Study: Penguins Risk Extinction Due To Sea Ice Reductions

A new study projects that Emperor Penguins have a 36 percent chance of quasi-extinction by 2100 due to reductions in sea ice.

Studies have reported important effects of global warming on Antarctic species, now linked to a decline in penguin populations at remote southern end of the Earth.

Antarctic sea ice extent is projected to shrink as concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases increase, and emperor penguins are extremely sensitive to these changes because they use sea ice as a breeding, foraging and molting habitat, according to The National Academy of Sciences.

The study projects emperor penguin populations will decline as the frequency of warm events increases. The probability of quasi-extinction—a decline of 95 percent of a population or more—is at least 36 percent by 2100.

Published: February 17, 2009