Waddle They Do Now?
Global warming also affects — noooooooo! — penguins
Need a new weapon in your arsenal against global-warming skeptics? Try baby penguin fuzzy-wuzziness. According to a new study, penguins and other Antarctic seabirds are nesting and laying eggs later than they did half a century ago, and scientists blame … the usual culprit. In eastern Antarctica, overall sea ice has declined, while local cooling has extended more than a month longer into the spring (unlike in the Arctic, where it’s melting earlier). This has contributed to a decline in the little marine organisms that serve as penguin food, which in turn has caused the birds’ nesting date to move back, since — as we all saw in March of the Penguins — they need to build up food reserves for the heroic feat of egg-laying. So far the penguins seem to be chillin’, so to speak, but scientists caution that failure to adapt to climate changes could mean bad news for the cutesy-wootsy little snuggums. Ahem.