Penguins devastated by “unseasonably extensive amounts of sea ice.”

Guest “drive by” by David Middleton

Alternate Title: “Tarantino does ‘Happy Feet'”


Is Antarctica gaining ice? 01:47

(CNN) A penguin colony in Antarctica has suffered a massive breeding failure, with only two chicks surviving the disaster.

Terre Adélie (Adélie Land) is home to more than 18,000 pairs of Adélie penguins, but this year almost all the seabirds’ babies starved to death, a situation one expert described as “Tarantino does Happy Feet.”

The World Wildlife Fund said unseasonably extensive amounts of sea ice around the colony in East Antarctica had forced the adult penguins to travel further than normal to forage for food.

“This devastating event contrasts with the image that many people might have of penguins,” said Rod Downie, Head of Polar Programmes at WWF. “It’s more like ‘Tarantino does Happy Feet’, with dead penguin chicks strewn across a beach in Adélie Land.”



I had to double-check both the website and my calendar to make sure this wasn’t from The Onion and that it wasn’t April Fool’s Day.

Too much sea ice —> “Tarantino does ‘Happy Feet'”

If RCP 8.5 doesn’t exterminate Adélie penguins by 2100, too much sea ice will.  Apparently Adélie penguins lived in a Goldilocks world for the past 37,000 to 122,000 years. From the end of the Eemian interglacial stage, through the last glacial maximum, on through the Holocene Climatic Optimum, down to the coldest part of the Little Ice Age… Antarctica clearly must have had a perfect Goldilocks sea ice extent… Because penguin evolution is clearly restricted to pristine climatic conditions:

Penguin evolution. March of the Fossil Penguins.

Clearly penguin evolution depended on stable atmospheric CO2 levels…

Cenozoic atmospheric CO2. Older is to the left, x-axis is in millions of calendar years AD (BC). The Mauna Loa instrumental record is depicted by the solid black line at year 0. Oligocene CO2 levels drop from about 800-1,000 ppmv to about 600 ppmv from 32.5 to 30 MYA.

And a stable, unchanging climate…

Cenozoic temperature anomaly. Older is to the right, x-axis is millions of years before present (1950 AD). Earth’s climate rapidly cooled about 34 million years ago.

As usual: Any and all sarcasm was purely intentional.



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Ron Long
October 16, 2017 7:06 am

Let’s see now: Polar Bears are thriving in a less-ice environment and Penguins are dying in a more-ice environment. Now you know why I go to Miami Beach for vacations. Good work, reviews like this, in that it is a direct view of Reality!

Curious George
Reply to  Ron Long
October 16, 2017 7:45 am

Don’t be deceived by mere facts. Trust Prof. Paul Ehrlich’s projections.

Ron Long
Reply to  Curious George
October 16, 2017 10:10 am

I’m still going to Miami Beach for vacation.

Reply to  Curious George
October 16, 2017 2:19 pm

Curious George
Are the good Perfesser Ehrlich’s projections – by any chance – based on Assumptions?

If Yes – GIGO.
Garbage In – Garbage Out, as most reading here probably know.
Apologies if that is superfluous.

So – Yes – of course we should trust some guy with skin in the game . . . . .

Mods – the previous sentence is /Sarc. 24 carat /Sarc.
Did you guess?


Thomas Homer
Reply to  Ron Long
October 16, 2017 8:22 am

Ron Long: “Polar Bears are thriving in a less-ice environment and Penguins are dying in a more-ice environment”

Ice doesn’t promote the process of extracting Carbon from atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (photosynthesis). Penguins, as a carbon based life form, necessarily require access to carbon. Impeding access to carbon has deleterious effects on populations of carbon based life forms.

Je Suis Carbon

Reply to  Ron Long
October 16, 2017 5:52 pm

From the article:

“The region is impacted by environmental changes that are linked to the breakup of the Mertz glacier since 2010,”

— Of course, excessive sea ice *has* to be caused by man-made global warming!

October 16, 2017 7:06 am

Reacted on the same story in our local newspaper in the same way… No negative reactions until now…

October 16, 2017 7:07 am

Chris “Ship of Fools” Turney was doing dying Penguin colonies in 2016…

October 16, 2017 7:11 am

Isn’t this just a rehash? It is well known that the Adelie penguin colony at Cape Denison has been in big trouble ever since the B-9B iceberg stranded nearby in 2011 causing a major increase in local sea-ice. If the berg stays where it is the colony is likely to be gone by 2020.

And it might be quite a while before it melts. B-9 originally calved off the Ross shelf in 1987 (i. e. thirty years ago). At that time it was 5400 square kilometer. It has since broken into several pieces, but B-9B is still a very large berg.

But always remember all ice in West Antarctica will soon be gone, the science is settled.

Reply to  tty
October 16, 2017 7:17 am

I am still working on my plastic pontoon to save the Polar Bears and Seals. Soon as I am done with that I will work out how I can help the Penguins. What did all the animals do before I came along to save them.

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  LdB
October 16, 2017 7:29 am

Plastic? PLASTIC? Why do you hate man and Mother Gaia? Why do you want to kill us all? If you’re not using renewable bamboo and reeds to make your pontoon you are simply part of the problem, not the solution…


Reply to  LdB
October 16, 2017 7:52 am

“What did all the animals do before I came along to save them.”
They died out! (that’s normal, all species will die out someday in the future) Or they will change their behavior and live on.

October 16, 2017 7:13 am

There are 3.79 million breeding pairs distributed over 251 colonies.
This one colony of 18,000 pairs is a drop in the ocean.

The number of colonies has increased over the last twenty years by more than 50%.

Reply to  TerryS
October 16, 2017 7:22 am

251 known colonies. There are plenty of places down there that aren’t even visited once in a decade, if ever.

Jeff Norman
Reply to  TerryS
October 16, 2017 7:45 am

You beat me to it.

October 16, 2017 7:16 am

Too much sea ice —> “Tarantino does ‘Happy Feet’”

Well, this whole thing is just too weird.
So I looked and found this:
Apparently “Tarantino” is a made up notion of a happy dancing penguin.

An environmental group has likened the death of thousands of penguin chicks to a hypothetical film it has dubbed “Tarantino does Happy Feet”.

And then, just a bit later:

Happy Feet was a feel-good animated film about a dancing penguin – a world away from the violence and death usually seen in Quentin Tarantino films.

Now they are sounding like the movie actually exists.
Weird, just weird.
Anyway, here is the link, including an animated .gif of a dancing cartoon penguin. (if you can stand it.):

And finally:

Almost the entire cohort of chicks from an Adelie penguin colony in the eastern Antarctic was wiped out by starvation last summer in what scientists say is only the second such incident in more than 40 years, research found.

So it has happened before.

DeLoss McKnight
Reply to  TonyL
October 16, 2017 10:55 am

Tony, they don’t mean to imply that there is a movie “Tarantino does Happy Feet.” They were just making a darkly humorous analogy. If Quentin Tarantino had made Happy Feet, it wouldn’t have been a happy movie for children about dancing penguins. It would have been an adult movie called Pulped Penguins about the bloody slaughter of penguins resulting in a scene similar to that breeding ground. It would also give you a queasy feeling as you wonder, why am I enjoying this movie when it is sickeningly violent?

October 16, 2017 7:17 am

Yeah, but it is still the fault of Donald Trump, Exxon-Mobil, and those evil brothers with the same last name as a Mayor of New York city. . . They were just not applauding loud enough to keep Tinkerbelle from dying.

kokoda - AZEK (Deck Boards) doesn't stand behind its product
October 16, 2017 7:17 am

Loss of sea ice = Global Warming. Too much sea ice = Global Warming.
CO2 is a magic molecule.
If I was a Registered Democrat I would understand this nonsense, but I am at a loss.

I was reading comments on this story on Friday. Seems stories like this are starting to break through the sleeping consciousness of the masses. It now takes intentional ignorance to not see that the alarmists believe that EVERYTHING is caused by CO2 (usually called carbon). Cold, Hot, ice loss, too much ice… The general public is starting to laugh at these ridiculous claims.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
October 16, 2017 10:23 am

Tastes good and is less filling!

Joel O'Bryan
October 16, 2017 7:25 am


George Orwell understood.


the acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination.”

The Left has gone Total Orwell on climate for a political agenda.

kokoda - AZEK (Deck Boards) doesn't stand behind its product
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 16, 2017 7:43 am

Joel….thanx for the clarification.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 16, 2017 12:48 pm

The left views Orwell’s writings as scripts, rather than as warnings.

October 16, 2017 7:35 am

this is a very local build up of sea ice, due to the change in currents after the break-up of the Mertz glacier tongue in 2010, when a piece of ice almost the size of Luxembourg – about 80 km long and 40km wide – broke off. That event, which occurred about 250km from Petrels Island, had a big impact on ocean currents and ice formation in the region.

Reply to  Griff
October 16, 2017 7:50 am

Griff I am currently watching the ESO announcement that it recorded the merger of two superNova while LIGO warned it and detected the gravity wave. We had a few people on the forum claiming “LIGO” didn’t work. Your claim rings out with the same sort of stupidity.

Reply to  LdB
October 16, 2017 2:09 pm

Two neutron stars, not supernovae. Thanks to LIGO alert (and now having three of them), seen by many telescopes of all types. Decent article:

Reply to  Griff
October 16, 2017 7:55 am
Reply to  HotScot
October 17, 2017 12:44 pm

One wonders how a “marine protected area” would make the B-9B iceberg go away.

In any case the Adelie Penguin is already protected (from human interference, not natural forces) by the Madrid Treaty of 1991:

This is just Grauniad idiocy.

Reply to  Griff
October 16, 2017 8:01 am

Griff, as usual you fail to make a point.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
October 16, 2017 8:05 am


That’s because he nicks stuff he doesn’t understand and passes it off as his own.

Reply to  Griff
October 16, 2017 9:30 am

Krill is the key for those penguins. Not ice.
Whales making a comeback means the return of the largest competitor for that primary food source.

Reply to  Griff
October 16, 2017 12:31 pm

What do they need? More ice, less ice? We can make it happen … Just tell us, is warm or cold best?

Or, are you making &hit up again to explain a perfectly natural event? Thought so.

Reply to  3x2
October 16, 2017 12:34 pm

‘warm’ and ‘cold’ being a bit £ucking relative down there!

Reply to  3x2
October 16, 2017 2:26 pm

Nearly spilt my wine!
Absolutely brass monkey – with balls frozen off – weather, warm or cold, down there.
Nearest I’ve ever been is Hobart. In summer it looks lovely.
[I was there in Autumn, and very glad of a coat and taxis!].

Thanks again,

Reply to  Griff
October 17, 2017 12:36 pm

Wrong as usual. It wasn’t the break-off (not break-up) of the Mertz glacier-tongue in 2010 that was important. It was the stranding of the B-9B iceberg (which broke off the Mertz glacier-tongue) in Commonwealth Bay in 2011 that caused the buildup of sea ice.

Isn’t it rather fascinating how Griff never ever gets anything right?

Jeff Norman
October 16, 2017 7:44 am

“Based on a 2014 analysis of fresh guano – discolored coastal areas, 3.79 million breeding pairs of Adélie penguins are in 251 breeding colonies, a 53% increase over a census completed 20 years earlier. The colonies are distributed around the coastline of the Antarctic land and ocean. Colonies have declined on the Antarctic Peninsula, but those declines have been more than offset by the increases in East Antarctic.” Wikipedia

October 16, 2017 7:51 am
October 16, 2017 7:51 am

Antarctica clearly must have had a prefect Goldilocks

Is it a school for penguins then?

October 16, 2017 8:05 am

Mr. Gore, your dead penguins are ready.

October 16, 2017 8:10 am

So…I watched the video on CNN. According to the reporter, the sea ice GAIN on the Eastern side of Antarctica is outpacing the loss of ice on the Western side. From this scientists know that “Antarctic is NOT contributing to sea level rise.”

And since the Arctic ice is mostly floating, it’s melting also does not contribute to sea level rise. So where is the warmists “catastrophic” sea level rise coming from?

Even NOAA can’t find the sea level rise…comment image

Reply to  Aphan
October 16, 2017 8:12 am

I hate this phone 🙂

“Antarctica is not contributing to sea level rise.”



Reply to  Aphan
October 16, 2017 8:42 am

NASA still has horrible scientific bias, when I read this piece I shuddered especially the last paragraphs

Since the writing the Antarctic has again resumed it’s ice increases and the whole story was a none event. Whoever this bit sticks out

To think that now the Antarctic sea ice extent is actually reaching a record minimum, that’s definitely of interest

So Antarctic sea ice reaching a new albeit temporary minimum is definitely of interest but it reaching a record maximum not so much … because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

Reply to  LdB
October 16, 2017 12:30 pm

According to NOAA, Antarctic sea ice wasn’t a record low, anyway. And it was low only because of the Super El Nino, followed by two freak weather events late last year. It’s now back in the normal range. From 1979 to 2014, Antarctic sea ice grew.

Arctic sea ice wasn’t anywhere near a record low, as Griff was told would be the case this year by his betters. Arctic ice has been growing for five years, unprecedented since 1979.

Reply to  Aphan
October 17, 2017 12:47 pm

Not sea-ice, land-ice. Sea-ice floats so whether it melts or not has no effect on sea level.

October 16, 2017 8:32 am

“Tarantino does ‘Happy Feet’”

I’m still giggling over that. That’s great!

October 16, 2017 8:42 am

I was reading about this last week (linked from Drudge Report). It kind of seemed legit until the article said that the news was released a week before a major Antarctic Climate Convention. Sounds like “State of Fear” (Michael Crichton) manipulation to me.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
October 16, 2017 2:29 pm

Turn off the A/C?
That would be watermelonish.


October 16, 2017 9:47 am

Anyone besides me notice that the sun is spotless again, has been for a week now. Does that have anything to do with it?

These people need to focus their control-freaky natures and desperate need to “FIX” everything (that can really take care of itself) on something more practical, like balancing their checkbooks. (Yes, I am being sarcastic – again.)

I don’t get it. In the winter, it’s cold. In the summer, it’s warm. Ice melts in the summer and water freezes in the winter. It’s the natural cycle of things. We have no control over it, no matter what those silly people staring at computer screens think. No control. None whatsoever.

So what was the question, again?

Reply to  Sara
October 16, 2017 10:07 am

Actually, there is now a small sunspot, 2684, on the visible disk.

Reply to  Sara
October 16, 2017 2:13 pm
Reply to  Ric Werme
October 16, 2017 2:23 pm

I didn’t see any mention of the largish spots the week before.
comment image

Reply to  Ric Werme
October 16, 2017 2:57 pm

2684 is a small spot. Just reported today (16 Oct), as far as I can tell. A site I like to visit is:

Reply to  Sara
October 16, 2017 7:00 pm

They can fix anything, especially if it isn’t broken, but they break everything they try to fix. :[

October 16, 2017 9:51 am

Weinstein can start the new colony.

October 16, 2017 10:34 am

Well, duh. The penguins have to walk over the sea-ice from traditional roosting spots to get to open water. If the sea-ice is abnormally extensive, they have to walk farther & burn up more energy.

IOW, if the Antarctic sea-ice diminishes, it’s better for penguins. But no academic researcher dare mention that, or they’d be black-balled.

October 16, 2017 10:52 am

David M ==> Love the honesty in the by-line “Guest “drive by”'”…..sometimes I too am driven to write this type of thing….my sympathies.

October 16, 2017 11:52 am

Too much Antarctic sea ice???

This year had one of the smallest amounts for a long time.

Reply to  AndyG55
October 17, 2017 12:48 pm

It’s not the quantity that is important for penguins, but where it is.

David A
Reply to  tty
October 18, 2017 5:41 am

…where it is for .25 percent of the little suited folk.

Russell Klier
October 16, 2017 12:01 pm

Save the penguins….Burn more coal, which… Heats Mother Earth, which….Melts the ice, which….Saves the penguins….Simple…….

October 16, 2017 1:26 pm

Thanks, David

October 16, 2017 1:27 pm

Why are there no penguins at the North Pole?
The Polar bears ate them all because of global warming.

Reply to  angech
October 16, 2017 8:39 pm
Reply to  angech
October 17, 2017 12:52 pm

Flightless birds cannot survive where there are land predators. There are a very few mainland penguin colonies, but they are all small species that nest in burrows and enter and leave the nesting-sites at night.

October 16, 2017 2:59 pm

Global cooling kills. Save the Penguins, Burn more Coal.

October 16, 2017 11:44 pm

“Adélie penguin population almost doubles in East Antarctica” – 2015

Less ice is good:

“A proposed reduction in sea-ice extent in the mid-20 century may also have benefited Adélie penguins by enabling better access to the ocean for foraging.”

Less ice is bad:
“For example, their notable decrease on the Antarctic Peninsula is thought to be a direct response to a reduction in sea ice as a consequence of climate change”
despite the fact the article contains this correlation:

but no, its definitely bad:comment image

Oh, and look. A couple of other monitored sites suggest 0% success some years isn’t uncommon.

I think they’re doing ok.

.. but we’ve only just worked out we we’ve been counting them wrong:

October 16, 2017 11:58 pm

Maybe reporters and scientists should be reading Darwin —

From Darwin’s The Origin of Species

Page 82 Nature of the Checks to Increase.

Climate plays an important part in determining the average numbers of a species, and periodical seasons of extreme cold or drought seem to be the most effective of all checks. I estimate (chiefly from the greatly reduced numbers of nests in the spring) that the winter of 1854-5 destroyed four-fifths of the birds in my own grounds; and this is a tremendous destruction, when we remember that ten per cent. is an extraordinarily sever mortality from epidemics with man. The action of the climate seems at first sight to be quite independent of the struggle for existance; but in so far as climate chiefly acts in reducing food, it brings on the most severe struggle between the individuals, whether of the same or of distinct species, which subsist on the same kind of food. Even climate , for instance extreme cold, acts directly, it will be the least vigorous individuals, or those which have got least food through the advancing winter, which suffer the most. When we travel from south to north, or from a damp region to a dry, we invariably see some species gradually getting rarer and rarer, and finally disappearing; and the change of climate being conspicuous, we are tempted to attribute the whole effect to direct action. But this is false view; we forget that each species, even where it most abounds, is constantly suffering enormous destruction at some period of its life, from enemies or from competitors for the same place and food; and if these enemies or competitors be in the least degree favoured by any slight change of climate, they will increase in numbers; and as each area is already fully stocked with inhabitants, the other species must decrease.

Reply to  tom0mason
October 17, 2017 3:11 am

They surely won’t read this satanic author.
Because they are, like Griff, creationists with some sort of Noah’s complex: save all species, no matter what, and [screw] Darwin and his awful Darwinism that make species disappear without any mercy to weak individuals. Because, you know, it is all Darwin fault, when he invented natural selection (the very same way Newton invented gravity, and you wonder how things stood on Earth before), turning the Eden into an horrible struggle-for-life arena dominated by this most horrible creature (Man).
They would rather get rid of struggle-for-life, so that Eden gets back. This can be done, just don’t teach Darwin’s idea and all will be well again, as in the good old days.

Reply to  paqyfelyc
October 17, 2017 10:05 am

Extinction is taken as an example of the perfidy of patriarchal Western Capitalism, and due to Daddy’s sins that the True Believers are atoning for, by trying to overthrow technological society. Humans are unnatural, so any change in Nature is an indication of our inherent evil. (I wish I was being sarcastic, but some of the green blob take that attitude)

Reply to  tom0mason
October 17, 2017 8:54 am

They are effectively creationists (the ideas that species can and will eventually disappear, and that “struggle for life” applies, send them into trance), so, no, they won’t read Darwin.

October 17, 2017 3:58 am

No one is going to reference the great episode of “Futurama” about penguins??

October 17, 2017 5:20 am

Once in a while, wide area of nature do not bear fruits. Because of hail, drought, flood, or whatever. Well, they will next year… or just do not belong here anymore, and some other living being will benefit.
What’s the fuss?

October 17, 2017 1:05 pm

Actually penguins are almost bound to decrease in the fairly near future. The near extermination of large whales in the Southern Ocean meant a massive increase of food resources for penguins and they have grown greatly in number in recent decades. Take for example the Royal Penguin colony on Salisbury Plains in South Georgia:

And that is just part of one single colony of one species (the brown birds are young ones in juvenile plumage).

As whale stock recovers there will be less food available, and the number of penguins will decrease.

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