Researchers in Antarctica have discovered a supercolony of 1.5 million Adélie penguins whose existence was previously unknown to biologists.
According to Science News:
On an expedition to an icy island chain off the Antarctic Peninsula’s northern tip, researchers discovered a massive supercolony of more than 1.5 million Adélie penguins, according to a study published March 2 in Scientific Reports.
Scientists had known of an Adélie penguin colony (Pygoscelis adeliae) in these Danger Islands, but satellite images revealed more guano on the rocky islands than could be explained by the colony’s expected numbers.
Even though the tiny island chain is only about 10 kilometers across, researchers hadn’t realized the extent of the penguin population, says study coauthor Heather Lynch, an ecologist at Stony Brook University in New York. “In the Antarctic, distances are so vast, something major could be just around the corner and you wouldn’t know.”
Obviously this is great news for Adélie penguin fans. But terrible news for environmentalists. The penguin is what you might call their ‘polar bear of the south’ – that is, the cute, lovable, telegenic species most frequently cited in their propaganda stories about polar critters threatened by “climate change.”
Here are a few examples.
From the WWF website:
Adélie penguins are increasing in Antarctica. However, in areas where climate change is established, Adélie populations have fallen by more than 65% in the past 25 years. The biggest threat to them right now is climate change (other penguins, like gentoos, are better adapted to warmer climates).
From a NASA-funded study:
In a paper published June 29 in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers project that approximately 30 percent of current Adélie colonies may be in decline by 2060, and approximately 60 percent of the present population might be dwindling by 2099. They also found the penguins at more southerly sites in Antarctica may be less affected by climate change.
From a CBS News story, headlined ’11 Species Threatened by Climate Change’
From a Guardian yarn headlined ‘Penguin disaster as only two chicks survive from colony of 40,000’
Elsewhere, human pressures including climate change have already been having a severe impact on the numbers of Adélie penguins. On the Antarctic Peninsula, which has been badly affected by climate change, populations have been decreasing, and some researchers suggest they may become extinct there.
And – my favorite – check out this hysterical quote offered to the Independent by the WWF ‘s Head of Polar Programs, talking about the Adélie penguin breeding problem:
“This devastating event contrasts with the Disney image that many people might have of penguins. It’s more like ‘Tarantino does Happy Feet’, with dead penguin chicks strewn across a beach in Adélie Land.
[I would so pay to see that movie.]
Anyway, you get the idea. Even before this discovery, the Adélie penguin was in no more in danger of extinction than the polar bear – and for much the same reasons: because there are lots and lots and lots of them; because there is no evidence that they are in any way troubled by “climate change.”
Now, 1.5 million more of the pesky critters have been discovered out of the blue. And for all we know – the experts clearly don’t – this could be the first of many supercolonies which have hitherto evaded the attentions of Antarctic research teams.
Oh – one more thing (H/T Dave Burton in the comments at Paul Homewood’s): this new colony has been discovered at the very tip of the Antarctic peninsula. That is, at the warmest part of the Antarctic. In other words, we have a supercolony thriving under exactly the conditions that alarmist ecologists are telling us will prove disastrous for the penguins because climate change.
Climate alarmism: it really is now way, way beyond the realms of satire, is it not?