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Antarctic penguins happier with less sea ice

Source: phys.org

Researchers have been surprised to find that Adélie penguins in Antarctica prefer reduced sea ice conditions, not just a little bit, but a lot. As climate models project rapid reduction of the continent’s sea ice over the rest of the century, this iconic polar predator could be a rare global warming winner. Their research findings are published on June 24, 2020 in Science Advances.

In recent decades, Antarctica has experienced a steady increase in the extent of its sea ice—frozen seawater—even as its polar twin, the Arctic, has suffered through a marked decrease. But this is not expected to last for much longer as the climate changes, with Antarctica also projected to see a decline in its sea ice, with all the consequences of such changes to the maritime habitat for the organisms that live there. MORE

Header image: a penguin equipped with a video camera on its back and an accelerometer on its head. Credit: Yuuki Watanabe, National Institute of Polar Research.