Remember all the fuss over Walruses and Climate Change? Never Mind

Breaking: Pacific walrus is not threatened with extinction says US Fish & Wildlife

“U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said they cannot determine with certainty that walruses are likely to become endangered “in the foreseeable future,” which the agency defines as the year 2060.”

(CBC, 4 October 2017).

Walrus female Point Lay Alaska_Ryan Kingsbery USGS

“The agency said in 2011 that walruses deserve the additional protection of being declared threatened, but delayed a listing because other species were a higher priority.

The agency revised the decision based on new information, said Patrick Lemons, the agency’s marine mammals management chief.

“Walrus demonstrated much more ability to change their behaviours than previously thought,” Lemons said. Their ability to rest on shorelines before swimming to foraging areas makes the threat of less sea ice uncertain, he added.”

Read more at Dr. Susan Crockford’s Website


Readers may recall that environmentalists and alarmists tried to link the Walrus and climate change due to the “disappearing sea-ice” argument. WUWT covered some of the claims:

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

How Climate Alarmists Continue to Hijack Successful Walrus Conservation

Climate Alarmists rush to judgment on dead walruses, ignore other possibilities

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72 thoughts on “Remember all the fuss over Walruses and Climate Change? Never Mind

    • Yes, there was a proposal to do that and for good reason – the Walrus is a shallow water feeder and between feeding needs to haul out somewhere safe – i.e. an ice floe

      In the last decade the ice has rapidly retreated from the Alaskan coast and parts of Siberia, leaving no ice over shallow water.

      The Walrus are forced to haul out on land where they are vulnerable – especially to crushing each other in stampedes when disturbed.

      The Walrus is definitely in trouble and to suggest otherwise is poor science.

      This from 2012 – it has not been any better in terms of ice conditions in most years since

      https://www.livescience.com/24841-ice-loss-changes-walrus-behavior.html

      • “The Walrus is definitely in trouble and to suggest otherwise is poor science.”

        Balderdash.

        Ed (Griff) I’ll take the ruling of the USFWS on this issue over your anonymous opinion everyday of the week and twice on Sundays.

      • Well they seem to have survived the Medievil Warm Period fairly successfully …. there is no evidence that the walrus is in any danger and to suggest otherwise is just alarmist propaganda.

        It is not science it is science fiction that is avidly consumed and regurgitated by the average gullible warmist who wishes the world hadn’t resolutely refused to warm over the last 20 years.

        All these alarmist predictions are based on the premise that no species has the ability to alter its behaviour or territory in response to change, and as we know very well that premise is complete and utter nonsense.

        Were it not arrant nonsense then there would be little or no life on earth today.

        But, as it happens, the complete opposite is true and species have amazing abilities to adapt, change and evolve and that is precisely why we have the truly astounding range of species and sub speeices that earth hosts today. Try reading up on the Galapagos islands and the species they contain to get some understanding of the way in which evolution and diversification occurs naturally in response to different stimuli. You might then begin to appreciate how nonsensical some of these alarmist claims are.

      • Griff, your unsubstantiated claims are absurd,since there were LONG periods of time in the early inter-glacial period with little to NO Summer ice in the arctic. It lasted for a few thousand years,yet here they are still alive and in good shape.

        I told you this over and over,with actual published science papers,you apparently ignore them.Here is one for MWP time frame,you have seen before,it was originally published in 1975:

        Birds and Climatic Change
        Kenneth Williamson

        “HISTORICAL REVIEW
        Between 1000 and 1300 average summer temperatures were about 1°C higher
        than today, with the mean annual temperature higher by perhaps 4°C in a
        largely ice-free Arctic. Eric the Red, a renowned world citizen of that time, has
        been much maligned as the first progressive publicity man for giving Greenland
        a false image in order to attract settlers; but in truth, the southwest of that vast
        country was warmer and greener by far than at any time until the Fieldfares
        Turdus pilaris arrived there in the mid-1930s. The sea-temperature of the Atlantic
        was higher than it has been since, and there appears to have been none or very
        little ice to hinder the Vikings’ communications between Iceland, Greenland,
        Newfoundland and Labrador (Mowat 1965). Indeed Brooks (1926) considers that
        the polar ice-cap may have disappeared entirely during the summer months, to
        build anew each winter.”

        http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00063657509476459

        You are here to spread lies and disinformation.

      • Livescience.com ranks as low as Wikipedia as an accurate source of information in my book. Too many times it has misrepresented something I know and understand well enough to see its flaws. The science it presents may or may not be faulty, but the way the writers mangle and manipulate it does a disservice.

      • Old England, not just the Midieval warm period, but also the Roman and Minoan warm periods, which were even warmer.

      • Griff: “The Walrus is definitely in trouble and to suggest otherwise is poor science.”

        It may be in some trouble, but still not be in enough trouble to be endangered. Right?

      • “…especially to crushing each other in stampedes when disturbed.”
        I hate to feed trolls, but this is too ridiculous. You state the poor walruses are in trouble. Then you turn around and defeat your own argument by talking stampedes.
        I don’t know about where you’re from, but I’m from cattle country. No one counts it as a stampede unless there are lots of critters.
        Lots of critters sounds to me as if the walruses are abundant.

      • So Skanky, because you read some twaddle on some alarmist publication by some journalist** with zero relevant qualifications and no published work on any subject whatsoever you are now claiming to be a bigger expert on walrus behaviour and environmental requirements than the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I suppose you’re going to tell us that they haven’t published any peer reviewed papers that pass the standard required to be approved by your friends on the Guardian blogs, right?
        And you had the damn gall to try to damage Dr. Crockford’s scientific credibility too.
        You really are a piece of work, aren’t you?

        **https://www.nasw.org/users/boskin/

  1. Resilience? Have any of these bloviating alarm-hyping people ever seen a walrus attack a polar bear? They make polar bears look like midgets.

    They can hold their own, no matter what we do, for a good reason: they adapt to the neighborhood they’re in.

      • Hot dang. Lol that poor bear.

        I can recall from my childhood seeing a stuffed elephant seal at my local museum. Because I’ve never seen anything outside zoos larger than a horse…

        It was hyuge. And still every time I visit I go “it’s hyuge”.

        Knowing Gaia is sustaining thousands of Blue Whales & African Es and 10 billion humans (no typo) is simply beautiful.

  2. D’oh! Now they need to go find another climate mascot/canary in the coal mine. Ever since they lost poly bears, it’s been a continual search. Hey, how about bunnies?

  3. Its odd….

    I can’t find ANY reference ANYWHERE on the media – about how Arctic Sea Ice has stopped melting (well within normal parameters) and is increasing again ready for winter…

    Why is this I wonder..? Surely cause for concern..? You know – reports of ‘Climate Alarmists Unable to Row/Sail/Paddle To The North Pole’…?

    We should be told….

  4. As walrus survived the Medieval Warm, the Roman, the Minoan, and a few other complete ice age cycles, claims of just how climate sensitive the beasties are is exaggerated.

    • “As walrus survived the Medieval Warm, the Roman, the Minoan…”

      That was a different type of warming than warming from the dreaded CO2 molecule(s).

      • I think the usual grasping-at-straws answer is that those periods occurred SLOWLY. And our unmeasurable man-made warming is occurring MUCH FASTER. You know, tenths of a degree per decade, or per century, no way can those mammals keep up!

  5. Walrus demonstrated much more ability to change their behaviours than previously thought. Alarmists and environmentalist have yet to follow.

  6. Actually Walrus have no need whatsoever for sea ice. The only reason they use it fairly often today is that they have been exterminated by hunting in more southerly areas.

    In the Middle Ages there was walrus in northern Norway and the Kola Coast. There is never any sea-ice there.

    There was a walrus colony on Sable Island off Nova Scotia until they were hunted to extinction in the late eighteenth century. Never any sea-ice there either. Walrus occurred regularly as far south as the Bay of Fundy in colonial times.

    My own experience of walrus is exclusively from Svalbard. There walrus almost always haul out on land, even when there is ice nearby. I’ve only seen a single walrus on sea-ice once, out of a couple of thousand individuals seen.

    So, no, walrus haven’t “demonstrated much more ability to change their behaviours than previously thought”. They have only demonstrated their normal behaviour.

      • Are you joking or serious?

        And pray just which predators would the walrus be protected from on the ice? Killer whales and Polar Bears are about the only natural predators, and neither is likely to be deterred by water.

        For your information I have personally stood within 50 feet of a major haulout on Hinlopenstraedet, including many females with unweaned young. There was plenty of ice out in the strait but the benighted walrus probably don’t read Huffingtonpost. They do have rather bad vision on land, which is why you can approach them quite closely without being noticed if you move slowly, silently and against the wind.

        The only case I could think of where walrus could be seriously discommoded by decreasing sea-ice is where there are extensive feeding areas far from any suitable shore. This might be applicable to parts of the Laptev Sea, but hardly anywhere else. They do swim rather well you know.

      • “Walrus have an absolute need for sea ice”

        Clearly not. For years now, females have been using beaches at the edge of the Chukchi Sea (in Alaska and Russia) as a feeding platform in summer when there has been no ice.

        The water off these beaches is shallow enough for feeding and there is no evidence the walrus are suffering from lack of food under these circumstances.

      • “Walrus have an absolute need for sea ice.”

        Good thing there is still SO MUCH sea ice up there then , isn’t it griff.

        You do know that current sea ice levels are above what they have been for some 90-95% of the last 10,000 years, don’t you?

        Or are you remaining wilfully ignorant.

      • ´Somehow Griff always makes me think of a Newspeak word from 1984: “goodthinkful”, meaning incapable of thinking an unortodox thought and capable of swallowing absolutely anything, no matter how absurd, put out by the authorities.

      • Walruses don’t have a need for sea ice as much as they have a “use” for sea ice. While not necessary sea ice does afford a limited sanctuary away from terrestrial predators such as MAN. If anyone’s habits have changed it is man’s. The haul-outs won’t be experiencing the predation from humans they once did. I would expect the more southern walruses populations to regain their status.

      • Huff.Post and Nasa’s “Vital signs of the planet are two of the worst sources of unbiased information and two of your favorites.

      • So now you are claiming the Puffington Host to be a more reliable source of information than the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are you?
        Your level of invincible ignorance and arrogance is truly unrivalled.
        Does it never bother you that every time you post you make a total laughing stock of yourself?

      • I won’t resort to a genetic fallacy. This is not a genetic fallacy.

        HuffPost was founded by an ideaologue to spread her ideaology. It has never changed it’s mission.

        I am justified ignoring it as much as I am to ignore FoxNews or DaikyKos. Because neither give adequate sources.

        I follow the path of TL;DR
        – Citation Needed, Please

        (If the source is within the linked article, then provide it directly. Providing secondary level sources only tells me an InvestiGoogle was performed. I had my fill of that crap with the ‘9/11 was thermite/ a laser weapons’ people).

    • Griff is clearly ignorant of walrus history with his empty assertion “Walrus have an absolute need for sea ice”

      In the 70s walrus researchers argued just the opposite: heavy sea ice detrimental an was preventing walrus from accessing their feeding grounds. All the Little Ice Age reports noted walrus resting on land. Walrus in the Bering Sea migrate south for the summer away from any sea ice into more open waters.

      Griff is simply a fact denying troll.

      • You are too polite. “Griff is clearly ignorant of walrus history”. Four words would suffice.

  7. UK’s Guardian and Independent both ran big shouty spreads on walrus haul-outs. Challenges to their faux-certainty were met with walls of outraged alarmist arrogance. All wrong then, still wrong today. Expect an apology and retraction from both outlets about the same time a walrus flies to the moon.

  8. I guess the alarm would be 1000 times as great if 35 million walruses “hauled out” . The miserable status of biological sciences is a template for what happens to science when mixed with activism. Activism is a killer of objectivity. Activism has been a hallmark of biological practice for generations. Ehrlich is the icon of this stasis in his science.

    Biochemistry and genetics have undergone miracles in development while their parent discipline has stagnated since the 19th century. How is it possible, for example, that a geologist can know more about corals, their adaptability, their robust successful biogical system, of which bleaching and recovery are a part, as is the grand variety of species that have marched along for 500million years in the face of the most harrowing changes in temperature, sea level swings of many hundreds of feet, volcanism, earthquakes, tsunami (corals appear to like and flourish with these exciting events) and disastrous impacts of bolides that killed off most creatures on earth.

    How is it that biologists panic and report massive wildlife deaths when penguins, caribou, polar bears and walruses aren’t where they were last time they checked. These are venerable travellers. How come I, as a layman, know this important part of their behavior and they don’t?

    How come biologists killed-off the golden toad of Costa Rica by infecting them with dirty rubber gloves and field gear used around the world in the push for development of the best pregnancy testing kits for humans (a deadly fungus, harbored by a South African toad, which is part of his territorial protection against intruding species, was the killer. Even a physician would have told these herptologists this was bad field practice).

    Possibly for some, a snake sloughing his skin, or a bird or fur-bearing creature moulting is a sign of illness from pollution!! Thank goodness for the few embattled fine biologists like Jim Steele (who was sneeringly called a bird call expert for correctly diagnosing the cause of the Great BR bleaching which had the world’s largest coral science institution in a panic over CAGW ) and Susan Crockford who correctly pronounced the polar bear and walrus to be in fine shape in the face of the fear of extinction by the world’s polar bear specialists.

  9. I never cease to be amazed at the way in which “climatologists” draw vast conclusions from half-vast observations.

  10. From the detailed FWS report on the decision not to list the Pacific walrus (see my site for the pdf):

    “We found that the Pacific walrus population appears to possess degrees of resiliency, representation, and redundancy that have allowed it to cope with the changing environments of the last decade.

    Although changes in resiliency, representation, and redundancy of the subspecies during this time would be difficult to detect for a species with a 15-year generational timeframe, few malnourished or diseased animals are observed, and reproduction is higher than in the 1970s–1980s, when the population was thought to have reached carrying capacity and subsequently declined.

    Consequently, the current prey base of Pacific walruses appears adequate to meet the energetic and physiological demands of the population.

    Survival rates are higher than in the 1970s–1980s, and harvest levels have also decreased.”

  11. The good old CBC (program: As It Happens”) had a lengthy talk with a female rep of the ” Center for Biological Diversity”. Naturally she was given pride of place. I’ll be sending this WUWT posting to the CBC as soon as I finish writing this short note.

  12. I don’t know what happened, but the message above got sent before I had planned (and under the name of climatetruthinitiative instead of my own name, which I have been doing for well over a year). What I wanted to know is whether the “Center for Biological Diversity” is among the same group as the WWF, Sierra Club, etc.

    Ian

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