Shop Windows to the Universe

With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

   Image courtesy of Jean Pennycook / Penguin Science

From: Jean Pennycook
Cape Royds, Antarctica, January 9, 2008

What's This About Global Warming?

Global climate change does not always mean warming. Increased winds and more storms are also the result of the current changes in our atmosphere. Some places will experience reduced temperatures. It is the middle of summer here, but snow storms still happen. This one came with cold winds and lots of snow. Chicks that were still small enough could nestle into their parents bodies to keep warm, but most of the Cape Royds penguin chicks are well past that, some are no longer in the nests but in juvenile groups called crèches while both parents are out feeding. In these pictures you see adults trying to protect their young from the storm and chicks that had to face their first Antarctic snow storm alone. From the looks of it, the chicks seem miserable, cold and wet, but the thick downy feathers of these sturdy Adelie Penguin chicks is keeping them warm. Three hours after these pictures were taken the Sun came out and I revisited these birds. All had shaken off the ice and were drying out nicely.

To learn more about how global climate change affects penguins visit our website: penguinscience.com

Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

Climate and Global Change

Go to the next postcard

Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2007

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

The Antarctic Region

What Will You Find There? South of the Antarctic Circle (at 66.5°S latitude) you will find the continent of Antarctica surrounded by the Southern Ocean, the geographic South Pole and the magnetic South...more

Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

The Antarctic Peninsula, the part of Antarctica furthest from the South Pole, has been warming rapidly, five times faster than the global average.  Since 1945, the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed about...more

Adelie Penguins Return to Cape Royds

Today, Nov 18, 2007, we arrived at the Adelie Penguin breeding colony at Cape Royds on Ross Island, Antarctica. This year about 2000 pairs of penguins have decided to build their nests and raise their...more

Antarctica Bound

The breeding season for Adelie Penguins is Nov-Feb. This is summertime for Antarctica even though the temperature rarely gets above freezing. Our team of penguin researchers left the states on a journey...more

Penguin Sense of Decor

All Adelie Penguin nests are not alike. These birds have different ideas of what makes a pretty nest. Rocks are the only material available, but variations in construction abound. Some are big, over 2...more

It's Quiet Time in the Nursery

Most of the eggs at Cape Royds are laid before the end of November. The breeding season is very short because the Antarctic summer is very short. If Adelie parents do not get their chicks raised and fledged...more

Visitors to the Cape

Cape Royds is the nesting ground for over 2000 breeding pairs of Adelie Penguins. The only other Antarctic penguin, the Emperor, does not make a nest. Instead Emperor Penguins keep the eggs warm by holding...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF