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One day it might even affect us!


Thousands of walrus have appeared on Alaska's northwest coast in what conservationists are calling a dramatic consequence of global warming melting the Arctic sea ice.
It looks to me like animals are shifting their distribution to find prey," said Tim Ragen, executive director of the federal Marine Mammal Commission. "The big question is whether they will be able to find sufficient prey in areas where they are looking."

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder, September sea ice was 39 percent below the long-term average from 1979 to 2000. Sea ice cover is in a downward spiral and may have passed the point of no return, with a possible ice-free Arctic Ocean by summer 2030, senior scientist Mark Serreze said.

Starting in July, several thousand walrus abandoned the ice pack for gathering spots known as haulouts between Barrow and Cape Lisburne, a remote, 300-mile stretch of Alaska coastline.

The immediate concern of new, massive walrus groups for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is danger to the animals from stampedes. Panic caused by a low-flying airplane, a boat or an approaching polar bear can send a herd rushing to the sea. Young animals can be crushed by adults weighing 2,000 pounds or more.

Longer term, biologists fear walrus will suffer nutritional stress if they are concentrated on shoreline rather than spread over thousands of miles of sea ice.

Deborah Williams - who was an Interior Department special assistant for Alaska under former President Bill Clinton, and who is now president of the nonprofit Alaska Conservation Solutions - said melting of sea ice and its effects on wildlife were never even discussed during her federal service from 1995 to 2000.

"That's what so breathtaking about this," she said. "This has all happened faster than anyone could have predicted. That's why it's so urgent action must be taken."

And Japan is suffering from giant killer jellyfish:

Since last summer, Japanese waters have been inundated with the massive sea creatures, which can grow 6.5 feet (2 meters) wide and weigh up to 450 pounds (220 kilograms).

Though the jellyfish are more common in Chinese and Korean waters, their numbers have grown a hundredfold in some areas off Japan, causing a crisis in the local fishing industry.

The invertebrates are choking fishing nets and poisoning the catch with their toxic stingers, fishers say. And although reports of serious human injury are rare, there are records of people dying from the creature's noxious sting.

Also: Top Five Nastiest Creatures Getting Stronger Due to Climate Change

By fnord12 | October 8, 2007, 1:38 PM | Liberal Outrage


mebbe the japanese are being punished for their attempts to rewrite history.

[The] Japanese government is now denying, in new high school textbooks, that Okinawans had been coerced by Imperial Army troops into committing mass suicide.

And before this, they were trying to deny wartime sex slaves.

A much better approach would be the one we use in the U.S. Never talk about the horrible things you've done and in time, the citizens themselves will begin to rewrite history for you. This way you don't have to worry about protests. For example, "the founding fathers were devout Christians and those are the principles they founded this country on". That's a good one.

More people should be punished with GIANT JELLYFISH!

i wonder if they're delicious jellyfish. they should just eat them.

"As the research continues, Japanese fishers continue to grapple with another issue: What to do with all the jellyfish they've caught? So far, resourceful anglers have turned their unwanted catch into crab food, fertilizer, and novelty snacks�served dried and salted. "

Oh come on. Japan is always being attacked by a giant something or other. Don't you remember all those documenteries from when you were kids? The ones with the giant fire-breathing lizard, and the smog monster?