The Spectator

How often do you see a walrus in Britain?

[Getty Images]

Tusk force

A new year firework display in Scarborough was cancelled for fear of disturbing a walrus which was resting on the seafront. How unusual is it to see a walrus in Britain?

– There have been 27 recorded sightings in UK waters in the past 130 years, the most recent in Seahouses Harbour, Northumberland, in November 2021.

– In the same year a walrus continued even further south, visiting northern Spain before returning to the Arctic.

– There have been 11 sightings in Irish waters over the past century. A 125-stone walrus was responsible for sinking several anchored boats in Irish harbours in 2021.

Top of the crops

A Radio 4 programme, Rethink, repeated claims that crop yields could fall by 30 per cent by 2050 as a result of climate change.   What is happening to crop yields in the real world? Change in yields 2011-20:

Maize 11.9%

Potatoes 10.3%

Soy beans 10.3%

Wheat 9.8%

Rice 3.5%

Cassava -8.5%

Source: UN Food and Agriculture Organisation

Growing pains

The IMF said that it expected a third of the global economy to be in recession this year.   The best and the worst years for global economic growth since 1961:

Best

1964                 6.6% 

1973                 6.4%

1968                 5.9%

2021                 5.9%  

1969                 5.8%  

Worst

2020              -3.1%

2009              -1.3%

1982               0.4%

1975               0.6%

1991               1.5%

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Source: World Bank

Hit the gas

Wholesale gas prices – as measured by the Dutch Title Transfer Facility – fell back to €80 per MWh, the level at which they were on 23 February 2022, the day before Russia invaded Ukraine.

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