the emperor penguin listed as an endangered species

The bird, which today numbers more than 600,000 individuals, is bearing the brunt of the consequences of climate change and its impact on the sea ice of the Great South.

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For the largest of all penguins, which lives only on the Antarctic continent, sea ice is a necessity. “It uses the pack ice to reproduce, it is a bird that forms colonies thereexplains Christophe Barbraud, research director at the CNRS and the Center for Biological Studies in Chizé. So you can imagine that, if ever the pack ice no longer forms or breaks too early due to warming, all the eggs or chicks will die drowned in seawater. And its prey is also dependent on the presence pack ice.”

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The emperor penguin, which today numbers more than 600,000 individuals, has been listed as endangered by the US wildlife authority, the Fish and WildLife Service. According to models established by scientists, at the current rate of warming of water and air, almost all of the species will have disappeared by 2100. Even if the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions respected the Paris agreement, i.e. less than two degrees of increase at the end of the century, certain studies estimate that between a quarter and a half of the penguins will disappear before 2050.

This classification among endangered species, due to climate change, serves as a reminder of the urgency to act. “It is a warning signal on the impact of climate change on ecosystems. And since we, our activity and our civilization depend on the functioning of these ecosystems, I think there is reason to wonder about the sense of our activities and their intensity”alert Christophe Barbaraud. In 2008, the polar bear was the first species placed on this list by the American authorities. Joined since by the ringed seal, the bearded seal and more than twenty species of coral…

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