Scientists worried that climate change would cause the loss of breeding grounds for Emperor Penguins can breathe a sigh of relief. New findings are showing that the penguins are adapting rather easily to the changing conditions. Imaging has shown that the penguins are finding new breeding grounds as conditions warrant.
That obviously doesn’t mean we should fire up every spare coal power plant we have, but it is good news that species are able to adapt to the new climate conditions.
Initially, researchers believed that Emperor penguins returned to their traditional nesting grounds to breed. Satellite imaging from the University of Minnesota is proving this theory wrong. Using images over a three-year span, the study’s authors determined that the penguins were able to adapt to climate change.
Michelle LaRue, the lead scientists on the study spoke recently at the IDEACITY conference. “Our research showing that colonies seem to appear and disappear throughout the years challenges behaviors we thought we understood about emperor penguins. If we assume that these birds come back to the same locations every year, without fail, these new colonies we see on satellite images wouldn’t make any sense. These birds didn’t just appear out of thin air-they had to have come from somewhere else. This suggests that emperor penguins move among colonies. That means we need to revisit how we interpret population changes and the causes of those changes.”
With all the doom and gloom coming out of the scientific community regarding the climate change, it is nice to know that species can adapt to the changing conditions. Granted, this is the beginning of the impacts from climate change. A concerted effort, on the part of humans, needs to be undertaken to control the rise in global temperatures.
Just because the penguins can move around doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep pushing for alternative energy. There’s only so much an animal species can do to adapt.
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