Temperature warming kills penguins

Temperature warming kills penguinsThe recent researchers, conducted by University of Delaware, predict that approximately 30 percent of current Adélie penguin colonies may be in decline by 2060, and almost 60 percent may be in decline by 2099. The main reason of such a decline is associated with warming -- many regions of Antarctica have warmed too much and further warming is no longer positive for the species.

Climate change can have profound effects on penguins’ terrestrial nesting sites and marine food resources.

The geologic record shows that as glaciers expanded and covered Adélie breeding habitats with ice, penguin colonies were abandoned. When the glaciers melted during warming periods, this warming positively affected the Adélie penguins, allowing them to return to their rocky breeding grounds.

But now, University of Delaware scientists and colleagues report that this beneficial warming may have reached its tipping point. The researchers reported that climate change impacts on penguins in the Antarctic will likely be highly site specific based on regional climate trends, and that a southward contraction in the range of Adélie penguins is likely over the next century.
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