Alaska Walruses Without Ice

“an unusual gathering on a barrier island in Alaska. ”  They’d normally be out on the floating ice after foraging, but there is no ice this year near their feeding grounds.  Arctic sea ice is at the 3rd lowest point in recorded history.

Walruses Swarm Beaches as Ice Melts

National Geographic


Biologists with the USGS say the situation can be very dangerous because walruses are easily startled, and can stampede. Some walruses, particularly calves and juveniles, can get crushed to death by larger walruses moving about.

Meltdown – The demise of America’s glaciers


America’s three “benchmark” glaciers are melting and over the past two decades they have been shrinking at an accelerated rate because of global warming.

The glaciers in Alaska and Washington have undergone a “rapid and sustained” loss of mass since 1989. Scientists at the U.S. Geologic Survey think this “decline could be the result of recent climate changes” overcoming seasonal fluctuations that impact the glaciers’ size.

These findings, “Fifty-Year Record of Glacier Change Reveals Shifting Climate in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, USA“, were released in a report by the USGS on Thursday.

The southern-most glacier in the study, South Cascade Glacier in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, has lost almost half of its volume and a quarter of its mass since the USGS began collecting data in 1957.

This picture sequence shows the retreat of the South Cascade Glacier during the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st century. This glacier is melting at a rate that may cause it to disappear in 50 years.