Year 2, Month 4, Day 20: Sorry, Darling. We Didn’t Know How To Tell You Earlier.

Well. This sucks:

The population of Adélie penguins in Antarctica has declined by 50 percent in recent years, and everyone who has watched a nature movie or television show knows that the reason is the rapidly melting sea ice that has limited the size of their winter habitat. But what everyone knows may be wrong.

New research, published online Monday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that the penguins’ real problem is the severe decline in the abundance of Antarctic krill, their main food, a problem affecting the ice-avoiding chinstrap penguins as well.

“For the last 30 years, the adults have been able to rear chicks as they always have,” said Wayne Z. Trivelpiece, the lead author. “But the young aren’t coming back. Ninety percent never make it through their first year. They are not finding the food they need.”

As an atheist, I have no available profanity that conveys my feelings. Sent April 11:

The Anthropocene Epoch looks to be one of devastation for many of the world’s other species — even those which we claim to cherish. The latest sobering example is the news that climate change is drastically reducing krill populations, and therefore condemning the penguins which feed on these tiny marine creatures to an evolutionary bottleneck. I contemplate the conversation with dread: how will I explain to my daughter that the world’s penguins are dying because human beings can’t be bothered to change their way of living? As the greenhouse effect continues its rapid heating of our atmosphere, we can expect many more such announcements; a microscopic species lost here, a few types of algae snuffed out there — gradually undermining humanity’s own food chain. The penguins’ fate may well be a preview of our own.

Warren Senders

Please write a LTE of your own. Get involved…and be sure to become familiar with the work of!

20 Apr 2011, 8:42am
by boardwalkone

Just read global warming article april 19 in local paper. That answer was pretty clear and enough to motivate me to find out more. I read some of your thoughts and find it clearly understandable. I do hope the corporate giants can forsee the future as clearly as you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *