By Ranjan Kumar Amritnidhi, Delhi
“Penguins are very well adapted to living in the cold and extreme conditions of Antarctica, so the continued increase in global temperature and resulting loss of feeding areas and nesting zones for their chicks has already led to notable reductions in their populations.If temperatures increase by another two degrees these icons of the Antarctic will be seriously threatened.” said Juan Casavelos, WWF Antarctica Climate Change Coordinator.
A new WWF report – 2°C is Too Much – shows that the colonies of 50 per cent of the iconic emperor penguins and 75 per cent of the Adélie penguins are under threat.
Climate change models forecast that a 2°C temperature rise above pre-industrial level could be a reality in less than 40 years, producing a strong reduction in the sea ice cover of the Southern Ocean which is an essential nesting and feeding ground for Emperor and Adélie penguins.
A reduction in the sea ice is also likely to have a knock-on effect on the abundance of krill, which is a vital food source for penguins.
2°C is Too Much was launched at the IUCN World Conservation. Congress taking place this week in Barcelona, Spain.
WWF is calling for all nations to work together to agree on a new global deal that will succeed the Kyoto Protocol and tackle climate change beyond 2012.