It is reported that a group of emperor penguins living in Antarctica failed to breed due to the effects of global warming


Christopher Michel

Emperor penguins , which are known to breed on ice shelves along the coast of Antarctica, are in danger of declining populations due to the melting of sea ice due to global warming. In 2022, record sea ice melt occurred in Antarctica, and four emperor penguin colonies were found to be failing to reproduce.

Record low 2022 Antarctic sea ice led to catastrophic breeding failure of emperor penguins | Communications Earth & Environment

Mass die-off strikes endangered emperor penguin chicks across 4 of 5 West Antarctica colonies | Live Science

Penguin Breeding Colonies Catastrophically Failing as Ice Vanishes in Antarctica : ScienceAlert

Loss of sea ice causes catastrophic breeding failure for emperor penguins - British Antarctic Survey

Emperor penguins, which form large colonies on Antarctic sea ice throughout the year, lay eggs between May and June in the Antarctic winter, and incubate the eggs while the females that have given birth go to forage for nourishment. It is known that males who do it have a harsh parenting condition in which they are in a fasting state for a total of more than 100 days. The emperor penguin chicks grow from juvenile fluff to plumage suitable for swimming, and then leave the nest from their parent birds when summer comes from December to January.

However, in early December 2022, Antarctic sea ice extent hit a record low since observations began in 1979. The graph below shows the area of sea ice in Antarctica. 2023 shows the lowest area on record for most of the period.

In particular, sea ice has been reported to have decreased by 100% compared to summer in the central and eastern regions of the Bellingshausen Sea in the western Antarctic Peninsula. The figure below shows the melting of sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea. Large-scale melting of sea ice has occurred in the areas shown in red.

Five colonies of emperor penguins were observed to exist in the region, but four colonies disappeared in the summer of 2022 due to the melting of sea ice, leading to mass mortality of breeding chicks. Reported by the British Antarctic Survey.

The emperor penguin colony based on Smiley Island in the Bellingshausen Sea has been wiped out by melting sea ice in the summer of 2022. As of October, there was a colony of emperor penguins in the circled area, but in December the sea ice melted and the colony disappeared.

'This is the first time on record that an emperor penguin has failed to breed on this scale in a single season,' said Peter Fretwell of the British Antarctic Survey. Chicks who couldn't swim didn't survive.' Fretwell said, ``We know emperor penguins are very vulnerable to global warming. It is possible,' he warned.

According to the research team, emperor penguins that have failed to breed due to the disappearance of sea ice will switch to a safer breeding area the next year to cope with the local decrease in sea ice. However, it has been pointed out that this countermeasure will not be sustainable if most of the habitat melts due to global warming.

by Christopher Michel

Regarding emperor penguins, which are greatly affected by global warming, it has been said that if climate change continues, about 98% of the emperor penguin colony will disappear by 2100, and the population will decrease by about 99%. research results have also been reported.

Designated as an endangered species as the population of emperor penguins may decrease by 99%, due to the effects of climate change - GIGAZINE

In response to this situation, in October 2022, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designated emperor penguins as an endangered species.

Finally, the US authorities decided to designate the emperor penguin as an endangered species, and the decrease in sea ice due to global warming threatened - GIGAZINE

Jeremy Wilkinson of the British Antarctic Survey said, 'This massive emperor penguin breeding failure is a warning sign to humanity that global warming must not continue. Further action must be taken to minimize the reduction, and the time left is short.'

in Science,   Creature, Posted by log1r_ut