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
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Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2007