Thousands of walruses come ashore due to climate change

Record numbers of Pacific walruses are coming ashore in northwest Alaska as they are unable to find sea ice for resting in Arctic waters, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.

Last Saturday, nearly 35,000 walrus were seen resting about 5 miles north of Point Lay - an Inupiat Eskimo village located seven hundred miles northwest of Anchorage. The agency also saw nearly 50 carcasses on the beach Point Lay. The deaths might have caused during an apparent stampede.

The large gathering of walrus was spotted during annual arctic marine mammal aerial survey that NOAA carried out in partnership with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has also found that walrus have been coming in large groups for resting on Russian side of the Chukchi Sea.

Experts have blamed global warming or climate change for the growing problem because increasing temperatures are causing more arctic ice to melt.

Margaret Williams, managing director of WWF's Arctic program, warned that the arrival of more and more walruses to beaches was a big sign of the dramatic changes in environmental conditions.

Speaking on the issue, Williams added, "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 … to take action to address the root causes of climate change."

This summer, the Arctic Sea ice's annual low point was the sixth smallest since satellite monitoring started in 1979.