[Educator-Gold] ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : ANTARCTICA : BIRDS: PENGUINS: Antarctica’s Penguins Could be Decimated by Climate Change

 

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ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

ANTARCTICA :

BIRDS: PENGUINS:

Antarctica’s Penguins Could be Decimated by Climate Change

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Antarctica’s Penguins Could be Decimated by Climate Change

By Elahe Izadi

June 30, 2016

Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/06/30/
antarcticas-penguins-could-be-decimated-by-climate-change/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/gojhk2h

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For millions of years, fluctuating climates have impacted Adie penguins, which breed on ice-free, rocky ground.

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Colder climates and expanding glaciers led penguins to abandon ice-covered breeding habitats. Warming climates and melting glaciers meant more breeding territory for these penguins, one of only two true Antarctic penguin species. (Emperor penguins are the other.)

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But warming may have reached a tipping point  and the Adie penguin population could be decimated.

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Thats according to a study published this week in the journal Scientific Reports, which estimates that Adie colonies could decline by as much as 60 percent by the end of the century.

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It is only in recent decades that we know Adie penguins population declines are associated with warming, which suggests that many regions of Antarctica have warmed too much and that further warming is no longer positive for the species, the papers lead author, University of Delaware researcher Megan Cimino, said in a statement.

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These penguins breed on the entire Antarctic continent.

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Other penguins breed on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, which scientists warn is quickly warming.

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The Adie penguin is already undergoing population declines on the West Antarctic Peninsula, one of the fastest-warming places on the planet.

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But elsewhere on the continent, in places where the climate has remained stable or even cooled, the penguin population has been stable or even increased.

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While in the past, Adie penguin populations were positively affected by warming and negatively affected by cooling, the authors write, this study suggests that in many regions of Antarctica climate warming has tipped past peak suitability so that further warming is no longer beneficial to Adie penguins.

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In particular, climate change could decrease the quality and availability of nesting grounds and food.

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Adie penguins build their nests with pebbles on terrain free of ice and snow. Eggs and chicks need to be kept dry and out of water.

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Warming climates could bring more rain, or prematurely melting snow or ice, meaning more wet terrain.

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For penguins who lay their eggs on the ground, Cimino told National Geographic, rain and puddles are bad because eggs cant survive when theyre lying in a pool of water. Chicks that dont have waterproof feathers can become wet and die from hypothermia.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
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Temple University
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