Melting of Antarctic Sea Ice Has Made One Species Truly Happy: Penguins
File image of penguins.
For years, we have been understanding about the climate and its ill effects in the form of global warming. Environmentalists and activists all across the globe have been fighting for the cause. The issue became more worrisome after the news of melting ice glaciers hit the internet.
While humans might be adversely affected by the decreasing sea ice level, there is one species in particular that has been thriving as a result.
According to the latest research, Antarctica-based Adélie penguin can see a population boom in the coming years. This is because the decrease in sea ice level makes it easier for these small birds to survive.
To conduct their study, researchers with the National Institute of Polar Research in Japan tagged 175 penguins electronically using GPS devices. They were studied for a period of four seasons, in a different sea ice conditions during each season. The conclusion has been recently published in the journal Science Advances.
Dr Yuuki Watanabe, the lead author of the study revealed that their study showed the result of sea ice melting can have different effects on different species, highlighting the complexity of climate change effects on wildlife.
"It turns out that these [Adelie] penguins are happier with less sea ice. This may seem counter-intuitive, but the underlying mechanism is actually quite simple," added Dr Watanabe.
This happens because the increase in sea ice can make it difficult for penguins to walk.
However, less seawater let them dive as and when they wish, making them happier.