Climate Change And Penguins

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Penguins, are black and white, flightless birds that can be found in the southern half of the world. There is at least one species of penguins in almost every zoo across the United States. Most of the United States population knows what penguins are and a few of their characteristics, but what those people do not realize that this animal could be in danger because of climate change. Many believe that certain penguin species are in danger. Some individuals think that penguins have to live in colder environments but that is not true for all of the species. All penguins live south of the equator in the Southern Hemisphere, but some species live in the southern coast of South America, some near the equator, and others live near Antarctica. …show more content…
Some scientists and researchers think that the increase in the global temperature, may be the cause of more intense storm systems. According to Forcada and Trathan, two popular storm systems would be El Nino- Southern Oscillation and the Southern Annular Mode, while Boersma and Rebstock, state that El Nino is the only known storm that may be affecting the penguins. These storms have and effect on the amount of sea ice present, sea surface temperature, and the reproductive cycle of specific species of penguins. The more intense storms cause fewer penguin chicks to fledge when the majority of them are killed during the storms. The number of reproductive failure will continue to add up and it could be reduce the population size over a long period of time (2). One death of a penguin might not seem significant but those deaths will add up and before people realize, the whole population will be endangered or exist completely. Shaye Wolf wrote in an article that “Leading climate scientists believe that global climate change will lead to stronger El Niño events in the future.” El Nino is harmful to penguins, such as the Galapagos species, because these storm events do not allow the cold water to come to the surface, but keeps warmer water to stay at the top (8). Sea surface temperatures have been linked to the decline …show more content…
Penguins are a huge part of the food webs in the Antarctic region. They prey on ice krill, silver fish, and squid, for some species of penguins like the Southern Rockhopper species. Penguins have a direct and indirect influence on the marine life environment. A study was done by Jing Huang, Linguang Sun, Wen Huang, Xinming Wang, and Yuhong Wang, they found that aquatic algae was directly benefited by the penguins being present, they concluded that the algae grows from the penguin droppings. While aquatic moss was not influence by the penguins being in the same environment but they were influence mainly by the water body transparency and somewhat nutrient availability. For Adelie and Emperor penguins the ice free or low ice concentration area are important for them to be able to get food easily. Shaye Wolf wrote in her article that, “Our greenhouse gas emissions are also causing the oceans to become acidic, which threatens the entire ocean food web from plankton to penguins.” (8). The ocean environment is slowly becoming acidic and not suitable for certain species and that is going to cause major fallout to many species, like tiny plankton but also

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