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.Read More
Researchers from WHOI, NOAA Fisheries Southwest Science Center, SR3 Sealife, and the Vancouver Aquarium analyzed whale blow samples collected via drone to identify a core group of bacteria in the respiratory tract of healthy whales.Read More
A team gathers skin samples from healthy humpback whales in waters off the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Researchers obtain samples by releasing a biopsy-collecting dart, which bounces off the whales’ skin and into the water. The team then retrieves the floating dart and brings it back to a lab for analysis.Read More
Senior scientist Claudia Cenedese has been studying how glaciers melt for the last 15 years in her fluids laboratory. In 2018 she was a principal investigator on a research cruise in Greenland for the first time. She wants to understand why the Greenland Ice Sheet is melting faster than ever and what happens to the fresh water released into the ocean.Read More
CLIMATE CHANGE COULD spell the end for emperor penguins by the year 2100—that’s the somber prediction of a new international study.
The newly upgraded Nereid Under Ice, a hybrid remotely operated vehicle, is deployed from the Norwegian Icebreaker KronPrins Haakon to conduct its first deep ocean dives to 4,000 meters (over 13,000 feet) along the Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Ocean.Read More
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.Read More
It’s the coldest environment on Earth, with a mean temperature of minus-76 in winter and minus-18 in summer, according to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Since 2003, the Beaufort Gyre Exploration Project at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has given us an up-close look at one of the fastest-changing parts of the world. In 2018, the Ocean Media Institute at Montana State University sent Hugo Sindelar to join the annual expedition aboard the Canadian icebreaker Louis S. St. Laurent to see how the scientists and engineers involved in the project bring back their hard-earned data and to hear what they’ve learned so far.Read More
Matthew B. Osman, MIT-WHOI Joint Program Sponsored by: Academic Programs OfficeRead More
Matt Charette, WHOI Sponsored by: MC&G DepartmentRead More
Deepa Rao, MIT-WHOI Joint Program Sponsored by: Biology DepartmentRead More
Scientists discover that the amount of heat in a major Arctic Ocean circulation system has doubled over the past 30 years. If the temperatures continue to spike, it could eventually spell trouble for the ice above.Read More