The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Paris (AFP) – Global warming will send Antarctica’s emperor penguins into decline by 2100, scientists projected Sunday, and called for the emblematic birds to be listed as endangered and their habitat better protected.

The world’s largest penguin species came to global fame with a 2005 documentary, March of the Penguins, portraying their annual trek across the icy wastes, and the 2006 cartoon movie Happy Feet.

The new study sheds light on the birds’ reliance on sea ice for breeding and raising their young. The ice also protects their prey — fish and krill — by maintaining the food chain.

Declining sea ice caused by climate change would place all 45 known emperor penguin colonies into decline by 2100, according to the population simulation.

“At least two-thirds (of colonies) are projected to have declined by (more than) 50 percent from their current size” by the end of the century, said the paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Dynamics differ between colonies, but “the global population is projected to have declined by at least 19 percent,” after growing 10 percent up to 2048, it added.

The team said colonies located between the eastern Wedell Sea and the western Indian Ocean will see the biggest declines, while those in the Ross Sea will be least affected.

In fact, the Ross Sea penguin population will continue to grow until 2100, after which the trend will reverse.

“Our results indicated that at least 75 percent of the emperor penguin colonies are at least vulnerable to future sea ice change, and 20 percent will probably be quasi-extinct by 2100,” the paper said.

Given these findings, the emperor penguin “is fully deserving of endangered status due to climate change,” the team said — referring to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. The bird is currently listed as “stable” by the IUCN’s species bible.

AFP Photo/Richard Gill

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

On Wednesday, the House Rules Committee met to vote on whether the recommendation for charges of criminal contempt against former Trump campaign chair and Jan. 6 conspirator Steve Bannon would be forwarded to the full House. At the end of the hearing, the committee voted along party lines, which means that the full House could vote to drop Bannon's file on the Department of Justice by Thursday.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}