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Penguins Bask In Global Warming



BEAUFORT ISLAND - A new study published this week by U.S. and New Zealand researchers shows that there are actually some winners when it comes to global warming: the Adélie penguins.

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The study, published in the PLOS One journal, shows that the colony of Adélie penguins on Beaufort Island significantly boosted its numbers as the nearby glaciers receded. The scientists used aerial photos dating back to 1958, as well as satellite imagery to configure their data.

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Photo by Brocken Inaglory

From the 1980s onwards, the colony’s population increased by 84 per cent, and the space they inhabit grew by 20% as the ice melted. Temperature-wise, there was an average springtime increase of 3.2 degrees since the 1980s in the Antarctic, says TVNZ.

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According to Science World Report, Adélie penguins are smaller than Emperor penguins, standing a little over two feet tall. They feed on krill and silver fish, and the scientists noted a prevalence of silver-fish in the area, which also could have contributed to the population boom.

[rebelmouse-image 27086583 alt="""" original_size="392x480" expand=1]

Adélie Penguin. Photo by Samuel Blanc

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Life On "Mars": With The Teams Simulating Space Missions Under A Dome

A niche research community plays out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another planet.

Photo of a person in a space suit walking toward the ​Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

At the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

Sarah Scoles

In November 2022, Tara Sweeney’s plane landed on Thwaites Glacier, a 74,000-square-mile mass of frozen water in West Antarctica. She arrived with an international research team to study the glacier’s geology and ice fabric, and how its ice melt might contribute to sea level rise. But while near Earth’s southernmost point, Sweeney kept thinking about the moon.

“It felt every bit of what I think it will feel like being a space explorer,” said Sweeney, a former Air Force officer who’s now working on a doctorate in lunar geology at the University of Texas at El Paso. “You have all of these resources, and you get to be the one to go out and do the exploring and do the science. And that was really spectacular.”

That similarity is why space scientists study the physiology and psychology of people living in Antarctic and other remote outposts: For around 25 years, people have played out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another world. Polar explorers are, in a way, analogous to astronauts who land on alien planets. And while Sweeney wasn’t technically on an “analog astronaut” mission — her primary objective being the geological exploration of Earth — her days played out much the same as a space explorer’s might.

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