Tens of thousands of walruses camp out on Alaska shore because sea ice melting profusely.
Tens of thousands of walruses have come ashore in northwest Alaska because the sea ice they normally rest on has melted.
Federal scientists say this massive move to shore by walruses is unusual in the United States. But it has happened at least twice before, in 2007 and 2009. In those years Arctic sea ice also was at or near record low levels.
The population of walruses stretches “for one mile or more. This is just packed shoulder-to-shoulder,” U.S. Geological Survey biologist Anthony Fischbach said in a telephone interview from Alaska. He estimated their number at tens of thousands.
Scientists with two federal agencies are most concerned about the one-ton female walruses stampeding and crushing each other and their smaller calves near Point Lay, Alaska, on the Chukchi Sea. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to change airplane flight patterns to avoid spooking the animals. Officials have also asked locals to be judicious about hunting, said agency spokesman Bruce Woods.
The federal government is in a year-long process to determine if walruses should be put on the endangered species list.
Fischbach said scientists don’t know how long the walrus camp-out will last, but there should be enough food for all of them.
During normal summers, the males go off to play in the Bering Sea, while the females raise their young in the Chukchi. The females rest on sea ice and dive from it to the sea floor for clams and worms.
“When they no longer have a place to rest, they need to go some place and it’s a long commute,” Fischbach said. “This is directly related to the lack of sea ice.”
Loss of sea ice in the Chukchi this summer has surprised scientists because last winter lots of old established sea ice floated into the region, said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. But that has disappeared.
Although last year was a slight improvement over previous years, Serreze says there’s been a long-term decline that he blames on global warming.
“We’ll likely see more summers like this,” he said. “There is no sign of Arctic recovery.”
U.S. Geological Survey walrus research site: http://alaska.usgs.gov/science/biology/walrus/index.html
The National Snow and Ice Data Center: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/index.html
Source: AP News
Conservatives are freaking out over the NFL playing “The Black National Anthem” before games
In a performative gesture that does nothing to discourage police from killing Black people, the National Football League has decided to jump on the feel-good Black-ally bandwagon and play "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" (aka. the Black National Anthem) at the start of every week one game when the season opens on September 10.
The song, which was written in 1900 and set to music in 1905, will reportedly play before the usual national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", and will be presumably be all but forgotten by the NFL after one week.
Predictably, conservatives on social media are using the hashtag #BoycottNFL to express their displeasure:
GOP lawmaker hammered on CNN for ‘idiotic’ claim the economy is too healthy for a new stimulus
On CNN Saturday, financial columnist Michelle Singletary ripped Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) for claiming that the economy may be too good right now for another round of stimulus.
"Do you get the sense that the economy is recovering? And that these check wills not be needed?" asked co-anchor Christi Paul.
"No, I do not get the sense that the economy is recovering," said Singletary. "I mean, we see now with the cases increasing, businesses have to close down again and also people are panicked, so they are staying home because they don't want to be out there and catch it. So this idea that this aid is still not needed, that we're, you know, all happy now, is just not true. It is a false narrative. And it is gonna hurt a lot of people in this country."
Trump’s Mt Rushmore speech trashed on CNN for being nonsense straight out of the ‘Hannity universe’
On CNN Saturday, reporter Brian Stelter tore into President Donald Trump's Mount Rushmore speech.
"The president had a chance to deliver one of these unifying messages, especially ahead of Independence Day, but instead he chose to go on the attack," said anchor Christi Paul. "Do you think that was the right strategy and why?"
"It sounded like a Stephen Miller speech," said Stelter. "And that is something that appeals to the parts of the president's base that he really focuses on. This is wartime conservativism [sic], this belief that conservatives are at war trying to protect the country from change."