Half of Antarctica’s emperor penguins could be wiped out due to melting ice

epa01645589 A penguin at the new German research station Neumayer III, Antarctica, 23 February 2009. The station, opened two days ago. A colony of Emperor penguins live near the German research station. EPA/HANS-CHRISTIAN WOESTE

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More than half of Antarctica’s emperor penguins could be wiped out over the next 80 years due to melting ice, scientists have warned.

Researchers from British Antarctic Survey said that rising temperatures and changing wind patterns from global warming will negatively affect the sea ice on which emperor penguins breed.

After reviewing more than 150 studies on the species, scientists indicated that emperor populations will decrease by more than 50% by 2100.

In a new paper published in the journal Biological Conservation, they concluded that improvements in climate change forecasting in relation to impacts on Antarctic wildlife may help the penguins’ chances of survival.

The researchers also recommended that emperor penguins should be listed as a specially protected species, warning that more than half of the birds – at least 300,000 – would die as sea ice melts due to rising temperatures.

Via Sky News

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