GlobalAntarctica melting puts emperor penguin at risk

Antarctica melting puts emperor penguin at risk

Last year, the populations of four colonies of this species that live in Antarctica were unable to raise their offspring, because the frozen water surfaces where they nested collapsed in the southern summer of 2022 due to the Antarctic melt, which It occurred before the chicks had shed their down for hydrophobic feathers that would have allowed them to dive into the frigid Antarctic waters. Only three colonies, of the more than 60 that have been discovered, nest on continental ice, that is, inland, while the rest nest on the so-called “fixed ice” found above sea water. If greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, most of Antarctica will lose most of its sea ice and ice sooner and for longer, so research published in 2020 and based on these models , estimated that 90 percent of the colonies of this species could disappear by the end of the century.

Graphics: Julio Loyola, Roberto Alvarado and Luisa Ortega.

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