Penguins and climate change

Read the full story from the University of Delaware.

It’s a big question: how is climate change in Antarctica affecting Adélie penguins?

Climate has influenced the distribution patterns of Adélie penguins across Antarctica for millions of years. The geologic record tells us that as glaciers expanded and covered Adélie breeding habitats with ice, penguin colonies were abandoned. When the glaciers melted during warming periods, this warming positively affected the Adélie penguins, allowing them to return to their rocky breeding grounds.

But now, University of Delaware scientists and colleagues report that this beneficial warming may have reached its tipping point.

In a paper published today in Scientific Reports, the researchers project that approximately 30 percent of current Adélie colonies may be in decline by 2060 and approximately 60 percent may be in decline by 2099.

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