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As ice melts, emperor penguins march toward extinction

Under a business-as-usual scenario, emperor penguins are marching towards extinction, says Stéphanie Jenouvrier, a seabird biologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. Her team’s research indicates that if carbon emissions remain unchecked, 80 percent of the emperor colonies could be gone by 2100, leaving little hope for the species’ survival. Average global temperature is on track to increase by three to five degrees Celsius (5.4 to nine degrees Fahrenheit) by then, but if the rise can be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), Jenouvrier says, perhaps nearly 20 percent of colonies would be lost, while the Ross Sea and Weddell Sea populations, potential emperor penguin refuges because of more favorable sea ice conditions, would increase slightly.  Read more....

 

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