Late last week a strong Bering Sea storm hit the region, bringing winds up to 50mph, blowing snow, and high-water. Some communities saw significant erosion while others were mostly unscathed.
For the second year in a row, dead seabirds are washing up on beaches throughout the region by the hundreds. The birds appear to be starving, but scientists say the story is more complicated.
Earlier this week, a pod of about nine Bowhead whales were seen off the northern coast of Savoonga but young ice conditions around St. Lawrence Island prevented hunting. If local hunters hauled a whale out onto young ice, it would break apart.
The main Bering Sea ice pack has begun its retreat to the north after extending to the Pribilofs earlier this month. This winter’s freeze-up has been reminiscent of more historical sea ice conditions.
GOLOVIN RESIDENTS ARE IN CLEANUP MODE as their community works to restore power, phone service and clear debris. After the flood waters receded from the weekend’s severe fall storm, some locals are left with feet of sand in their homes. “At my place we’ve got three feet of sand we’re still shoveling out with the crew here, trying to get the sand out of the living area so we can get the sheetrock to go ahead and dry off,” Alaska Senator Donny Olson of Golovin said.
Sea ice extent in the Bering Sea was at record low levels at the end of 2020. And with recent strong northerly winds combined with mild temperatures, sea ice coverage in the Bering Strait region is still not ideal.
Coastal seabirds have experienced significant die-offs in Western Alaska the past few years. But recent results suggest that offshore birds are also feeling the impact of low ice and warming ocean temperatures in the Bering Sea.
Fishermen fishing close to the shore in the Baltic Sea have seen a steady decline in herring and Baltic herring catches over many years. Large-scale trawling further out at sea could be one of the reasons behind it.
For the first time, cod and squid have been found deep in the water at the center of the ocean. The research by Pauline Snoeijs Leijonmalm, a professor at Stockholm University, was part of the Mosaic expedition, an icebreaker that spent a year trapped in the Arctic's ice.