People and Penguins Are Affected by Climate Change

MK Nature Design speaks of possible ethnic conflicts due to climate change and the danger of climate change to penguins.  People and penguins are at risk from climate change.

Ecowatch (Aug 18 2016) states that a European group of scientists can link ethnic bloodshed to cases of severe drought and intense heat.  This has occurred in the Middle East due to drought and perhaps in Syria.  In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science it was shown that a quarter of ethnic related armed conflict between 1980 and 2010 was due to drought or intense heat.  Climate change is not triggering the conflict but it is reported that it may enhance the conflict.  This gives us another benefit in fighting climate change…peace.  Therefore reduce your carbon imprint on the environment and invest in renewables to increase the chances of peace on our planet.   The whole article can be read here.

It has come to my attention that the Antarctic Adelie penguin may also be in trouble due to climate change.  National Geographic reported that Antarctic Adelie penguins are in trouble.  They have survived the ice age and yet climate change may be making some habitats not supportive of the penguin which would result in the death of penguins.  The penguins nest on land in the summer and then migrate to the sea edge in the winter to feed.  Researchers studied data from 1981 to 2010.  Some colonies showed declines of 80%, some were stable and still others grew.  The colonies that showed declines were colonies that showed unusual climate or climate not typical to the study period.  It is believed that the quality and availability of food and nesting habitat will determine the survival of the penguin.  Warming seas could reduce the number of prey or food for the penguin.  Changes in sea ice and temperature can cause changes in food, krill and fish.  In some areas the main food source is krill which is less nutritious than fish.  Nesting habitat is usually cold, dry and harsh but with climate change there may be rain or premature melt resulting in puddles.  Eggs can’t survive in a puddle of water and chicks who have no waterproof wings would die of hypothermia if they got wet.  The loss of sea ice is probably a greater threat.  The Adelie penguin (one of two penguins in the Antarctic) requires sea ice and where sea ice is disappearing the penguin is disappearing as well.  However it has been reported that there are several refugia for the penguins.  Refugia are a place where climate and food are optimal for the survival of the penguin and birds found in that area survive.  But the refugia are few and with distance between them.  More information can be found in this article.

The Guardian (Aug 3, 2016) states as well that new research shows that penguins will suffer due to climate change.  Penguin decline is reported by Megan Cimino (quoted in the article above as well) as being in years when sea water temperatures are warmer than normal.  However not all of the Antarctic is warming the same.  Parts of the west are warming the most in the world perhaps and parts in the east are cooling.  Adelie penguins live on the edge of the ice sheet so they would be exposed to both climates.  Researchers used climate models to predict the impact of climate change on penguins.  Pressure on the penguins will increase as the planet and the oceans heat up.  However refugia will exist and the penguin will survive to 2100.  You can read more about this with this link.

So in this blog I have shown that climate change can enhance ethnic armed conflict and that a mammal, the Adelie penguin, is at risk of decline due to climate change.  It is now accepted that climate change is due to man’s influence on green house gases.  This involved the burning of fossil fuels which are carbon based.  So a new carbon tax while daunting and meaning more money spent by the consumer is good in that hopefully the money made will be invested in renewables and renewable research so as to avoid further burning of fossil fuels and increased green house gases and increased climate change.  By decreasing our carbon footprint and investing in renewables we CAN encourage world peace and help stop the decline of a magnificent bird…the Adelie penguin.  People and penguins are worth cherishing and the protecting of that life by changing your habits is a small price to pay with large benefits.  It is with small baby steps that we can hope to save this planet.  These small baby steps will be the beginning of a monumental shift in attitude that will save this planet.

If you like this blog please like below or comment, like or share on Facebook or retweet on Twitter.  I would love to hear from you.  It is lonely always writing with no feedback from my readers.  Do you agree?  Am I making sense?  Does it resonate with you?  What do you think?  Until next week…

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