This week, a research team made an unexpected discovery on an expedition in Antarctica.
They meet a colony of 75 penguins nesting on Anderssonøya, an island that was previously uninhabitable for them.
Penguins have never been seen so far south.
As climate change thaws the ice in Antarctica, hoopoe penguins have had to move.
– They shouldn’t be there. It’s further south than has ever been found, says Frode Plame, Greenpeace Norway leader at NRK.
It shows how far climate change has come
Climate scientists from Stony Brook University are on an expedition with Greenpeace in Antarctica.
“The buoyant penguin is the ‘coal mine canary’ of climate change because it is closely related to these sea ice conditions,” said Heather Lynch, a penguin expert at Stony Brook University. mongabay news.
Unlike other penguin species that migrate to eat or breed, collared penguins will stay in the same place in summer and winter. Conditions must be perfect if they want to survive all year round in the same place.
When glaciers retreat, they colonize elsewhere. Through them we can see how far climate change has come, says Lynch.
The largest colonies of penguins are found in the Falkland Islands, in southern Georgia and in the northern part of the Antarctic mainland.
calls for protection
Norway is among the many countries that have joined the Global Maritime Alliance working to protect 30 percent of the sea by 2030. Greenpeace is calling for an acceleration of protection in marine areas off Antarctica.
In Antarctica and the Arctic in particular, the temperature is increasing and the ice is melting faster, says Frode Pleym at Greenpeace.
In these offshore areas, it is important to put in place protection and make sure that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced as quickly as possible, he says.
The diet of hoopoe penguins consists of krill and other shellfish, but they also eat fish and squid.
The living conditions of all the different species, including the penguin, depend on the nutrients and fish that the penguin feeds on. When conditions change as the temperature increases and the sea ice gets smaller, they have to move, says Plame.
The temperature in the sea has never been higher than in 2021. This contributes to the melting of sea ice twice as fast as it was ten years ago.
Scientists are paying particular attention to the Thwaites glacier, known as the Doomsday Glacier, which, if completely melted, could raise global sea levels by several metres.
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