Oh noes! Models say Emperor Penguins can’t walk away from climate change

From the “not happy feet” department and the “prospects look grim” climate model comes this mostly emotional bit of science PR. Please send money for more research too.

Finding new homes won’t help Emperor penguins cope with climate change
WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION

If projections for melting Antarctic sea ice through 2100 are correct, the vanishing landscape will strip Emperor penguins of their breeding and feeding grounds and put populations at risk. But like other species that migrate to escape the wrath of climate change, can these iconic animals be spared simply by moving to new locations?

WHOI biologist Stephanie Jenouvrier, seen here holding a young Emperor penguin, says the study’s findings conclude that the Emperor penguin is deserving of protection under the Endangered Species Act. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Jenouvrier, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

According to new research led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), they cannot. Scientists report that dispersal may help sustain global Emperor penguin populations for a limited time, but, as sea ice conditions continue to deteriorate, the 54 colonies that exist today will face devastating declines by the end of this century. They say the Emperor penguin should be listed as an endangered species. The study was published in the June 6, 2017 edition of the journal Biological Conservation.

“We know from previous studies that sea ice is a key environmental driver of the life history of Emperor penguins, and that the fifty-percent declines we’ve seen in Pointe Géologie populations along the Antarctic coast since the 1950s coincide with warmer climate and sea ice decline,” said Stephanie Jenouvrier, WHOI biologist and lead author of the study. “But what we haven’t known is whether or not dispersal could prevent or even reverse future global populations. Based on this study, we conclude that the prospects look grim at the end of 2100, with a projected global population decline as low as 40 percent and up to 99 percent over three generations. Given this outlook, we argue that the Emperor penguin is deserving of protection under the Endangered Species Act.”

The relationship between Emperor penguins and sea ice is a fragile one: Too little sea ice reduces the availability of breeding sites and prey; too much sea ice means longer hunting trips for adults, which in turn means lower feeding rates for chicks. Only in the past few years have scientists become aware of the penguins’ ability to migrate to locations with potentially more optimal sea ice conditions.

“Before 2014, our studies of the impacts of climate change on these animals hadn’t factored in movement among populations,” said Jenouvrier. “But between then and now, a number of satellite imagery studies and genetic studies have confirmed their ability to disperse, so this was an important new variable to work into the equation.”

To determine whether migration will ultimately help Emperor penguins defend against population decline, Jenouvrier worked with mathematicians to develop a sophisticated demographic model of penguin colonies based on data collected at Pointe Géologie, one of the few places where long-term Emperor penguin studies have been conducted.

The model tracks the population connectivity between penguins as they take their chances moving to new habitats offering better sea ice conditions. “It’s like we’ve added roads between the cities the penguins live in and now get to see what happens when they travel between them,” she said.

A range of model inputs were used, including penguin dispersal distance, behavior and rate of migration. The model also factors in end-of-century sea ice forecasts from climate projection models to predict the fate of each colony.

According to Shaye Wolf, climate science director for the Center for Biological Diversity, the new modeling technique is key to informing policy around “much-needed protections” for the Emperor penguin.

“Dr. Jenouvrier’s research has been at the forefront of advancing our understanding of how climate change is impacting these animals now and into the future,” she said. “Emperor penguins capture our imaginations because they are devoted parents and tough survivors. This work is another wake-up call that we need to make rapid cuts in carbon pollution if emperor penguins are going to have a future.”

One surprising aspect of the study, according to Jenouvrier, was the wide range of penguin responses to various dispersal scenarios represented in the model. In some cases, dispersal boosted populations whereas in other cases, it led to dramatic declines.

“We saw sustained populations through 2036, at which point there was an ‘ecological rescue’ that reversed the anticipated decline expected without dispersion for about a ten-year period,” she explained. “During that time, the penguins made wise choices in terms of selecting the highest-quality habitat they could reach. But the ‘rescue’ was only short-lived, and started plummeting in 2046. When we averaged out all the scenarios, the model painted a very grim picture through 2100, regardless of how far penguins travelled or how wise their habitat selections were.”

The researchers conclude that while dispersal can be a very potent response to climate change in certain cases, the projected accelerated pace at which ice is melting in Antarctica makes for a tricky dynamic. Climate change isn’t stationary, so even if Emperor penguins move to locations with better sea ice conditions, those conditions could change dramatically from one year to the next.

The new findings will help inform a scientific status review launched in 2014 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service aimed at determining if the Emperor Penguin should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Wolf views the study as confirmation that climate change is putting the animals in danger, and as such, agrees with Jenouvrier that protection is in order. “Decisions to protect species under the Act must be based on science and not politics, so we hope the Fish and Wildlife Service will heed the science and give Emperor penguins the protections they deserve,” she said.

Jenouvrier agrees, and believes that adding Emperor penguins to the Endangered Species list could help accomplish a number of things. For example, it’s likely to trigger new fishing regulations in the Southern Ocean and highlight the need for new global conservation strategies. It may also help increase public awareness and “sensitize people to the impacts of climate change” which in turn could help reduce emissions. And, it may spur the need for more studies of Emperor penguins — something she’s already eyeing for the future.

“While we’ve learned that dispersal doesn’t change the ultimate fate of these animals,” she said, “we need to better understand the dynamics of what happens when they disperse. To do this, we’ll need to tag penguins from several colonies and monitor them. Eventually, we also want to understand if populations may eventually adapt to sea ice change, and more generally, how they will respond to the changing landscape in terms of breeding and other life history stages.”

###

This research was supported by WHOI, Mission Blue and The French National Research Agency.

The Study: https://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n8/full/nclimate2280.html


Gosh, it’s just tragic, right?

Back in 2012, it was reported:

Emperor penguins in Antarctica are far more plentiful than previously thought, a study that used extremely high-resolution imagery snapped by satellites has revealed.

“It surprised us that we approximately doubled the population estimate,” said Peter Fretwell, a scientist with the British Antarctic Survey and lead author of a paper published today in the journal PLoS One.

Fretwell said that in contrast to previous estimates, which put emperor penguin numbers somewhere between 270,000 and 350,000 birds, the new research counted 595,000 birds.

https://www.livescience.com/19677-emperor-penguin-numbers-double-previous-estimates-satellites-show.html

Despite that good news, plus more colonies being found, the IUCN “redlist” still lists them as “near threatened” even though the first count in 2009 was wrong, by their own admission:

A survey of satellite images from 2009 found 46 colonies containing c.238,000 breeding pairs, suggesting a total of c.595,000 individuals (Fretwell et al. 2012). Since then, a further seven colonies have been discovered bringing the total number to 53 (Fretwell, pers. com.). The global population estimate has not yet been updated.

Why? Climate models of course!

This species has been uplisted to Near Threatened because it is projected to undergo a moderately rapid population decline over the next three generations owing to the effects of projected climate change. However, it should be noted that there is considerable uncertainty over future climatic changes and how these will impact the species.

Aptenodytes forsteri has a circumpolar range, restricted when breeding to the coast of Antarctica where breeding colonies occur right around the continent (Fretwell et al. 2012). At least ¾ of the breeding colonies of this species are vulnerable to predicted changes in sea ice conditions and 1/5 may be quasi-extinct by 2100 (Jenouvrier et al. 2014). There are regional variations in population declines but colonies located north of 70°S have a probability of 46% to decrease by up to >90% by the end of this century (Jenouvrier et al.2014).

Quasi-extinct? Hmmm.

Conservation status: Near Threatened (Population stable) according to the Encyclopedia of Life

So now four years later, thanks to the same researcher (Jenouvrier) who got them on the “near threatened status, that doubled population faces a certain doom, according to “projections”. One wonders if their “projections” are any better than the ability to count populations from satellite imagery in 2009.

But it seems the researchers goal to do more banding of penguins, might do more harm than good, as Jim Steele reported on WUWT:

There is a much more parsimonious explanation for the DuDu penguins’ decline. Between 1967 and 1980 researchers from DuDu attached flipper bands to breeding penguins, and that is exactly when the penguins began to desert the colony as seen in Figure A. By the time the much-ballyhooed “warm spike” occurred in the winter of 1981, the colony had already declined by 50%.

Placing a band on an Emperor Penguin is no easy task. Male Emperors must conserve energy in order to survive their 4 month winter fast, and tussles with researchers consumed their precious energy. Emperors must also huddle in order to conserve vital warmth (as seen below in the picture from Robertson 2014). But huddling was disrupted whenever researchers “drove” the penguins into files of 2 or 3 individuals in order to systematically read bands or more accurately count the population. “Droving” could also cause the males to drop their eggs that are so precariously balanced on their feet.

When DuDu’s flipper banding finally ended in 1980, coincidentally the Emperors’ “survival rate” immediately rebounded. Survival rates remained high for the next four years despite extreme shifts in weather and sea-ice extent. However, survival rates suddenly plummeted once again in 1985, despite an above-normal pack-ice extent.Coincidentally, that is when the French began building an airstrip at DuDu, and to that end they dynamited and joined three small islands.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/01/blinded-by-beliefs-the-straight-poop-on-emperor-penguins/

 

Maybe the authors were listening to ‘ship of fools” organizers, Chris Turney, who claimed in February 2016 that 150,000 penguins simply disappeared, so they must have died.  https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/13/chris-turney-penguins-dont-migrate-theyre-dying/

Oh, wait, never mind, they “walked away”: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/16/the-penguin-strikes-back/

And last year, WUWT reported (thanks to David Middleton) that based on the RCP 8.5 model, penguins would be “exterminated”…unless of course you actually read the paper, something the headline generators don’t count on:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/06/30/rcp-8-5-to-exterminate-antarcticas-penguins-by-2100/

Perhaps rather than putting the 600,000 strong Emperor penguins on the “endangered list” they could be listed under the “climate horror stories that just won’t die” list, like the Pika.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/02/04/climate-horror-stories-that-wont-die-the-case-of-the-pika-stewart-2015/

Meanwhile, in the real world, the Antarctic sea ice extent max-min difference (the minimum usually occurs in February) has been on the rise, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center:

This graph shows monthly ice extent for February, plotted as a time series of percent differences from the 1981 to 2010 average. The dotted gray line shows the linear trend.

 

Note: within five minute of publication, the paragraph preceding the graph of Antarctic sea ice was edited for clarity and accuracy.

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139 thoughts on “Oh noes! Models say Emperor Penguins can’t walk away from climate change

  1. The Center for Biological Diversity actually does some research, no matter how deficient? I was familiar with the group only as anti-hunting activists.

    • “They say the Emperor penguin should be listed as an endangered species.”

      Based on a danger that someone’s climate model may show may happen in a hundred years time. HUH?

      The word “endangered” means in the present, now, here, at this point in time. It does not mean maybe later, well a lot later, if our models are right. They are NOT endangered now, so should NOT be listed as endangered now.

      Get back to us in 50 years.

      • Yeah, but then they wouldn’t be able to use the future projected possible endangerment finding as an excuse to expand totalitarian rule by the UN.

      • Jenouvrier wants to classify a species with a population of half a million mature individuals as “endangered” when there is no evidence of a decline? Granted, it is under the U.S. ESA (for now), but still. Does she know what endangered means? Perspective: Cheetah populations have declined significantly (and continue to do so), but the IUCN continues to classify them as “Vulnerable” as opposed to “Endangered”. Estimated population is less than 7,000. Let’s compare: 590,000 emperor penguins. She calls herself a biologist?

        IUCN claims that the population trend is unknown but also claims that there is a decline in mature individuals. As usual, they invoke the precautionary principle. There is a sign that the assessors might not be completely crazy, illustrated by the following quote from the trend justification section:

        “Importantly, it has been argued that a simple latitudinal gradient in the loss of sea ice is unlikely, and that warming has so far been regional in the Antarctic (Zwally et al. 2002, Turner et al. 2009, Trathan et al. 2011, Fretwell et al. 2012).”

        Only one other paper is cited in the section, and it is a doom and gloom from 2010. This 2014 paper is cited in the range description section. Jenouvrier is not listed as a contributor, interestingly enough.

        “And, it may spur the need for more studies of Emperor penguins — something she’s already eyeing for the future.” The real reason she wants them listed as endangered.

    • The Center for Biological Diversity are alarmists lawyers using law suits to push their agenda. They have misrepresented the condition both penguins and polar bears. In one of their media burbs they suggested global warming was causing baby chicks to fall into the sea before they were ready and drown. I attended one their talks by Shaye Wolfe. CBD is more of a propaganda machine not to be trusted.

      • I had the misfortune of having one of their lawyers visit a conservation class I was taking. He admitted that their schtick was sue-and-settle. A relative who works for the feds confirms that they are one of the worst organizations for suing over anything and everything, and usually advocate for policies and actions that are scientifically unsound and often BAD for the environment. Even the liberals in his office are not fond of the CBD.

  2. If they are all doomed anyway, why don’t we just round them up and dump them in the Arctic – the extra source of protein might prolong the survival of all those starving poley bears.

    • Magness: “…the extra source of protein might prolong the survival of all those starving poley bears.”

      Don’t! The poley bears will think the penguins are genetically modified seals, by evil fossil fuel burning humans, and die of heart attack.

    • Emperor penguins they wobble and squawk
      With short stubby legs, they just can’t walk the walk.
      I see them and wonder an obvious “why”;
      “Shouldn’t evolution have already taught them to fly?”

      • Penguins descend from flying birds. Although a mitochondrial DNA study in 2006 found them closer to storks, most molecular and morphological data show they’re more related to seabirds like albatrosses, loons and petrels.

      • Thanks Indur.

        They may look silly on land but that is not their element. They are a lot more at home under water.

  3. The folks at Woods Hole used to annoy some of the folks I worked with. My buddies coined the epithet:

    Woods Hole-ier than thou.

    Sounds like not much has changed.

  4. Wonderful rubbish. I am reminded that more than three forms of computer model showed that the bumblebee could not fly – until of course it was discovered that a bumblebee’s wings impart lift on the upstroke as well as the down stroke.

    Instead of leaping (yet again) to insane conclusions that ignore the fact that these birds lived through far warmer times in the past they should use their current conclusions to declare that the models are wrong. Now that would be believable.

    • >>
      the bumblebee could not fly
      <<

      It’s because some insects operate their airfoils at or near stall speed. You obtain maximum lift just before the airfoil stalls. So they increase the angle-of-attack until it stalls, then rapidly decrease it until the boundary layer returns. This is repeated during flight. Usually we don’t operate our airfoils at or near stall speed–it would lead to a bumpy flight. Plus, air is thicker to an insect, because of their smaller size.

      Jim

  5. The ancient lineage of Emperor penguins has survived long intervals much warmer than now or in the future. Besides which, less sea ice means they have shorter distances to waddle.

  6. “They say the Emperor penguin should be listed as an endangered species.”
    Yes, because that worked so well with the Poley Bears. It will boil down to, “if you drive an SUV, and/or live in a western country, then you are guilty of murdering Happy Feet.

    • That is a very good question. It is like the claim of only being a little bit pregnant.

      There is meta-pregnant, but that comes later.

  7. In a similar story, in MN they attempted to “save” the MN moose from climate change. The MN DNR had researchers tranquilizer newborn calfs from a helicopter. The DNR who was trying to save the moose noticed the calves dying. Of course the usual suspect was climate change until someone asked what happened to the mother? She reportedly abandoned the calf.

    • I was watching wildlife researchers tranquilizing and radio collaring mountain goats on TV. I have to wonder how it affects the mountains goat—carried off by a helicopter, returned with a neck ornament and the goats won’t even notice, right? People do not give animals nearly enough credit for knowing what is going on.

  8. Sheeesh – Leave the penguins alone!
    The ‘WHOI’ researchers are bloody penguin molestors!
    Did their ‘sophisticated demographic model of penguin colonies’ and population changes include direct human hazing of penguins, man made penguin body piercing, and local dynamiting(!) as variables???
    If not, why not?

    • Yes, why can’t they leave them alone? These types come off as being obsessed with penguins. Like they are some kind of penguin perverts.

      • They have to have something to cry over. The news about the arctic’s polar bears population recovery is now all over the world. They are no longer endangered so they can no longer be wept over.

        The antarctic, after six decades of steadily increasing winter sea ice area have two years of lower than normal sea ice extent. Whoopee do. Suddenly the Emperor penguin is `endangered’..

        ROTFL.

        I hardly think so. The parental birds no longer have so far to go to be able to fish for their young, so it’s much more likely more younger birds will survive these lower ice years than previously. It’s cyclic.

        Let’s see how this winter unfolds, first, and do some year-on-year scientific instead of lacrimal research.

        It just may return to record growth. It just may not. So what? The penguins can (and do!) move.

  9. “The relationship between Emperor penguins and sea ice is a fragile one: Too little sea ice reduces the availability of breeding sites and prey; too much sea ice means longer hunting trips for adults, which in turn means lower feeding rates for chicks. Only in the past few years have scientists become aware of the penguins’ ability to migrate to locations with potentially more optimal sea ice conditions”
    It’s a wonder they’ve survived all this time.
    God protect us from zealots. How ’bout quit tagging, holding and harassing them for a start!

      • Or just staple a numbered plastic tag in their ears and then dart tranquilize them once a year so they can be weighed, check if they’re pregnant or have had offspring, and empty their stomach contents to see what their diet consists of?

        If we’re going to save the endangered WHOI population, we must have data!

      • Sheri
        Plus Absolute Shedloads!!

        An out-of-left-field idea – but a good one.

        If colony success appears to inversely correlate with local researcher effort [I have no idea if it will do so, but note that most of these creatures ancestors hadn’t seen a human being until – perhaps – a hundred years ago . . . .} this might be a VERY good idea.

        Sheri – thanks indeed.

        Auto

      • Oh, I agree, all these shysters need to be wearing “radio tracking collars” on their ankles. Right after their 25 year prison sentences for fraud and theft through deception are done.

  10. Yet another paper from Associated Stupid Scientist Holes. These are probably the same folks that extrapolated the decline in temperatures in the 1970s to produce polar bears in Miami. Problem is, their grants are on my bill for the most part.

  11. I think the presence of the penguins today indicates they are hardy and robust enough to have survived the ice age and its decline and end 10,000 years ago. That episode also serves as a reminder that the current state of the climate is temporary and that it can and will change. We also need to accept that we have no idea what the climate will do and that the current models are helpless to inform us as to what is ahead. We need to let the people 100 years in the future determine what is best for them and focus on what is best for us.

    • Not just the last ice age, but dozens of glacial advances and retreats over the past 2.6 million years and the formation of ice sheets on Antarctica from 34 million years ago.

  12. Last year Nat Geo said the Adelie penguin was the climate endangered species. Then a revised count found 3.6 million more Agelies than before. So quick, switch the gloom and doom to Emperor penguins. Only 560,000 of those to start with, unlike 14.5 million Adelies. More CAGW whack-a-mole games.

  13. Quoting article:

    “We know from previous studies that sea ice is a key environmental driver of the life history of Emperor penguins, and that the fifty-percent declines we’ve seen in Pointe Géologie populations along the Antarctic coast since the 1950s coincide with warmer climate and sea ice decline,” said Stephanie Jenouvrier, WHOI biologist and lead author of the study.

    Oh good grief, ……. common sense thinking and logical reasoning should be informing those “dummies” that the Emperor Penguins established their preferred “breeding grounds” on the shores of Antarctica during a time when there was no glacial ice or sea ice to contend with.

    And after hundreds of generations, the choice of an “egg laying, incubating, rearing grounds” on the shores of Antarctica became imprinted in their genes as an “inherited survival trait”, …… and thus it mattered not that the Antarctica climate slowly changed from an “ice/snow free environment” to what it is today.

    Over thousands of years, as the Antarctica climate cooled down, the Emperor penguins evolved to cope with the changes in their environment, given the fact that said “changes” had no effect whatsoever on their source of food.

    • Biologists must be believing creationists. God created Emperor Penguins as an example of his divine capability. He told them to walk 100 km over a glacier to reach their breeding colony. That keeps them in a top physical shape.

      Amazing how low the quality of Woods Hole science sank. Science?? Science is in a catastrophic decline.

    • Only biologists whose minds have been turned to mush by CACA indoctrination and grant consensus could suppose that animals don’t move to seek optimum environmental conditions when their prior habitat undergoes change.

      The definition of animal is a multicellular, heterotrophic, motile eukaryote, with emphasis on “motile”, ie capable of purposeful movement, as opposed to fungi, which can move only by spreading without active motility. Plants of course are multicellular, autotrophic eukaryotes.

      So it should surprise no one, even teenagers who have never studied biology, that penguins can move to find better conditions when their prior habitats deteriorate. It’s one of the advantages of being an animal.

      • So it should surprise no one, ……. that penguins can move to find better conditions when their prior habitats deteriorate.

        True, but in the case of the Emperor penguins, their primary habitat (the Southern Ocean) hasn’t changed in millions of years. T’is only the environment of their “nesting” habitat that has changed and the Emperor penguins have successfully adjusted to that change.

        Likewise, with the ringed seals that live in the Arctic. Their per se “nesting” habitat dramatically increased when the Arctic temperature started decreasing and snow covered sea ice started forming on the Arctic Ocean.

  14. My models say trouble, give me money. But my real question is why do they have a ‘penguin crib’ set up and why is she holding the chick? If anything is happening there, it is them harming the penguins.

  15. Send money.
    The goberment folk aren’t as free with it as they use to be.
    …and we have salaries, pensions, medical, transportation, conferences, etc to pay!
    (a trip to Antarctica is expense, don’t you know)

  16. “We saw sustained populations through 2036 …. ”
    Followed by
    “While we’ve learned that dispersal …. ”
    I really don’t understand how this qualifies as science. Does no-one in the climate science community see the problem with the past tense in reference to 2036? Does no-one see the problem with confusing model output with reality? Did they do any back-testing, any out-of-sample testing, how about an fold validation, anything that would be expected in a statistics heavy enterprise?
    I work in the quantitative hedge fund business. These people would be laughed out of the room.

  17. The Emperor Penguins would do a lot better if the Woods Hole scientists would quit picking the chicks up and throwing them in a pen.

    Like the scientists who were attaching flipper bands to the Adelie Penguins which affected their survival rates. The colony eventually died out or they moved to another colony because of the interference from the scientists .

    • Indeed , botanist Stephanie needs to indulge here maternal instincts elsewhere and stop bugging cute little penguins.

      The one in the photo does not look at all amused.

  18. It’s models all the way down. Why even bother with reality and observations thereof.

  19. Global warming research from 2011.

    Band of bothers
    Researchers’ flipper bands can seriously dent penguin survival, and also skew the results of research.
    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110112/full/news.2011.15.html

    From 2004. (Not GW)

    Banding kills birds it’s supposed to tag
    Banding, a common and simple way of tagging wildlife, can kill the creatures it was designed to monitor, new research has found.

  20. Think of the tonnage of alternative fuel that was wasted over the years by alarmists throwing it against the wall to see if it sticks?

  21. On noes, … yet another article the uses only the phrase, “climate change”, as if “climate change” (I presume) equates to “human-caused climate change”.

    Is that the deal these days ? that the phrase “climate change” AUTOMATICALLY carries the understanding that humans ALWAYS cause it ? … What if I just want to talk about climate change, in general? Do I now have to specify somehow that I am NOT talking about human-caused change ?

    This whole issue is f****ing up the language.

    Now let’s talk about hunger, … of course, with the understanding that humans cause it.
    Next, let’s talk about the sinus congestion, … humans cause it, understood.
    Name your experience, … humans cause it, … no need to qualify it.

    Anthropoantiseptic could relieve such annoying side effects of stupid.

      • Robert , it is well known that climate change affects your concentration and typing abilities. When will denierz wake up to the reality. Too much CO2 shuts down brain , you are showing the first symptoms at 400ppm, Just imagine what it will be like in 2100 : everyone will crashing their cars.

        That is why we must ban cars now and let google take over.

      • That’s why self-driving cars will be common place in a few decades. – it’s positive feedback designed by and for the auto industry whereby more self-driving cars will spew more CO2 causing more brain-dead humans to buy more self-driving cars, etc. etc.

    • Robert, conflating one thing with another is a common lefty tactic: Carbon (soot) conflated with CO2 for instance or illegal immigration conflated with legal immigration or global warming conflated with anthropgenic global warming.

    • “Is that the deal these days ? that the phrase “climate change” AUTOMATICALLY carries the understanding that humans ALWAYS cause it ?”

      Yes, that’s the deal. The alarmists assume it and want us to assume it, too.

      • Now there is a Human Caused effect that is easily illustrated. Just go onto any college campus or to any SJW “protest” and it will wash over you like a wave in the ocean!

  22. And yet, the temperature of the Antarctic continent has not changes one whit since measurements (on the surface and by satellite) began. Since this is a Woods Hole paper, we all paid for it. Are we enjoying our purchase?

  23. Yet they can swim away, as they gorge themselves on the multitude of fish living in all that open ocean, filled with plankton and krill and whatnot. Funny how nature just keeps on going as it CHANGES endlessly. Something it has been doing since long before humans arrived on the scene.

  24. Why all the fuss?
    Just tweak the model a bit so emperor penguins CAN fly.
    Climate Models don’t lie, so, problem solved!

  25. I suppose we’ll just have to accept that research into “climate change/warming/some damn thing” is now actual climate change.
    I haven’t seen it and the supposed .8C increase would be unnoticeable to anyone other than some guy who can get 2decimal places out of a degree accurate thermometer. Storms seem to come less and less, at least here in the good old USA which apparently is the only country that counts in these things, so maybe there are other considerations? Sea levels seem to go up and down depending on various mysterious factors like the moon and sun, if you can believe it. How’s that work?
    What I’d like to really know is how can scientists make predictions into the next century but my local forecast changes hourly?
    ps Penguins stink and taste terrible so who needs them?

    • It’s a kind of reverse evolution. I have noticed it in many newspaper and TV articles. Although people intellectually accept that penguins came about through evolution, which entails old species dying off as new species are created, they don’t accept that it should ever happen again. That is, now that these people exist, they want the whole world to just freeze at the state it was when they were born.

      Deluded, yes. But nobody has ever been able to explain that to them.

      • It’s because if humans are the cause of evolution, it’s unnatural and evil.

        What about all the endangered species we’ve saved from natural extinction? Why isn’t non-human-caused extinction as bad as human? Aren’t we a part of nature?

        What about cyanobacteria, which caused the extinction of practically all life on earth more than two billion years ago? But without them, no oxygen, no animals, no fungi and no plants.

        Sometimes however species go extinct without leaving any evolutionary descendants, while at other times new species arise from existing ones without the maternal species going extinct.

        Penguins are an interesting case. Their evolution is actively being investigated. Molecular “clocks”, ie estimates of divergence dates from mutation rates, differ from “rocks”, ie the fossil record. Part of the problem is that mutation rates vary over time and among different, even closely related, groups; part is from an incomplete fossil record and part from simple taxonomic classification, as in, what counts as a penguin?

        The relationships among existing “crown” groups of penguins have been worked out quite well, but their more remote, ie Miocene and earlier, ancestry remains controversial. Unless my info is out of date, as well it might be.

      • While fossils of birds clearly related to penguins date from 62 million years ago (some man-sized), the latest genomic survey found that all modern genera date only from the time of the late Miocene re-deep-freezing of Antarctica.

        http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/9/6/20130748.short?rss=1

        That means that all other proto-penguin and penguin lines went extinct between ~62 and 11-16 Ma, leaving only the line that led to Pliocene, Pleistocene and Holocene diversity.

  26. A few years ago, I was travelling through Tierra del Fuego, and was told of a King Penguin colony that had recently re-established (King not Emperor). There were only a handful of penguins, but the Chileans were pretty excited about it as the penguins had been absent for a very long time. I’m pleased to see that the colony is now over 100 strong.
    http://www.fsexpeditions.com/tierra_del_fuego/king_penguins_of_tierra_del_fuego.php
    It seems that it has taken the Chileans no time at all to turn them into a tourist attraction, but realistically that’s needed for the penguins’ survival. The colony is a very short walk from the road, and they are much more in need of protection from people than they are from marine predators.
    The point of this is that penguins can and do re-locate without the help of a climate model.

  27. “However, it should be noted that there is considerable uncertainty over future climatic changes and how these will impact the species.”

    WAT! Somebody hold me, I’m shaking. They told me it was settled science.

  28. “The model also factors in end-of-century sea ice forecasts from climate projection models to predict the fate of each colony”
    So their conclusions were based on a climate model based on a climate model. How do these people manage to convince their funding bodies that their conclusions were the results of flawed, or at least unproven information at the outset?

  29. “Only in the past few years have scientists become aware of the penguins’ ability to migrate to locations with potentially more optimal sea ice conditions.”

    Absolutely priceless. So these intellectual giants apparently thought that during the last glacial maximum the Emperor Penguins bred high on the inland ice hundreds of kilometers inland?

    With Adelie penguins, the other high-arctic species this particular idiocy is at least impossible since they breed on rocks and their old abandoned colonies are preserved in deep-frozen state.

    Of course colonies moves. No animal or plant that cannot move long distances has a chance to survive long-term at high latitudes. There is this thing called ice ages….

  30. ”We know from previous studies that sea ice is a key environmental driver of the life history of Emperor penguins, and that the fifty-percent declines we’ve seen in Pointe Géologie populations along the Antarctic coast since the 1950s coincide with warmer climate and sea ice decline”

    Sounds impressive if you don’t know two things.

    1. Pointe Géologie is the site of the main French Antarctic Base Dumont d’Urville complete with airfield and tourists.

    2. A hundred kilometers away a major Adelie penguin colony at Cape Denison has been virtually abandoned during the same period because it is now too far from open water (this was where “the ship of fools” got caught)

    • The chart with the annual trends sets a new record in statistical abuse: significant figures out to ten-thousandths of a degree C from a sample size in the 50s.

    • But what has actually happened in the past 61 years of actual records under steadily rising CO2 doesn’t count. All that matters are what the GIGO models, already shown false, predict for the next 83 years.

    • They mostly breed in areas where there are no terrestrial predators. Mainland colonies are rare, and only small species that breed in burrows use them regularly.

  31. “We know from previous studies that sea ice is a key environmental driver of the life history of Emperor penguins, and that the fifty-percent declines we’ve seen in Pointe Géologie populations along the Antarctic coast since the 1950s coincide with warmer climate and sea ice decline …”.
    =================================
    As Anthony Watts shows that is simply untrue.
    Further, the longest-term Antarctic temperature record (since according to the IPCC human CO2 emissions have been the overwhelming global av. temperature driver) shows no apparent trend:

    I’m not a scientist but I gather that any GHG warming due to increased concentration of CO2 is logarithmic, that should be most apparent at the lower end of the scale and gradually tails off, that “atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has its greatest absorption of infrared radiation (IR) at sub-zero temperatures”, and that because the Antarctic air is very dry that is where CO2 would be expected to exert the greatest influence and any CO2 warming most apparent i.e.:“… enhanced greenhouse surface ‘fingerprint’ is usually considered to be enhanced warming in the polar and sub-polar regions …”. (quotes from climate4you).

    • Those 37-month smoothings sure do a great job of taking away the natural variance from year to year, don’t they? Look at the spikes in that graph: 7-degree ranges at least once a decade, and annual differences of 2 degrees are routine. How can one possibly filter a hundredth-degree signal out of that much noise?

      One can’t; it’s impossible to do so in a statistically significant manner.

  32. CBC BS never ends…
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/climate-change-study-1.4157216

    “A team of scientists had to abandon an expedition through Hudson Bay because of hazardous ice conditions off the coast of Newfoundland caused by climate change.
    About 40 scientists from five Canadian universities were scheduled to use the icebreaker CCGS Amundsen for the first leg of a 133-day expedition across the Arctic. It’s part of a $17-million, four-year project led by the University of Manitoba that looks at both the effects of climate change as well as public health in remote communities.”

    Too much ice! Multi year ice!!!!
    “Thick, dense ice had traveled to the area down from the High Arctic, said Barber, which caused unsuspecting boats to become stuck and even take on water.”

    And when they encounter thick ice? Blame it on climate change:
    “Barber and his team began using their equipment on board the icebreaker to take samples and analyze the ice.
    They determined it was multi-year ice, not typical of the northeast coast of North America and most likely from the High Arctic. Chunks measured between five and eight metres thick.
    “This is the first time we’ve actually seen ice from the High Arctic,” said Barber, who has studied the impacts of climate change on sea ice for decades.”

    Yet Barber the Canadian ice idol contradicts himself the next paragraph: “Barber points out the warming action also loosens ice and broken icebergs can travel long distances on ocean currents.
    “It’s very much a climate-change driven phenomenon,” said Barber. “When you reduce the extent of the ice and reduce the thickness of it, it becomes more mobile.”

    So when you reduce the thickness of sea ice , you get thicker ice… LOL
    Of course, the CBC did not allow comments on such made up story so Barber retains his guru status…

    Barber is this kind of scientists who has not heard about atmospheric circulation patterns and how meteorology affects sea ice. Worse, CBC and Barber forget to tell multi year sea ice is on the rise…
    https://realclimatescience.com/2017/05/arctic-sea-ice-extent-identical-to-2006/

    “Eventually Barber decided leaving the area for Churchill would put lives in danger so he called off the first leg of the expedition.
    “It was an extremely difficult decision to make but I believe it was the right one to make,” he said.”

    The truth is that Churchill is quite iced up even now:
    https://polarbearscience.com/2017/06/08/breakup-of-sea-ice-on-track-in-canada-as-critical-feeding-period-for-polar-bears-ends/

    CBC is a mouthpiece for alarmist scientactivists

    • Well, it was only a few years ago when Barber said that the multi-year sea ice was gong and the ice was actually “rotten”. He noted in other interviews at the same time that the sea ice would melt out by 2020.

      http://umanitoba.ca/news/blogs/blog/2009/11/27/news-release-thick-arctic-sea-ice-goes-missing/

      I guess he’s saying the multi-year 6 metre thick ice is back now. Going by is previous MO, he should have had a complete psychological breakdown after hearing himself throw out those statements.

      • Looks like it… But the CBC propagandists never pass on an opportunity to push their agenda.

      • Interestingly, the DMI chart of ice volume is now topped out at the limit of the graphing color range in some places. Look way up at the north end of Hudson’ bay… there is a fair sized area that is flat in the color of 5m ice assigned on the chart. Who does a color chart that has large areas of max values?

    • At the moment, Arctic sea ice extent is about average for the past decade on this date, so ice from the High Arctic should be normal around Newfoundland, if that’s where it came from.

  33. “Before 2014, our studies of the impacts of climate change on these animals hadn’t factored in movement among populations,” said Jenouvrier.

    Translation: “Our previous models and predictions up to 2014 were hopelessly wrong for trivially simple reasons, but we promise that they are totally believable now. We have thought of everything.”

    • I have not earned an advanced degree yet, so perhaps I am being ignorant when I wonder what kind of idiot does not consider migration when doing population studies????

      Someone revoke all of her degrees.

      • Well, in her defense, rocks rarely migrate, so that would most likely never even occur to her. Doubt you could ‘splain it to her, either.

  34. If projections for melting Antarctic sea ice through 2100 are correct…

    Sorry, everything beyond that statement is too speculative to consider seriously.

  35. Lordy but I do so loathe Antarctic ‘research’ ‘scientists’ above all others – or at least their tv simulacra. A gross and sweeping generalisation I know but typified by the stern and selflessly dedicated, lantern-jawed men-of-science with robust beards and orange dayglo immersion suits, careering around the Antarctic coastlines in their orange dayglo semi-inflatable z-boats. Chests thrust out against icy spray and exclaiming in righteous outraged horror as mighty cliffs of ancient glacial ice tumble in post-processed slo-mo into the heaving Southern Ocean. Lordy I so hate all of that.

  36. “The model also factors in end-of-century sea ice forecasts from climate projection models to predict the fate of each colony.”

    There’s the problem right there. This study assumes facts not in evidence. Pure speculation. They forgot the disclaimer: “IF CAGW is real” then this or that may happen.

    That bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick chart inspires all this nonsense.

  37. My first thought when I saw the picture of the person holding a penguin (as a former bird owner) was, “that’s probably not good for the penguin.” From the statistics about the loss of penguin population due to the people studying them mentioned in the posts above, it seems that that is the case.

    I believe this is a video from the researchers just prior to the trip to the antarctic:

  38. Oh. My. Gawd. That captures the very essence of the “concerned envirowhatsit” perfectly! Wish I could find the video of greentards running over a pod of whales as they “saved” them from eeeeevil whalers. F*cking priceless.

  39. “The relationship between Emperor penguins and sea ice is a fragile one: Too little sea ice reduces the availability of breeding sites and prey; too much sea ice means longer hunting trips for adults, which in turn means lower feeding rates for chicks.”

    And with just the right amount of funding, sea ice will be just right for the penguins.

    • Alarmists can’t be happy about this ice year so far.

      Antarctic ice has nearly recovered from the super El Nino effect last year. Its extent is about to reenter the normal range.

      http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

      Arctic sea ice is about average for the past decade at the moment, despite its low high this year. With the melt season now over halfway through, the summer low could still be low, if there are August cyclones, as in other low years. But if WX in the Arctic is usual this year, minimum sea ice extent could look more like 2013 and 2014, ie in the normal range, rather than 2015 and 2016, the latter of which tied the stormy year of 2007.

      In any case, Griff’s assertion that this was “sure” to be a record low year, lower than even stormier 2012, isn’t looking too likely at the moment.

    • Thanks nc, Note the ice is between 5 and 8 meters thick!! Wasn’t the ice in the Arctic scheduled to disappear this year?
      “Barber and his team began using their equipment on board the icebreaker to take samples and analyze the ice.

      They determined it was multi-year ice, not typical of the northeast coast of North America and most likely from the High Arctic. Chunks measured between five and eight metres thick.

      “This is the first time we’ve actually seen ice from the High Arctic,” said Barber, who has studied the impacts of climate change on sea ice for decades.”

      He also, not aware of the Titanic, seemed surprised that ICE travels?

  40. Not related to penguins, but climate change, what our politicians are doing today regarding climate change in Australia. Notice the use of modelling.

    “The presentation, according to an MP in the room, was “very factual. It focused on what the modelling showed, what the impact was on electricity prices, and what the cost of doing nothing is”.”

    GIGO!

  41. ” Too little sea ice reduces the availability of breeding sites and prey; too much sea ice means longer hunting trips for adults, which in turn means lower feeding rates for chicks. ”

    Like every other animal on the planet the Emperor Penguin is teetering on a knife edge where both too much or too little sea ice will cause them to go extinct.

    I hear cockroaches are the same…. at least that what the cockroach experts say.

  42. We need to do more research on Emp. Penguins. Wherever they flee to, we will search them out and study them, every last one.

    sarc?

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