The climate changes that have swept the whole world are literally causing major damage to our planet. Greenpeace sent a note denouncing the disappearance of 77% of the penguins in Antarctica in half a century. Shocking news that has left researchers speechless and that should shake the whole world. Scientists during an expedition to Antarctica, in fact, found that the number of penguins has significantly decreased over the years. Some colonies dropped by up to 77%.
Two Greenpeace ships are currently sailing Antarctica: these are the icebreakers Esperanza and Arctic Sunrise and on board there are several independent researchers who, together with the Greenpeace activists have discovered that the colony of Antarctic pgoscelid penguins has decreased. Usually these animals, which lived on Elephant Island, were over 100 thousand pairs.
Today the number has dropped to 52 thousand. After this discovery there were many manifestations of awareness on the subject and Heather J. Lynch, associate professor of ecology and evolution at the Stony Brook University of New York, one of the leaders of the expedition said that this collapse in the number of specimens of penguins must make us think. In 50 years the situation has changed significantly and it seems that climate change is the main culprit.
„So marked declines in the colonies suggest that the ecosystem of the Antarctic Ocean has drastically changed compared to 50 years ago and that the impacts of these changes are having a domino effect on the food chain of species such as penguins. Several factors may have contributed to this decline, but all the evidence we have indicates that climate change is primarily responsible for what we are observing, „says Heather J. Lynch, associate professor of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University in New York, one of the leaders of the expedition.
The team of scientists, from Stony Brook and Northeastern University, also examined a series of large but relatively unknown pigoscelid penguin colonies on Low Island using manual and drone detection techniques. It is the first time that the island, which is believed to have about 10,000 breeding pairs, has been the subject of such research.
“We urgently need marine sanctuaries, not only in the Antarctic, but in all the oceans of the planet. Only in this way can animals like penguins have a place to recover from the impact of human activities and adapt to a rapidly changing climate „declares Giorgia Monti, head of the seaside campaign of Greenpeace Italia. „The negotiations for a Global Agreement on the Oceans will end in New York next March: we are asking Italy and governments around the world for a strong treaty to save our blue planet, there is no more time to lose.
Such a significant drop in the number of penguins suggests that the ecosystem of the Antarctic Ocean has changed dramatically in the past 50 years, and that the impacts of this are rippling the food chain towards species such as pygelid penguins, „says Heather in the Greenpeace statement. J. Lynch, associate professor of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University in New York and one of the expedition research managers.