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Emperor Penguins


Fascinating facts about emperor penguins

We might chuckle at the sight of penguins waddling over ice, but these flightless birds would put Olympic swimmers to shame. Learn more about emperor penguins, the largest penguin in the world and permanent residents of Antarctica.

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Why are emperor penguins an indicator of climate change?

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced a proposal to list the emperor penguin as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), based on evidence that the animal’s sea ice habitat is shrinking and is likely to continue to do so over the next several decades. Research from penguin scientists is key to informing policy around much-needed protections for the emperor penguin. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s additional collaborative research efforts suggest how conservation actions can help to increase species’ resilience to climate stress, including protecting habitat, increasing habitat connectivity, and reducing non-climate stressors, such as overfishing and ocean pollution.

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Melting ice imperils 98% of Emperor penguin colonies by 2100

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — With climate change threatening the sea ice habitat of Emperor penguins, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday announced a proposal to list the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. “The lifecycle of Emperor penguins is tied to having stable sea ice, which they need to breed, to feed and to molt,” said Stephanie Jenouvrier, a penguin ecologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Emperor Penguins

emperor penguin

Emperor Penguins are threatened by climate change, but steps are being taken to protect the species New details on the…

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A seabird symposium: emperor penguins

WHOI seabird biologist Stephanie Jenouvrier gives a virtual symposium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography about her work to model and predict the fate of emperor penguins in Antarctica during a time of rapid change

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Oases in Sea Ice Are Essential to Life in Antarctica

This video explains the key physical, biological and ecological processes in oases on the Antarctic icy coast — polynyas. Researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Delaware are trying to unveil crucial connections among the physical and biological components in the polynyas and to understand how the Antarctic ecosystem responds to changes in the large-scale environment.

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March of the Penguins

Emperor penguins are some of the most striking and charismatic animals on Earth, but a new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has found that a warming climate may render them extinct by the end of this century. The study, which was part of an international collaboration between scientists, published Nov. 7, 2019, in the journal Global Change Biology.

The fate of the penguins is largely tied to the fate of sea ice, which the animals use as a home base for breeding, feeding and molting, she notes. Emperor penguins tend to build their colonies on ice with extremely specific conditions—it must be locked into the shoreline of the Antarctic continent, but close enough to open seawater to give the birds access to food for themselves and their young. As climate warms, however, that sea ice will gradually disappear, robbing the birds of their habitat, food sources, and ability to raise their chicks.

Jenouvrier and her team conducted the study by combining two existing computer models. The first, a global climate model created by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), offered projections of where and when sea ice would form under different climate scenarios. The second, a model of the penguin population itself, calculated how colonies might react to changes in that ice habitat.

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Unless warming is slowed, emperor penguins will be marching towards extinction

penguins

Emperor penguins are some of the most striking and charismatic animals on Earth, but a new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has found that a warming climate may render them extinct by the end of this century. The study, which was part of an international collaboration between scientists, published Nov. 7, 2019, in the journal Global Change Biology.

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Emperor Penguins’ First Journey to Sea

Emperor Penguins' First Journey to Sea

The paper, published Jan. 17, 2019, in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series, also highlights the unique connection between juvenile diving behaviors and a layer of the ocean, known as the thermocline, where warmer surface waters meet cooler deep waters below and where their prey likely gather in groups.

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Penguins Go Through the Flow

Penguins Go Through the Flow

Colonies of breeding king penguins behave much like particles in liquids do, according to new study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and international colleagues. This “liquid ” organization and structure enables breeding colonies to protect themselves against predators while also keeping members together.

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Finding New Homes Won’t Help Emperor Penguins Cope with Climate Change

Finding New Homes Won't Help Emperor Penguins Cope with Climate Change

Unlike other species that migrate successfully to escape the wrath of climate change, a new study shows that dispersal may help sustain global Emperor penguin populations for a limited time, but, as sea ice conditions continue to deteriorate, the 54 colonies that exist today will face devastating declines by the end of this century.

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From Penguins to Polar Bears

From Penguins to Polar Bears

Polar ecosystems are especially vulnerable to climate change. They are also notably hard to study and to manage. Scientists came to WHOI recently for a Morss Colloquium to address the issues.

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