Adélie penguins breed in ice-free areas
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — While populations of ice-loving chinstrap and emperor penguins in Antarctica may be squeezed by global warming, Adélie penguins may actually benefit from warmer temperatures, according to University of Minnesota Polar Geospatial Center researchers.
Scientists from the United States and New Zealand studied a combination of aerial photography beginning in 1958 and modern satellite imagery from the 2000s, finding that the population size of an Adélie penguin colony on Antarctica’s Beaufort Island near the southern Ross Sea increased 84 percent (from 35,000 breeding pairs to 64,000 breeding pairs) as the ice fields retreated between 1958-2010. The biggest changes came in the last three decades, as average summer temperature in that area increased about .5 degrees Celsius.
The study showed that available habitat for Adélie penguins on the main portion of the Beaufort colony, on the south coast, increased 71 percent since 1958, with a 20 percent increase from 1983-2010. The extent of the snow and ice field to the north of the main colony did not change from 1958-1983, but then retreated 543 meters from 1983-2010. (more…)
Filed under: Antarctica, biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Adelie penguins, Antarctica, Beaufort Island, climate change, global warming, PRBO Conservation Science, Ross Sea, wildlife | Leave a Comment »