SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Two recent gray whale sightings on the other side of the world may suggest that climate change is forcing them to expand their habitat.

A pair of sightings, one off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea in 2010, and the other three years later off the coast of Namibia have left experts baffled.  Scientists using fossil records believe gray whales once inhabited the Atlantic Ocean, but hadn’t been seen there in over 300-years.

Gray whales are likely to be strongly affected by Arctic climate change, and a new study revealed that the recent sightings could represent the beginning of the specie’s habitat expansion in response to that change.

Rising temperatures in the Arctic could be opening up passages for the whales to migrate into new feeding grounds in the Atlantic.