Posts Tagged ‘Bear island’

Annual walrus and melting ice alarm regurgitated by gullible media

October 2, 2014

The Gullible Guardian has this headline today:

Flights re-routed to avoid walrus stampede on Alaska beach

But far from being anything unusual this is an annual event.

Back in 2010 I posted

Walrus and melting ice story was a hoax

These claims of melting ice and unprecedented walrus behaviour are regurgitated by the Global Warming media year after year and by the ever less credible WWF. As zoologist Dr Susan Crockford points out, such stampedes are nothing new and are not due to low ice cover and the alarmist hype is blatant nonsense. 

Mass haulouts of Pacific walrus and stampede deaths are not new, not due to low ice cover

Large haulouts of walruses — such as the one making news at Point Lay, Alaska on the Chukchi Sea (and which happened before back in 2009) — are not a new phenomenon for this region over the last 45 years and thus cannot be due to low sea ice levels. Nor are deaths by stampede within these herds (composed primarily of females and their young) unusual, as a brief search of the literature reveals.

The attempts by WWF and others to link this event to global warming is self-serving nonsense that has nothing to do with science.

This may have been one of the biggest onshore gatherings of the animals documented in Northwest Alaska that has been photographed but it is not the only time this has happened.

At least two documented incidents like this have occurred in the recent past: one in 1978, on St. Lawrence Island and the associated Punuk Islands and the other in 1972, on Wrangell Island (Fay and Kelly 1980, excerpts below). …….. 

The Walrus Islands — State Game Sanctuary was founded in 1960 and walrus numbers are up sharply since that time.

Best known among the WISGS islands is Round Island, where each summer large numbers of male walruses haul out on exposed, rocky beaches. Round Island is one of four major terrestrial haulouts in Alaska; the others are Capes Peirce (Togiak NWR), Newenham (Togiak NWR), and Seniavin (near Port Moller). Male walrus return to these haulouts every spring as the ice pack recedes northward, remaining in Bristol Bay to feed they haul out at these beach sites for several days between each feeding foray. The number of walrus using the island fluctuates significantly from year to year. However, up to 14,000 walrus have been counted on Round Island in a single day.

That environmental alarmists try and hype this annual event is understandable since they need to justify and reaffirm their religious beliefs. That the mainstream media are gullible enough to regurgitate this nonsense year after year is more disappointing.

Undersea volcanic activity creating new island chain at Norway’s Loki’s Castle

August 3, 2013

South of Svalbard between Norway and Greenland there is vigorous and active field of hydrothermal vents on the sea floor along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The field lies in Norwegian waters and is located at  73°33′N 8°09′Ø, about 300 km west of Bear Island and about 600km east of Jan Mayen Island and at a depth of about 2,350m. It was discovered in 2008 by researchers from the University of Bergen and has been called Loki’s Castle (Lokes slott in Norwegian).

Loki's Castle on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Loki’s Castle on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

In 2008, University of Bergen researchers found metal deposits and unique wildlife in the environment created by the hydrothermal vents.

University of Bergen News

This summer a team led by the director of UiB’s Centre for Geobiology, Professor Rolf Birger Pedersen, discovered five new hydrothermal vents in Loki’s Castle. The vents were discovered at depths ranging from 100 to 2,500 metres. In this area, which is the most geological active part of Norway, a new volcanic seabed is formed at a rate of two centimetres a year.

… Norway is a volcanic country on par with Iceland. The difference being that whereas Iceland’s volcanoes are onshore, Norway’s volcano landscape is in the deep sea. Norway’s volcanoes are lined up underwater in large active earthquake zones, and there are hydrothermal vents churning out hot water – at 320 degrees Celsius – which gives rise to unique ecosystems and metal deposits on the seabed. ….

…. For the past ten years, researchers and students from the centre have explored this volcanic underwater world. Through their summer expeditions to the area, they have discovered new Norwegian nature every year. In this period they have surveyed hundreds of undersea volcanoes and a number of hydrothermal vents. Loki’s Castle (Lokeslottet), Soria Moria and Trollveggen are the names given to the hydrothermal vents discovered by the UiB researchers in 2005 and 2008. ..

 They have found significant metal deposits that are formed around the hydrothermal vents in Loki’s Castle. The material value of these deposits remains unknown, but the mining industry is already showing a growing interest in exploiting these resources on the seabed. Deep-ocean mining could become a reality in the not too distant future. The distinctive wildlife in the deep seas, with the hydrothermal vents as oases of a unique genetic life, means that any industrial activity must be weighed against environmental concerns.

Based on their knowledge, the UiB researchers are thus proposing that deep-marine nature parks should be established as soon as possible. This is of particular importance for Norway, with vast deep-sea areas to manage. This management must be based on scientific knowledge.

Video of the undersea volcanoes.

The Local

“We have discovered five new vent fields in Norwegian national waters between Jan Mayen island and Loki’s Castle,” Rolf Pedersen, the professor leading the research, told The Local.  “The vent fields were discovered during a cruise with RV GO Sars in July this summer. ……. 

Pedersen made his name in 2008 when he discovered the underwater volcanic range Loki’s Castle. The new discovery comprises hundreds more volcanos, some just 20m below the surface. 
 
“We have found volcanoes at such a shallow level and they could break the surface at any time and form a new island group,” Pedersen told VG newspaper.  “We have long known that Iceland has both volcanic activity and hot springs, but we thought that we did not have anything like that in Norway. But we do, it was only under water.” 
 
The scientists have already discovered some 50 new species on the site, which Olsen said could lead to new drugs being developed. 
 
“There are biological species which haven’t been discovered before that live in extremely harsh environments. This brings the potential to discover new molecules that we haven’t been aware of which could be used in the development of drugs.” 
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In Norse mythology Loki was one of the jǫtnar, a mythological race, and a god.

Loki is the son of Fárbauti and Laufey, and the brother of Helblindi and Býleistr. By the jötunn Angrboða, Loki is the father of Hel, the wolf Fenrir, and the world serpent Jörmungandr. By his wife Sigyn, Loki is the father of Narfi and/or Nari. And by the stallion Svaðilfari, Loki is the mother—giving birth in the form of amare—to the eight-legged horse Sleipnir. In addition, Loki is referred to as the father of Váli in the Prose Edda.

Loki’s relation with the gods varies by source. Loki sometimes assists the gods and sometimes causes problems for them. Loki is a shape shifter and in separate incidents he appears in the form of a salmon, mare, seal, a fly, and possibly an elderly woman. Loki’s positive relations with the gods end with his role in engineering the death of the god Baldr. Loki is eventually bound by the gods with the entrails of one of his sons.


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