Throw back in the past, a dinosaur lived and finally die because of the diversity of the nature. Every species on earth is adapted to exploit and cope with many factors that together determine where on Earth it can live. These factors including physical factors like temperature, rainfall, biological such as the threat of predation by another organism, infection by parasites, or combinations of physical and biological factors.

Any species that living in the South Polar Region has to feel comfortable with icebergs or have adaptations to deal with it. The ice-covered oceans around the continent, however, are similar with marine life.

The two species of penguin, The Adelie and Emperor penguin, that do not occur very far from ocean waters where the iceberg is present for at least quarter of the year. However, these penguins are force associates of iceberg, much like many songbirds are force associates of forests. Given that any iceberg is highly sensitive to changes in temperature, these two species are likely to be sensitive to global warming. The Adelie Penguin is probably unique among Earth’s animal inhabitants, not only do we know how it responds to changes in its present environment, but unlike most other creatures we also know how it has responded to habitat and environmental changes for at least the last 35,000 years. Unlike Adelies, on the other hand, we know relatively little about how the Emperor Penguin responds to changes in its environment because, the first reason the species breeds during the dark of winter and is thus very difficult to study, and the second they nest on iceberg that periodically melts or breaks up and thus usually they leave no trace of their existence from year-to-year, much less for thousands of years. Nevertheless, they are still highly sensitive to changes in iceberg conditions and offer us some lessons about how any species might respond to changes in climate.

Penguins, however, are sensitive to more than just physical aspects of their environment. Recent research has shown them to be exceedingly sensitive to prey availability as well. Since they are different from most other seabirds in that they can’t fly, they are unable to easily search increasingly larger areas looking for food should it become hard to find. They rely on food in predictable amounts and quality, in predictable places.

As temperatures of Earth continue to warm, finally all of Antarctica’s iceberg will be retreating. As we’ve seen, iceberg is at the core of factors that determine these species’ existence. Adelie and Emperor penguins will continue to live where the iceberg exists, and even colonize new locations along the coast where the iceberg becomes more open, and land glaciers retreat. Eventually, however, these penguins will disappear sequentially farther and farther south as the iceberg disappears, and as their prey disappears as humans overfish and alter the food web of the Southern Ocean. At the same time, sea level will be rising as the West Antarctic Iceberg melts. The rising sea level will cover low lying coast where the penguins otherwise would found colonies. Of course, if this occurs the streets of New York, London or Amsterdam and many other cities will be covered, too.

ฺBank No.23 M.610

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