Climate change threatens one of the largest flying birds — the emperor penguin. A team of scientists from the Oceanographic Institute of the United States believes that the main reason for the decline of bird populations is climate change.
The head of a group of scientists Zhenuve biologist Stephanie commented: "Over the last century we have seen the disappearance of an entire colony of king penguins. On the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula from 1948 to 1970, 150 nesting couples. By 1999, we counted in this area, only 20 pairs, and in 2009, the birds disappeared. " Dr. Zhenuve believes that reducing the population of royal penguins primarily associated with a reduction in the mass of the Antarctic ice is due to a general warming in the region.
Emperor penguins are particularly sensitive to warming, because, unlike other sea birds, males and females of this species prefer to start a relationship solely on the ice. Dr. Zhenuve argues that if the area of the ice and its strength in the corresponding period of the year will not be sufficient, this can spoil the penguin breeding season.
"This is a huge population of damage at the stage of reproduction," — he says. We must not forget that the disappearance of sea ice will affect the power of penguins. The diet includes birds fish and squid, which, in turn, feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton living under the ice.
Now scientists are trying to calculate how long it took the global warming population of emperor penguins. In the calculations, the team doctor Zhenuve used climate models, projections of melting sea ice and the observations of a colony of Emperor penguins in Terre Adélie in the last half century.