TVNZ (New Zealand); SCIENCE WORLD REPORT; PLOS ONE JOURNAL
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.
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Adélie Penguin. Photo by Samuel Blanc