This Associated Press story is bound to strike fear in the hearts of all who love walruses or any of the other cute polar animals on “Animal Planet,” unless of course one looks more deeply into their claim:

An estimated 35,000 walrus were photographed Saturday about 5 miles north of Point Lay, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Point Lay is an Inupiat Eskimo village 300 miles southwest of Barrow and 700 miles northwest of Anchorage.

The AP interviewed global warming advocates World Wildlife Fund (WWF), asking them to provide a reason for the gathering of walruses.

The World Wildlife Fund said walrus have also been gathering in large groups on the Russian side of the Chukchi Sea.

“It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss,” said Margaret Williams, managing director of the group’s Arctic program, by phone from Washington, D.C. “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 for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change.”

The WWF is not the best source for the AP to ask about the walruses. After all, the organization’s three biggest accomplishments are embarrassing the IPCC by providing bogus information which was included in the UN group’s previous climate change report, distributing tote bags with drawings of cute panda bears, and forcing the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) to change its name to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) because it trademarked those particular letters of the alphabet.

Personally, while I believe that Hulk Hogan has done more for the world than tote bags with cute panda bears, it was important to investigate the [panda bear tote bag]  WWF walrus  claim anyway.

The blog Polar Bear Science  had the best explanation. It was kind of like a walrus convention. Just like America’s two major political parties, walruses get together like that every few years.

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)

If a global warming created ice melt was indeed happening, the total population of walruses would shrink because their little flippers would get tired and they would drown. But Polar Bear Science adds:

Walrus numbers are up considerably from the 1960s, although they are notoriously difficult to count (Garlich-Miller et al. 2011)

Population sizes may fluctuate for a number of reasons that have little to do with the low ice levels: note these very recent incidents of large walrus herds and associated mortality events (2009, 2011 and 2014) have not coincided with the lowest levels of summer sea ice in the area, which occurred in 2007 and 2012.

As for the melting arctic ice cap, that is part of the normal fluctuations of the Earth’s climate. The most recent report from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, which is co-funded by NASA reveals that August 2014 levels are the highest recorded since 2006 and represent an increase of 1.71 million square kilometers over the past two years, “an impressive 43 per cent.”

Finally October 1, 2014 marks an important date in “global warming” history. It marked 18 full years since the Earth last warmed.

The Earth’s temperature has “plateaued” and there has been no global warming for at least the last 18 years, says Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at the University of Alabama/Huntsville.

“That’s basically a fact. There’s not much to comment on,” Christy said when asked him to remark on the lack of global warming for nearly two decades as of October 1st.

The “plateau” is evident in the climate record Christy and former NASA scientist Roy Spencer compiled using actual raw temperature data collected from 14 instruments aboard various weather satellites.

If the the Associated Press had done some homework instead of listening to everything said by the organization that forced the World Wrestling Federation to change its stationary, it would have known that walruses congregate like this every few years, the Arctic ice is growing, and there has been no global warming for 18 years, the combination of which destroys their argument regarding walruses and global warming.