Ice-free re­pose

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - WORLD -

Rapidly re­treat­ing Arc­tic sea ice has driven sev­eral hun­dred Pa­cific wal­rus to an Alaskan bar­rier is­land two weeks ear­lier than ever ob­served.

The marine mam­mals have his­tor­i­cally con­ducted their “haulout” on sea ice, where they rest and feed.

But they be­gan show­ing up in­stead on Point Lay along the Chukchi Sea coast in 2007 as global warm­ing melted their icy habi­tat.

Up to 40,000 of the marine mam­mals have crowded onto the nar­row is­land in re­cent years, putting them at risk of deadly stam­pedes.

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