SAN DIEGO (CBS) — The sighting of a gray whale off the coast of Israel has scientists concerned about what it could mean for climate change.

The whale was first spotted on May 8, 2010, off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea, according to San Diego’s CBS8. It was then spotted 22 days later off the coast of Spain and has not been seen since.

“We actually think it belongs to what’s known as the California population of gray whales and that it’s actually a stray,” said Dr. David Weller of the NOAA Southwest Fisheries.

Scientists believe the Mediterranean sighting may signal a change in migration for the species. Grey whales have not been spotted in the Atlantic Ocean since the 18th Century when they became extinct there for unknown reasons.

“We may see a reoccupation of the Atlantic by species that haven’t been there in quite some time,” Dr. Weller said.

Migration along North America’s West coast is common, as a large pod, numbering around 20,000 whales, has a yearly migration route between Alaska and Baja California. Scientists believe this whale could have traveled through the Northwest Passage when sea ice melted in 2007, allowing for it to navigate the seas to the shores of Israel.

“We are seeing a cascading effect of all of the ecology across the Arctic. And what the gray whale has shown us . . . is that animals are acting as indicators of climate change. They’re showing us what can now be done and what they’re capable of. The consequences are yet to be determined,” Dr. Weller said.

Comments (8)
  1. Robear in Ojai says:


    but, really, “Climaete”?

    when editors can’t even use spell-check, we’re in trouble!

    1. ounce says:

      Capitalize much?

  2. jaided says:

    really, checking for grammar mistakes in a news article really? what are u a teacher with no papers to grade. big deal get over it. u knew what he meant and thats what counts. really. what a dork.

  3. rjsmitty says:

    the animal is sick and dying that is whats going on.

  4. Glenn E Grab says:

    what a waste of ink!

    1. no one says:

      I don’t know what kind of computer you’re using, but there’s no ink involved.

  5. How about the scientists talk about what they and our military have done to the whales’ ears and navigational skills? It’s not all “climate change”!

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