British Antarctic Survey: Harsh Antarctic Sea Ice Threatens Emperor Penguins With Starvation

Every sane, half-way educated person knows that a warmer planet is better than a colder one. During the ice ages, when CO2 concentration was just 180 ppm, much life on the planet stood on the brink of extinction. When the planet was a hot-house and CO2 was over 1000 ppm, the Earth was a literal garden of Eden teeming with life. Hat-tip: reader Manfred.


Meet Knut the emperor penguin (center)! Record sea ice in the Antarctic due to South Pole cooling means poor little penguins like Knut face starvation. Photo credit: Ian Duffy from UK, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

So it’s no surprise that the British Antarctic Survey tells us in a fascinating report that the emperor penguin faces starvation should Antarctic sea ice grow, as it is doing right now.

The British Antarctic Survey writes at the very end of its report:

They have a high survival rate compared to other penguins, with an average of 95% surviving the year. However, if it is a harsh sea-ice year, many chicks will die of starvation. Emperors are the least common Antarctic penguin, with only about 200,000 breeding pairs.”

Antarctica has seen a whole bunch of harsh years recently, and it doesn’t look like things are going to improve anytime soon.

Antarctica sea ice


Of course the extra sea ice we’ve been seeing at the South Pole doesn’t mean these dignified birds will become extinct any time soon. Like polar bears, they’ve survived far worse conditions. But it does mean the weaker ones aren’t going to fare as well and some will have to make an agonizing, early departure from Earth.

Already I’m seeing emperor penguins falling from the sky to their death! Must be those damn man-made aerosols cooling the southern hemisphere.


14 responses to “British Antarctic Survey: Harsh Antarctic Sea Ice Threatens Emperor Penguins With Starvation”

  1. DirkH

    Islam helps against climate change, says the German taxpayer funded Goethe institute in a lengthy tractate.
    English headline is
    “The Call to Eco-Jihad
    The Islamic Environmental Movement”


  2. Loodt Pretorius

    Sorry, but I cannot tie this story up.

    If we were to blame for the demise of the polar bears – because our carbon addiction is causing climate change and there is not enough ice – how can we blamed for the demise of the magnificent Emperor penguins because there is too much ice?

    Does this means that whatever happens on mother Gaia we are to blame?

    Too much rain – us
    Drought – us
    Tropical storms – us
    Earthquakes – us
    Bread nor rising – us
    Flat beer – us

    So long as I know the drift of the conversation and to whom apportion blame, OK.

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  5. George B

    How did the penguins ever survive the last glacial period?

  6. roger

    Vive l’empereur!
    Vive la France!

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  8. Jimbo

    At the other pole we have evidence showing polar bears don’t do so well with too much ice and that they might be doing better because of less!!!

    Anyway, last year a paper was published showing TWICE the number of Emperor Penguins than previously thought!

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