Penguins are one of the many creatures suffering from the effects of climate change. Penguins are indigenous to the Southern Hemisphere and they range from human sized prehistoric penguins (now extinct) to the Little Blue penguin which are just over 30cm high. The largest species of living penguin is the Emperor, which stand up to 130 cm tall.
Climate change poses a very serious risk to the survival of Penguins.
According to research cited in a 2014 Guardian article, Penguin communities in both Argentina and Antarctica are being decimated. Up to half of Magellanic penguin chicks are being killed each year by global warming related events including rainstorms and heatwaves. Adelie penguins are another species at risk due to climate change but for different reasons. They are finding it harder to find food due to the formation of giant icebergs.
Penguins are also under threat from rising sea levels and ocean acidification. Rising sea levels threaten to drown important coastal nesting sites while acidification decreases penguins’ food supply. The Southern Ocean food chain may break down completely as soon as 2030.
Organizations like the Antarctic Oceans Alliance, are lobbying governments to protect penguin habitats.