pictured on ice. They looked perfectly happy to be there on the rocks, except the females and small guys that were crushed by the bulls. There is nothing new going on up there that is abnormal.
    Q. Aren’t the alarmists the least bit concerned that they will be found to be fools and charlatans if they continue to portray everything, even non-issues, as a deleterious result of global warming?
    A. Not as long as the low information eco-fanatic continues to believe them.

  21. Quoting Lewis Carroll (1871)
    “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
    “To talk of many things:
    Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
    Of cabbages–and kings–
    And why the sea is boiling hot–
    And whether pigs have wings.”
    Some kind of prophet ?

    • Plainly the flying pig – Porcus icarus? – will fly further, and faster, with all this CO2 flooding the atmosphere (up to about four parts in ten thousand now, I gather).
      This hugely enhanced ability may keep it above the rising levels of alarmist emanations (excretio taurii confusit cerebellii might in fact apply here).
      Apologies for the dog-Latin: I’m entirely, and badly, self-taught.
      Mod – /sarc, I believe.

  22. Idiotic “news” and blame, no wonder population is hoodwinked on global warming, another species to save.
    Walrus population now about double 1950s. Beach photo estimate at 35,000 is like NYC Climate March crowd over-estimates and far less, but does not matter.
    Statement,” ‘It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss.’…This summer, the sea ice’s annual low point was the sixth smallest since satellite monitoring began in 1979.” is nonsense for walrus.
    Most of walrus habitat is Bering Strait and Chukcki Sea
    It is normal to have 100% summer sea ice melt in that area of Arctic in summer, 70 F days in summer normal with all light, sometimes in 80s, so thesis less sea ice by global warming forcing walrus to congregate in mass on beach instead of hanging out on disappearing summer floating ice due to warming is junk. Boats take tourists out to see walrus congregating on beach, that is normal too. There is no sea ice there in middle of summer, that is normal. Those walrus also must have been having a time two years ago when winter sea ice area in Bering Sea was at was an all time recorded high “since satellite monitoring began in 1979.”
    It is a shame news media has to hype things up to sell stories.

  23. There’s a consensus all right. But it’s not about AGW. It’s about the alarmists themselves. lol

  24. “The time has come,” the walrus said, “to speak of many things…of shoes and ships, and sealing wax…of cabbages and kings!”
    “Point of order, Mr. Chairman!”
    “The chair recognizes the gentleman from the Bering Sea!”
    “If I am not mistaken, the subject before the assembly was…how shall I put this?…getting laid. It’s been a long, hard swim, and I, for one, am not interested in cabbage, if you get my drift!”
    “Hear, hear!” “Well said, what?” “I say…capital suggestion!”
    “Motion carries by acclamation! ….. Nowwwww, which of you chaps are female?”

  25. Don’t these yahoos know that a mass gathering of walruses in Alaska is a certain sign of a major earthquake. Sometime in the next 10,000 years?

  26. The very same Green Guardian had banner headlines proclaiming that half the world’s wild life had become extinct in the last 40 years! (WWF propaganda as it turned out.) How this ties in with unusually large gatherings of animals only the Greenpriests know…and of course, they’re not saying.
    Try commenting on the Guardian where it proclaims “comment is free”.

  27. It’s as likely IMneverHO they were displaced by ‘global warmists’ occupying their recent spots.
    But it’s prolly just crop rotation of the natural variety.

    • brians356
      October 1, 2014 at 3:40 pm
      Could someone possibly translate this walrus phrase:
      “koo koo k’CHOO”
      I am he as you are he as you are me
      And we are all together

  28. From a paper in 1980.

    Mass natural mortality of walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) at St. Lawrence Island, Bering Sea, autumn 1978
    In October-November 1978, several thousand living walruses came ashore in at least four localities on St. Lawrence Island where they had not been present before in this century. They hauled out also at two other sites which they have occupied annually but in much smaller numbers. At least 537 animals died on the haulout areas at that time, and approximately 400 other carcasses washed ashore from various sources. This was by far the greatest mortality of walruses ever recorded in an event of this kind…….
    FH Fay, BP Kelly – Arctic, 1980 – JSTOR

    This is just before the satellite era sea ice extent maximum and start.

  29. I wonder what WWF would have thought if they had seen an aerial photo of the Woodstock festival. That humans were about to go extinct?

  30. Is it possible that underwater volcanoes could do something like this? Extra sulfur in the water in their usually favorite area, or something?
    Same question for when masses of some dead fish species show up on some beach.

  31. A simple review of the Alaskan coastline tells you that there are hundreds of kilometers of very similar beach habitat up and down from where these walruses came ashore. Common sense tells you that there is something far more complex and fascinating going on here than not finding enough sea ice to perch upon. Why did they all congregate in one spot? If they were just resting for lack of sea ice, they would have found much more convenient and less crowded locations to settle in. Unfortunately unique scientific curiosity is being dulled by those co-opting this event for their dogmatic global warming assertions.

    • They congregate in these specific spots year after year because this is where they have always held their annual conventions for thousands of years and they don’t like change.

    • Killer whales?

      Abstract – 04 Dec 2012
      Killer whales (Orcinus orca) hunting for walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) near Retkyn Spit, Chukotka
      Group hunting by killer whales for walruses was observed in August 18, 2008, in the littoral area (3 km from the haulout of walruses, Retkyn Spit, Chukotka). The group of killer whales consisted of seven adults…..

      The littoral zone is the part of a sea, lake or river that is close to the shore. Did you see the word “haulout”? Is this an explanation for the haulaout in the post?

  32. The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic
    Since when can poley bears and walruses speak Inuktitut?

  33. You fools, this is entirely consistent with walrus computer modelling which actually predicted this event just after it happened. The models also show there will be periods without walrus gatherings which happened elsewhere at the same time further confirming the accuracy of the models.

  34. Don’t whales also beach themselves en mass occasionally, and have for centuries? Why do lemmings drown themselves in the sea? Animals just get fed up from time to time – is that so wrong?

    • Obviously, the walruses know what they are doing, and they do it for walrus reasons. Somehow the haul-out spot is selected, and communicated to the rest of the great walrus host. There are many aspects of animal behavior that remain cryptic, but there is a reason for everything, even if we can’t see it yet. No matter what Lennon may have felt in an inspired moment, no man is a walrus.

  35. My car broke down today, overheated. We all know what caused that. That’s all the proof I need. The evidence is clear. We’re doomed. Co2 has turned our planet into a 4 slice auto eject toaster with easy to clean crumb trays and automatic width adjustment that’s been set to high. And we’re the sliced bread. Could someone please pass the butter? Oh, that jam looks good too.

  36. Radiation-filled ocean water care of Fukushima is the real culprit. But no one wants to talk about that because there is no way to solve that problem.

  37. Anthony, it may be very helpful to post up the map of “normal” extent of sea ice at the end of September and point out where Point Lay (where the photo was allegedly taken) is. That should put an end to this nonsense (at least for those that have 2 brain cells to rub together).

  38. Once a year, thousands of elephant seals gather on the beach near San Simion, California. Apparently this behavior has little to do with melting ice.

  39. They all gather in the same place on the same beach coming from a thousand kms away to “rest” (as in huge aggressive animals which are constantly fighting each other all lined up and overlapping on top of each other because of “normal” ice-melt-back which has occurred again at this time of year just like every year (covering a thousand kms of shoreline). I wouldn’t call that “rest”.
    It is obviously a normal social activity for the walruses. Fall practise for spring mating season might be all a walrus needs.

  40. This has nothing to do with global warming. It is scare mongering and the WWF should check its facts. From
    The rest of the year (late summer and fall), walruses tend to form massive aggregations of tens of thousands of individuals on rocky beaches or outcrops. The migration between the ice and the beach can be long-distance and dramatic. In late spring and summer, for example, several hundred thousand Pacific walruses migrate from the Bering Sea into the Chukchi Sea through the relatively narrow Bering Strait.[27]
    27. Fay, F. H. (1982). “Ecology and Biology of the Pacific Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger”. United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service.

    • it was only ~100k marchers, they just left enough garbage so archaeologists would think they were 300k

  41. There is only one explanation: A bunch of females searching for manmeat. Or is that manmeat searching for females searching for manmeat? What does it matter as long as babies are the result. The drive to procreate trumps global warming every day of the week and twice on Sunday. I’ll bet the picture was taken on a Sunday.

    • Actually, Pamela, it’s the only spot on the coast with good cell phone reception, hence the large numbers of females and juvenile walruses. 🙂

  42. They very well could be starving due to man’s over exploitation of the oceans for fish. But that has zero to do with the magic gas of oil and gas combustion.

  43. If an estimated 35,000 walrus had not gathered on Alaskan beaches, it would also be caused by Gorebal Warming

  44. Didn’t they used to show these kind of things is Disney shorts 50 or so years ago. I’m sure that I as brought up with the idea that at a certain time of year seals, sea lions and walruses gather on beaches in huge numbers. My reaction to the news was, “Yes, they do that” anyway.
    Maybe I’d forgotten that they were being boiled by this huge rise in temperatures way down in the depths of the sea that we’re told to believe in.

  45. I put a post on the Business Insider’s beat up of this walrus gathering … comprising a link to the rebuttal at Climate Depot and Dr. Susan Crockford’s comments: Mass haulouts of Pacific walrus and stampede deaths are not new, not due to low ice cover – ‘The attempts by WWF and others to link this event to global warming is self-serving nonsense that has nothing to do with science…this is blatant nonsense and those who support or encourage this interpretation are misinforming the public.’
    … And it got pulled
    “This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been removed.
    Please read our Community Guidelines for rules on leaving comments.”
    What a bunch a lying deceitful bastardjas.

  46. Maybe they gathered to join the people’s march against climate change. Just got there a bit late.

    “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
    “To talk of many things
    ..why the sea is boiling hot–
    And whether pigs have wings.”

  47. Back in the eighteenth century, until they were hunted out, there was a mass haulout of walrus on Block Island, off Nova Scotia, on the same latitude as Portland, Maine.
    Must have been terrible global warming to cause that. Makes one wonder why yankees didn’t grow their own tea rather than causing that big bother in Boston harbor.

  48. More seriously. Yes, wakrus do haul out mostly on land, not on sea-ice. The haul-out sites are very traditional and are often used for many generations.
    And yes mass haulouts are sensitive to disturbance, though not extremely sensitive. If you are quiet, move slowly and against the wind you can approach very close without disturbing the animals. Walrus have a keen sense of smell but not have very good sight or hearing on land.
    And no, walrus are not truly arctic animals dependent on ice cover. The do not occur in high-arctic areas (Northern Greenland, Sverdrup archipelago, central Siberian Coast, Severnaya Zemlya) and before they were hunted out at least in the Atlantic they occurred and bred in areas that never have sea-ice (Finnmark coast in Norway, Sable Island off Nova Scotia, (I wrote Block Island by mistake in an earlier post)).

  49. The walrus are naked, but I can’t read their demands they have written on their chests. Anyone got a better photo?

  50. Sex? I always understood these gatherings to be about meeting a partner, mating and propagating the species. How many months to maximum food time next year?

  51. It is easy to be dismissive of this story, and chuckle, but literally seconds ago, this story was reported on the local morning TV news in my Gulf Coast sound as evidence that global warming caused the sea ice to retreat north. The watermelons are active this fall…

  52. Enough already.
    For the sake of simplification, maybe the IPCC should just come out with this one sentence statement.
    Everything that ever happens anywhere for any reason at any time is caused by global warming and it is all bad.
    There it’s done, the simplicity is genius, and media bandwidth can be cleared of superfluous noise.

  53. Me thinks that at least one (1) time each year ….. Walruses prefer solid ground underneath them simply because the “humping” of a female by a rambunctious 2 ½ ton male would surely cause a “break through” in their sexual activity if attempted to consummate said on “thin ice”.
    “HA”, and 35,000 Walruses all huddled up in a bunch on top of surface ice ….. would surely sink their plans of a “love boat”.

  54. In the unenlightened old days, the appearance of 35,000 walrus would have been a cause for optimism, evidence that the species was doing well.

    Actually, in the really unenlightened old days the appearance of 35,000 walrus would be the signal for a massive hunt to harvest all that ivory and meat. This sort of makes large walrus gatherings a self-correcting problem.

  55. I would suspect masses of walruses would provide food for polar bears — at least the weak/old/baby walruses. Even polar bears are challenged by the size and strength of walruses.
    No ice required.

  56. Um, per the wiki they have been recovering population:
    “During the 19th century and the early 20th century, walruses were widely hunted and killed for their blubber, walrus ivory, and meat. The population of walruses dropped rapidly all around the Arctic region. Their population has rebounded somewhat since then”
    with a 20 to 30 year lifespan, it seems likely to me that we are simply seeing the result of guns and hunting being vilified in about 1970 ….
    So lack of hunting and population explosion / recovery is a bad thing? Eh?

  57. First we has global warming, then it was climate change. Then climate disruption.
    Now we have global walrussing.
    At least one thing stays the same – it’s worse than we thought.

  58. This morning on our main TV news broadcast in Holland the familiar “unprecedented, due to ice loss, scientists say cause is climate change”.
    I did contact them by email and gave some extra info and indicated they’re probably not aware they are making fools of themselves with such sloppy politicized info. Well, I guess I was not the only one reacting. Because, lo and behold, this evening although at first more or less the same story, they added: “On the other hand, scientist from the University of Groningen have the opinion this large number of walruses may indicate the walruses are doing fine.”
    Wow. There is still hope reason may prevail at last.

  59. They are gathering to take advantage of the climate refugee program of the UN. I’ve heard they are going to Florida.

  60. Gee, I hope they had their gas masks on when they were speaking to the Walrus. I have been with 2 walrus in New Zealand and that stank to high heaven.

  61. Also, this explanation is on the Norwegian Polar Institute site:
    “Walruses were once very abundant in the Svalbard Archipelago. However, they were hunted virtually to extinction in Svalbard during three and a half centuries of heavy commercial exploitation. Ivory was a valuable trade item and walrus haul out sites were very easily exploited. Walruses became protected 1952 inSvalbard, when it is likely that only a few hundred remained. Despite 50 years of protection, walrus numbers are still low in Svalbard and they remain on the Norwegian National Red List. However, walrus numbers are increasing and they are starting to haul out in sites on land that have not been used for many decades. In August 2006 a survey was conducted of all known (past and present) haul-out sites within Svalbard. Together with information from a satellite-tagging programme, which allowed for the calculation of an adjustment factor that accounted for the proportion of animals that were out swimming when the photographic survey of haulouts took place, the Svalbard subpopulation was estimated to be 2,500 walruses.”
    Note the statement about haul outs “…in sites on land that have not been used for many decades.”

  62. Just watched a news item on Sky News that was just a PR piece for the WWF. Polar Bear population declining, melting ice, record numbers of Walrus on a beach never seen before, animals in danger of drowning, blah…blah…blah. Pretty much says it all.
    No science. No history. No accuracy. No journalism.

  63. This story featured on all media outlets here in Australia over the last couple of days. Shocking misinformation.

  64. The Polar Bears were telling me that they were mighty happy that the Arctic sea ice was melting more n’ more each year. I asked them why and they told me that the melting sea ice forces the female seals to come ashore to birth their pups.
    HA, …. Mother Nature’s Polar Bear Welfare Program, …. HUH?
    Instead of those bears having to hunt for their food, …… their food now comes to them.

  65. Yumm… BBQ Walrus.
    I will throw them on the BBQ with Polar Bears and Penguins.
    Walrus and Polar Bears are 2 of the most viscous ‘animals’ ever..

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