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These Penguins May Become Extinct Soon And It's All Our Fault

Brexit's done with now. Boring. Let's make way for the latest, scarier threat to the world we live in.

The Adélie penguin population is facing the very real threat of extinction — and it's all our fault.

A new study reveals that the population in Antartica will shrink up to 60 percent by 2099 thanks to warmer seas caused by global warming.

Adélie penguins have always needed the warmth that causes glaciers to melt so the flightless birds can make it back to their rocky breeding grounds.

But now it's getting too hot. The longer periods of warmth mean huge chunks of their habitat are vanishing.

Lead author Megan Cimino, PhD, explained,

Based on this relationship, we project that one-third of current Adélie penguin colonies, representing ~20% of their current population, may be in decline by 2060. However, climate model projections suggest refugia may exist in continental Antarctica beyond 2099, buffering species-wide declines. Climate change impacts on penguins in the Antarctic will likely be highly site specific based on regional climate trends, and a southward contraction in the range of Adélie penguins is likely over the next century.

We went too far this time, guys. Think of the loss. They're basically little humans in tiny tuxedos.


Citations: Projected asymmetric response of Adélie penguins to Antarctic climate change (Nature)