Image

Kings of the Cold

Kings of the Cold

February 12, 2013

At nearly four feet tall, the Emperor penguin is Antarctica’s largest sea bird—and thanks to films like “March of the Penguins” and “Happy Feet,” it’s also one of the continent’s most iconic. If global temperatures continue to rise, however, the Emperor penguins in East Antarctica may disappear. During the recent Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystem Experiment (SIPEX-II) in fall 2012, three WHOI researchers conducted studies that will help them better understand the behavior of Antarctic ice that the birds rely on to find food. Clay Kunz and Peter Kimball deployed the autonomous underwater vehicle Jaguar to map the undersides of four sea ice floes, and Ted Maksym studied snow accumulation on the Antarctic sea ice sheet.(Photo by Peter Kimball, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)