The number of Emperor penguins in Terre Adélie in Antarctica by the end of 2100 could be reduced from three thousand to 500-600 pairs, due to the melting of Antarctic ice, according to a press release from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) with the support of NCAR studied colony of Emperor penguins in Terre Adélie (Antarctica).
"According to our most optimistic projections, by the end of the century the Earth will be 500-600 pairs of Adelie penguins against today's figures of three thousand pairs" — said biologist Stephanie Zhenovre (Stephanie Jenouvrier), whose words are reported.
She also noted that one of the penguin colonies lived in the east of the Antarctic Peninsula has disappeared and most likely this is due to the decrease of ice spaces.
According to NCAR, scientists in the study used a computer model of climate change in the region, as well as the model of changing population of penguins. Scientists have suggested how the melting ice will affect the number of penguin nests during the year in the incubation period and the initial stage of development of the chicks, as well as the duration of the period of wedlock.
"If at the beginning of the breeding season the ice disappears, the penguins will have nowhere to lay their eggs. Moreover, penguins feed on fish, squid, crustaceans, which, in turn, feed on phytoplankton growing on the underwater part of the ice. Thus, the disappearance of the ice will affect the amount of forage penguins "- said in a statement.
Emperor penguins reach a height of 1.2 meters and are the largest members of their own family. Emperor penguins are distinguished from their relatives, in addition to size, and even bright yellow with a red spot in the shade of a quote, located in the neck. The females of this species of penguins lay a single egg on the ice, then males remain to hatch offspring, and females have been poisoned in the sea for feeding. Two months later, after the chicks hatch, the female returned and eaten takes all care about posterity.